The crisis in the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, took a new dimension on Sunday as rumour spread that the leadership had been dissolved.
The Ogun PDP is currently led by Adebayo Dayo as chairman with the executives believed to be loyal to fugitive millionaire, Buruji Kashamu. Mr. Kashamu is wanted in the U.S. for alleged drug involvement, although he has always claimed he is a victim of mistaken identity. His role in the PDP is one of the reasons former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is also from Ogun State, gave for limiting his involvement with the party.
The PDP recently announced that it had become united following the return of a former governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel, and his supporters to the party. It also appealed to Mr. Obasanjo to return to play a more active role in the build up to the 2015 elections.
Since the return of Mr. Daniel and other s to the party, there have been rumours that the state leadership of the party might be dissolved to allow for an inclusive leadership filled with loyalists of all factions.
As the rumour of the dissolution spread on Sunday, the party’s spokesperson, Waliu Oladipupo, promptly released a statement debunking it.
In the statement, Mr. Oladipupo blamed some leaders of the party in the state for trying to use federal might to rattle the executives.
“If they think that they can ride on the back of one powerful man at the national headquarters to trample on the rule of law, we wish to serve them notice that we are ready for them,” he said.
Read his full statement below:
The attention of the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to the rumour making the rounds that the State Executive Committee (Exco) of the party has been dissolved.
We wish to state without mincing words that nothing could be farther from the truth. The Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led State Exco is intact. As we have said severally, the Ogun State PDP Exco is peculiar. The Ogun State PDP Excos, from the ward to local government and state levels were not just elected at validly conducted congresses; they were refined through the crucibles of the party constitution and the laws of land and endorsed by the electoral umpire – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Put differently, they were not just elected but validated by several judicial interventions and pronouncements from the High Court to the Appeal Court.
Therefore, given the peculiar circumstances of their emergence, any attempt to tinker with the party structures will not just be an invitation to avoidable lawlessness but also illegal, ultra vires and a direct affront on the judiciary.
As active participants in the struggle for the rejuvenation and rebuilding of the party in Ogun State, we are aware that the party structures in Ogun State, from the ward, local government and state levels, were put in place by party members while the likes of Doyin Okupe and Dimeji Bankole abandoned the party and stayed away from its activities.
When disputes arose with the ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo group over the structure, rather than resort to lawlessness, contending interests approached the courts for the resolution of the disputes. Various courts, from Ilaro to Lagos and Abuja, and even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have since recognised the party structure in the state under the Chairmanship of Engr. Adebayo Dayo – in strict compliance with several judgments validating the structure.
The Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/347/2012 ruled on the 2nd of May, 2012, that the Adebayo Dayo-led exco emerged from a credible process and should not be sidelined or dissolved until its tenure expires in 2016.
On the 11th of July, 2012, the same court delivered another judgment in a suit filed against INEC by the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Exco in which it directed INEC to recognise and give effect to the tenure of the party officials listed in the schedule to the Originating Summons.
Also, in a letter dated 18th September, 2012 and addressed to its Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ogun State, INEC conveyed its decision to accept and relate with the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led Exco, in accordance with the judgments in Suit Numbers FHC/L/CS/347/2012 and FHC/L/CS/535/2012.
Also, the National Working Committee of the PDP in a letter dated 30th May, 2013 respectively confirmed the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led State Exco.
It should be noted that it is over two years now, these judgments as well as other pronouncements that time and space would not permit me to cite are yet to be appealed or set aside by superior courts.
In fact, it is the same Adebayo Dayo-led Exco that fought and won the battle to reclaim the leadership of the PDP from the vice grip of some renegades who wanted to use their stooges to cripple the PDP in the South West through the former occupants of the offices of the National Secretary, National Auditor and National Vice-Chairman, South West.
It is hoped that those who angling to sow the seeds of discord know their implications of their contrived plot. If they think that they can ride on the back of one powerful man at the national headquarters to trample on the rule of law, we wish to serve them notice that we are ready for them. The Ogun State PDP is a veteran of many political battles. We are not resting on our oars. For us, eternal vigilance is truly the price of freedom.