By OLUSESAN LAOYE
Osun State is still very tensed politically and for the past few weeks, the political atmosphere has been uncertain, which has made the people of the state to continue living in fear after the All Progressives Congress governorship primary (APC).
The citizens who just went through a serious trauma with the primary of the APC, is now into another which has been envisaged that would be more tempestuous than that of the APC, with the volatile manner the members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), set for their primary to pick who would slug it out with the incumbent, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, are conducting themselves.
What gave clear impression that the PDP primary would be volatile was demonstrated during the ward congress to pick delegates that would vote at the primary on March 8, 2022.
The ward congress was marred with violence from thugs which led to deaths in Iwo and Odootin local governments of the state. Already the two camps of both Demola Adeleke and Akin Ogunbiyi have been trading verbal tackles over the incidents.
Unlike its rival political party, which had two hot contenders for its primary, the PDP is parading five heavy weights contesting the ticket for the governorship election in July this year.
They are Ademola Adeleke, who claimed he is the front runner, Akin Ogunbiyi who is confident that whatever the case may be, this time around, he would block all avenues that they may want to use to rig him out, as it was done four years ago.
Also, in the battle are Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, former Secretary to the the Osun state government during the tenure of former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Sanya Omirin, from Atakumosa who happens to be the only aspirant from Osun East, Dotun Babayemi, a business mogul and Dele Adeleke, the nephew of Demola Adeleke, whose entry into the race has been controversial.
Although all the aspirants are determined, apart from Demola Adeleke and Akin Ogunbiyi, Dele Adeleke who came into the race at the last minute is another serious person to be watched. Despite his lateness, he has been making waves, making subtle house to house campaign and meeting party leaders privately.
His popularity has made the people of the state to rate him third after Ogunbiyi. Apart from the fact that Dele appeals to the youths in the state, he is said to have the support of some notable leaders both in the State and at the National level.
Dele is the only aspirant who never makes noise or brags like his uncle Demola, who people believed is blowing his trumpet to prove that he has overcome the controversy of so many scandals he faced four years ago. It was also alleged that as a result of his desperation to clinch the ticket of the party, he has bought delegates.
This, it was said, manifested during the adhoc shadow congress held, and most of the wards which he claimed to have won that fetched him the highest numbers of delegates, who are ready to vote for him at the venue of primary, since the PDP in Osun state is adopting indirect primary.
But his counterpart, Ogunbiyi who is also hot in the race described Demola’s claim and outburst as fallacy, saying that he was only showcasing ignorance, insecurity and inferiority complex, which he has been fighting since the last governorship election in 2018.
A member of the party told Business Hallmark that they believed that part of the insecurity and lack of confidence Demola Adeleke made his supporters to have attacked the former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who is so much respected.
It was said that a lot of people were bitter about the attack which led the the supporters of the former governor to protest both in Osogbo and Okuku his home town.
Some of the people who also commented on the attack on Oyinlola, argued that it was a great mistake which could at the end of the day, cost him the ticket of the party despite his “bragging that he is on top and the notion that he has the highest numbers of delegates who would win the primary for him.”
Also, one major problem confronting the PDP is that of dual Chairmanship. While the Soji Adagunodo’s group lay claim to be the most authentic, with Wale Ojo as the chairman, reaffirmed by the court, the Sunday Bisi group claimed that it is the one recognised by the National body of the party to direct the affairs in the state.
This controversy is still raging and if not resolved before March, it could pose a dangerous threat for the PDP in Osun state, which could affect the primary. This could also lead to confusion at the venue of the primary.
In his reaction, the chairman of the group affirmed by the court, said that no matter the legitimacy which may have been given to Sunday Bisi’s Chairmanship, he still remains the only authentic and bonafide chairman recognised by law. According to him whatever actions carried out by anybody “not me as the chairman of the party in Osun State, is nullity.”
On the attack on Oyinlola one of the associates of the former governor who confided in BusinessHallmark said that Demola has forgotten that the kind of the person of his boss is not to be rude to, as far as Osun state politics is concern.
He said he has allowed his ambition to becloud his sense of reasoning, saying “what happened was an indication that such a disrepecful person is not fit to be placed at the saddle of affairs in a very serious state like Osun.”
Also, the speculations going on is that if the supporters of Adagunodo and that of Oyinlola team up, Demola may not at the end of the day, clinch the ticket of the party. It was also said that the leader of the party in the South West, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, is not comfortable with Adeleke being the flag bearer of the party.
It was speculated that his choice is his nephew Dele, who people of the state believed is more composed, articulate and more intelligent and without controversial and ambiguous. credentials.
In its reaction on various allegations against the the team, and principal, the Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation condemns violence and condole with families of victims who died during the mock congress.
“We are constrained to release this statement even after the state leadership of our great party has yesterday issued a strongly worded message on reported cases of violence and deaths during the recently concluded ward adhoc congress. We hereby reiterate the non-involvement of our campaign organisation in the fracas and frowns at any satanic attempt to link our organisation and principal to the incident.
“As a campaign organisation committed to peaceful ethos and norms, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the unfortunate incidents at Iwo and Odo Otin local governments and commiserate with the families of the victims. We affirm that neither our campaign organisation nor our party has a hand in the sad events.
“Our mobilisation for the congress and forthcoming general election is premised on peoples’ aspiration and love, hence we abhor violence and agents of conflict. It is on records that other political factions mobilised political thugs from neighbouring state to cause mayhem.
“Several reports of such trans-border movements were received but our organisation rather concentrated on mobilisation and several concessions to the Fintiri led National Committee to ensure the success of the ward congress.
“Despite the unfair attacks, this organisation remains committed to working with every members of the party for peaceful congresses and primary as well eventual victory at the state election. We are strengthened in our belief that the love of the people is the greatest asset in politics. That is what we have and Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke is the symbol of light and peace for that mass movement.”
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja has approved the nomination of a five man panel to serve in the the Osun State Ward Congresses Electoral Appeal Panel to consider appeals arising from the conduct of the 3 man ad-hoc delegate Ward Congresses.
According to Hon. Debo Ologunagba the National Publicity Secretary of the party, members of the committee are
1. H.E. Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe – (Chairman)
2. Dr. Steven Omeje – (Member)
3. Prof. Aishatu Madawaki – (Member)
4. Hon. Chief Ako Atu – (Member)
5. Barr. Tanko Beji (Secretary)
Hon. Ologunagba stated that the exercise would hold today Monday, February 28, 2022 at the National Working Committee (NWC) Hall, Wadata Plaza, PDP National Secretariat, Abuja at 10 am and that all critical stakeholders and members of the Party in Osun State are to appear before the panel.