Obiora Ifoh, Abuja
Decade old crisis rocking the Ogun state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, may have come to an end as the leaders of the faction loyal to Senator Kashamu Buruji have reconciled with the mainstream faction of the party led by Hon Ladi Adebutu.
At reconciliation of the factions was announced at a meeting in Abuja attended by members of the factions and the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party, led by the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
While introducing the former leaders of the Buruji faction, the PDP governorship candidate in 2019, Hon Adebutu declared that the party paid dearly for the rift as it lost its control of elective offices in the state.
According to him, “The chapter of the party in Ogun state had been embroiled in conflicts for 12 years. So a chapter that had 100 per cent of all the elective positions in the state have now moved to a party that only has one out of the 40 elective positions.
“In this 12 years, we have had two parallel executives in the state that have not always worked together. This cumulated in a situation where in the last election when the party produced me as the candidate of the party, the other faction had another candidate. At the end of the day, unfortunately, we lost the election woefully.
“It is my pleasure by the grace of God to now present to you the state working committee of the other faction. Our own faction have been at peace and we have been recognized by the national working committee of the party. And to the glory of God today, I am happy to present to you the Secretary of the Ogun faction of the PDP, Honourable Semiu Sodipo.
“Of the state four working committees, one is still at loggerhead with us, because he was a candidate in the last election. But interestingly, out of the 13 that are left, 10 are presently very active with the PDP and have aligned with the decision of the PDP national headquarters. Three are still drifting in and out- some days, they’ll claim they are with us. Another day, they are with APC.
“What this means is that out of 14, we have 10 members led by the factional secretary and are returning fully to the mainstream in total alliance to the dictates of the party at the national level.
“The believe is that, by this, all issues of litigation will be put to rest. Our party shall become one strong force again and shall remain the singular strongest opposition in Ogun state. And I can assure you that in 2023, you can count on Ogun state in the kitty for our party.”
On his part, Sodipo lamented the crisis that almost consumed the party, saying it was a good thing that all factions have collapsed into one.
“I’m informing you that the crisis in Ogun state has really come to an end. I was part of the problem. I have been acting secretary; I was acting secretary from 2009 t0 2010.
“The problem started with the government. Some of us were making some inaudible noise here and there. Later, we started raising our voices and it became audible and some of our leaders bought into it.
“The crisis started gaining momentum until Senator Buruji Kashamu came in and said we could force what we want on the national.
“But we have realized that controlling the structure, does not mean controlling the people. And it does not really translate to victory. We have conducted election three times in 2011, 2014 and 2019 and nothing came out of them.”
In his response the national chairman, Prince Secondus declared that it is unwholesome for courts to interfere with the internal administration of political parties.
He stressed that the constitution is very explicit on who should send the list of party’s candidates for elections to Independent National Electoral Commission.
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