Mulika, Ogunwuyi clash over PDP LG chairmanship primaries, as OYHA Majority Leader says, ‘They just want to tarnish my image,’ against allegation of his disrupting primary with thugs

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’Yinka ADETUNJI & Enoch OYEDIBU
Like a boar enjoying rolling in the mud, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has continued to roll in crisis foreboding electoral misfortune in 2023 at a time the main opposition party, All Progressives Congress, APC, is being swelled by new bigwig entrants into the party.

Akande+Adeola


Ogunwuyi

Chairmanship primaries for the forthcoming local government election in Oyo state (scheduled to hold on May 15), conducted by the ruling party across the state on Monday, May 8, have not ceased to generate controversies over what a chieftain described as a kangaroo primary election.

Toskay


KB

The chieftain of the party in Surulere local government who however spoke under conditions of anonymity for fear of rocking the boat fumed: “Will you consider that a primary election? The leadership of the party has not done well at all. That should not have happened.”

Oyedokun


Speaking further, he pointed out that, after it was mentioned that the returning officer (RO) was awaited in vain at the Ogbomoso North local government secretariat for the primaries only for him to turn up at another centre for the exercise, “it was a ruse, no returning officer conducted any primary election, what happened was that they wrote results in all the centres, it was all a ruse.”

Ojo


As it is now, multiple candidates are laying claim to chairmanship tickets in different council areas following the holding of parallel primaries.
Investigations by ogbomosoinsightonline.com meanwhile revealed that in the three local governments that make up Ogbomoso federal constituency – Ogbomoso North, Ogbomoso South and Oriire local governments – the battle is mostly between Hon Mulikat Akande-Adeola, former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives and hitherto party leader, and Hon Segun Ogunwuyi, Director-General of the State Investments and Public Private Partnership Agency, who is backed by Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, to lead the party in Ogbomoso zone.

Adegbite


Each put forward aspirants whom they gave full support to emerge. It is recalled that Akande-Adeola has been at loggerheads with Engr. Makinde over irreconcilable differences.
In Ogbomoso North, both Hon Ibrahim Ajagbe a.k.a. Toskay (incumbent caretaker chairman of the council), and a long time ally, Hon Kabiru Akanji (incumbent caretaker secretary of Ogbomoso Central LCDA) are laying claim to the party ticket. While Toskay with the support of Akande-Adeola was returned at the Ogbomoso North local government secretariat, claimed to be the accredited venue for the exercise, Hon Akanji a.k.a. KB, the aspirant backed by Ogunwuyi emerged at Liberty Event Centre, Kuye area.
In Ogbomoso South, Hon Oyedokun Oyeniyi Timothy (serving caretaker chairman in the council) claimed victory but this is being challenged by Temidayo Fagbemi, who is backed stoutly by Hon Sanjo Adedoyin, Majority Leader, Oyo State House of Assembly, a follower of Akande-Adeola.

