Hundreds of members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogun State on Monday embarked on a protest over an alleged plot to withdraw the mandate which produced Gboyega Isiaka as the party’s governorship candidate ahead of 2015 poll.
The national office of the PDP had rejected the outcome of the primaries that produced Mr. Isiaka. The party denied knowledge of the election.
But some leaders of the party in the state have insisted that Mr. Isiaka is the right candidate.
On Monday, leaders of party from the Ogun Central Senatorial District warned the party leadership against any attempt to impose a candidate for the vacant senatorial seat in the district.
The zonal leaders in a communiqué signed by Ademola Adeshina, Bolanle Tejuoso and Lijadu Majekodunmi, at the end of its meeting, approved the primaries which produced the three candidates for its House of Representatives.
The candidates were Ibrahim Olaleye -Abeokuta North/Obafemi-Owode/Odeda, Yomi Ajayi -Abeokuta South, and Nathaniel Sodipo -Ewekoro/Ifo.
Meanwhile, protesters in support of Mr. Isiaka, at the party secretariat located along Presidential Boulevard, were armed with placards.
Some read: Ogun West will not disappoint PDP, GNI is the roadmap 2015, We salute PDP for the choice of GNI, GNI is symbol of success, and On GNI mandate we stand.
The notable elders of the zone, who led the protesters and spoke at the venue include; Ebun Oyagbola – a former Minister, Salmot Badru – a former Ogun State Deputy Governor, Iyabo Apampa, and Semiu Sodipo – PDP State Secretary, among others.
All the speakers at the protest venue declared they would not relent in their efforts to ensure the elected governorship candidate was not robbed of his mandate, particularly as the zone he was from was yet to produce a governor since the creation of the state 39 years ago.
Ms. Oyagbola said, “I am happy to be here today. All evil plans against us shall be scuttled and not see the light of the day. Is it a crime to come from Ogun West? The zone is yet to be in power since creation of the state.”
Ms. Badru said there was no going back on the mandate given to Mr. Isiaka
“We are here in solidarity and in support of one of our own, Gboyega Isiaka, who has been picked as PDP governorship candidate,” she said. “We have come today to tell the whole world that we leaders in Ogun West are united and in support of Gboyega Isiaka becoming Governor in 2015. We are determined more than before. Since the creation of Ogun State we have not attained a governor seat. We are saying enough is enough. We’ve been supporting other zones. Now, they should support us now. This is our time; we must work towards that.”
The Ogun Central leaders in their communique declared that they stood behind the previous primaries which produced candidates for the lower house at the National Assembly.
They said these candidates emerged from a very rigorous and well supervised process monitored by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the State Security Services, Police, and state party chieftains and journalists.
On the postponed senatorial primary for the zone, the communique declared that any attempt to impose any candidate would not go down well with the party. It said the state chairman of the party, Dayo Bayo, had earlier publicly announced the postponement of the primary, hence, the need to conduct a fresh primary for the contestants which included Lanre Laoshe, Bisola Sodipo-Clark and Adebo Fijabi.
The communique said the leaders could not afford destabilisation from outside Ogun Central as an independent people they would not subject their choices to any manipulation.
“Since the inception of our party, the PDP, we have never been known for brazen imposition and abuse of process,” the communique said. “Election in 2015 is a must win for the PDP and we have to say that Ogun Central is the battle ground given that the governorship candidate of our rival the All Progressives Congress, APC, is from Ogun Central.”
The body also emphasised two prayers in their communique, which stated thus: “All the House of Representatives candidates that emerged through the primaries held on the 6th December, 2014 should be upheld as they reflect wishes of our people and enjoy overwhelming majority.
“We recognise that these aspirants namely; Lanre Laoshe, Bisola Sodipo-Clark and Adebo Fijabi have been in the race but we insist that the choice of who represent Ogun Central at the Senate must be decided by Ogun Central themselves via a free,f air and transparent primaries. But if exit polls on the field are anything to go by then Hon Lanre Laoshe seems to enjoy popular support.”