Internal wrangling threatens PDP electoral fortunes in Abia
PDP

Idowu Olakunle, Abeokuta

A governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Otunba Jimi Lawal has been suspended by the party for allegedly conducting and participating in an ‘illegal’ governorship primary election.

Lawal was suspended alongside four others, including Bola Odunmosun, the Financial Secretary of the party; Fasiu Ajadi; Kola Akinyemi and Tope Asiru, the party chairman of Ijebu Northeast local government area.

The Secretary of the party, Sunday Solarin announced their suspension on Monday at a press briefing at the party’s secretariat in Abeokuta, the state capital.

According to Solarin, Lawal and the others were suspended for violating the constitution of the party by conducting and participating in an “illegal” governorship primary election which was not authorised by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

Solarin disclosed that Lawal and the others have been suspended for one month pending the outcome an investigation of a disciplinary committee which would be setup to review their action.

A Federal High court sitting in Abeokuta had nullified the primary election of the party which produced Hon. Ladi Adebutu in the state.

The presiding judge, Justice O.O Oguntoyinbo in her judgement, ordered the party to conduct fresh primaries within the next 14 days.

The court also barred the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Hon. Ladi Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.

The NWC of the party has, however, vowed to appeal the judgement.

Our correspondent gathered that following the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum, the faction of Jimi Lawal staged a factional governorship primary election at an undisclosed location in Abeokuta, the state capital on Monday.

But, the leadership of the party in the state, condemned the action of Lawal and members of his faction, insisting that PDP would not condone any action directed at putting the party into disrepute.

Solarin while handing down the suspension said, “All of these shenanigans will be put to bed and we have resolved that the principal actors of the illegal primary election will be exposed. They have been found and their punishment will be given.

“We were informed that an Illegal congress was going to happen today, that some people gathered somewhere to carry out an action that is not constitutionally or statutorily assigned to them.

“We have also resolved today that Otunba Jimi Lawal is also going to be on suspension with immediate effect because he participated actively in a congress not conducted by the State Executives of the party, an action which has been found to bring the party into disrepute.

“We must also emphasize the fact that in a house where discipline is missing, definitely, such house will not raise good children and they are not going to raise good ambassador for that family.

“Because PDP is a house that believes in the rule of law, it is a house built by our forefathers, managed by all of us, we are not going to open our eyes and allow some dissidents to destroy the house.

“So, they are suspended for the next one month in which case the disciplinary committee will be setup and they will be invited to come and explain the action they took; the reason their suspension should not be elongated or the reason it should not be escalated to expulsion”.

When contacted for reaction, the spokesperson of Lawal’s faction, Austin Oniyokor did not pick calls put to him by our correspondent, neither did he reply messages sent to his phone.

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