Adedoyin


In Oriire local government, 5 aspirants are currently claiming victory. They include Mr. Olateju Alabi a.k.a. Ocean; Mrs. Lydia Bankole, incumbent caretaker chairperson of Oriire local government; Mr. Adesola Kolawole; Mr. Olakunle Bankole and Mr. Jelili Adeniran Umaru.
Ogunwuyi and Hon. Ezekiel Oyedepo (a former state lawmaker that represented Oriire state constituency), held their primary at Community Basic School, Oolo, returning Olateju Alabi as chairmanship candidate.
Others held their separate primaries at the council secretariat. Lydia Bankole was declared winner in the one held by her group; Adesola Kolawole emerged in his own group’s primary; Jelili Adeniran Umaru from the faction of Hon. Akande-Adeola who also held primary at the council secretariat emerged winner.
This is the story in both Surulere and Ogo-Oluwa local governments as well. In Ogo-Oluwa, the contest is mainly between the serving caretaker chairman in the council, Hon Seun Ojo and Elder Matthew Abioye, a former member House of Assembly; both are now rejoicing in “victory.”
In Surulere, Hon Isaiah Adegbite, incumbent caretaker chairman of the council, claimed victory against the incumbent caretaker chairman of Surulere South LCDA, Hon Gbadamosi Morufu.
Things really fell apart rising from the chairmanship primaries over a council election that no one is even sure will hold in view of the pending Supreme Court case instituted by the ousted chairmen of the regime of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, with judgment expected to be given on May 7.
Hon Akande-Adeola enjoyed the status of party leader until the arrival of Hon Ogunwuyi in 2019 when he clinched the party ticket for the House of Representatives to represent Ogbomoso North/Ogbomoso South/Oriire federal constituency, an election he however lost.
Sequel to his appointment as DG Investments and PPP Ogunwuyi rose in rank while increasingly, Akande-Adeola is ostracized from the party at the state level at least (she remains a force to reckon with at the national level) and now the little patronage she enjoyed via her followers in appointments is about to be snatched away.
It is the scenario that has led to the current tussle. She is the godfather of Toskay and other aspirants but now Toskay is about to be dispensed with by the powers that be at the state level. She is not going down however without giving battle. It is learnt reliably she had taken the matter to the national exco.
A party delegate loyal to Toskay posited: “What happened was bad. We were at the Ogbomoso North council secretariat at Kinnira and at the centre were party bigwigs like Dr. Saka Adegbite Balogun, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees and chairman of PDP Reconciliation Committee in the state; Alhaja Mulika Akande-Adeola; the party chairman in the council, Hon George Ogunlade; and others.
“So, which of the primary elections is authentic? Which is credible? A primary election where you have party chairman and other exco members and a member of the party’s BOT or one which lacks party hierarchy presence? They only hijacked the returning officer and it cannot stand. ”
The Ogbomoso South scene follows the same pattern, the tussle is between Hon Sanjo Adedoyin and Ogunwuyi. Adedoyin is a person of Akande-Adeola, his position as Majority Leader has however not stopped his being overridden by Ogunwuyi who came from the same council area.
Hon Banji Folaranmi is well entrenched in Surulere local government as party leader, in fact the three incumbent caretaker chairmen in the area – Surulere, Surulere South LCDA and Surelere North LCDA are his nominees but his preference this time around has been jettisoned likewise.
In Ogo-Oluwa, Hon Ojo the incumbent interim chairman of the council has the ears of Makinde and so, he is favoured above the likes of Elder Abioye, a veteran politician. And he was also said to have assisted Isaiah Adegbite in Surulere to clinch the chairmanship ticket.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com was at the venue of the primary election at Ogbomoso North local government secretariat as early as 9a.m to witness the primary election and among the party leaders on ground were Alhaja Akande-Adeola, Dr. Balogun and Hon Ogunlade. Also security operatives were on ground to maintain law and order.
However, the leaders and their supporters waited in vain for the returning officer who had gone to conduct the exercise elsewhere.
Therefore, ogbomosoinsightonline.com spoke with Akande-Adeola and she described the whole thing as a sham, decrying the process as an exercise in secrecy.
“Everything has been shrouded in secrecy; people don’t really know what’s going on. Even the returning officer up till now we have not seen him here. This is the venue and the delegates are here as you can see.”
She further said, “I heard that some people have gone somewhere else for the same exercise but we are law-abiding citizens and this is where we are supposed to be and that’s why we have been here.”
In the same vein, Hon Ogunlade stated, “We are here to vote. We called Ibadan, we expected them to give us venue but they kept reiterating that we should be patient.
“We therefore called men of the DSS (Department of State Security) to seek reconfirmation of the venue from them and he confirmed the venue to be the local government secretariat and when DPO called me this morning to ask about the venue, I told him the same thing.
“The DPO too said the venue according to the signal he received was the local government secretariat adding his men would be at the secretariat, that’s why we are here.
“Later we heard that some other members went to do parallel primary in a hall called Liberty Event Centre at Soun High School area.”
Speaking on what he referred to the prank of the returning officer, he disclosed that the latter kept telling them he was in Ibadan that some materials were yet to be given to him giving that as reason he had not arrived.
Ogunlade for now expressed optimism that the crisis would be resolved, “that is internal matter, and I am sure by God’s grace we will resolve it,” stressing, “It’s one of those things in politics, it’s not a new thing, it will be resolved.”
Also lamenting, another party chieftain, Hon Taofeeq Aolalubarika, submitted, “It’s quite unfortunate that we are expecting the returning officer to come down to this place and you can see by yourself that all party members, the delegates and those that supposed to vote are on ground but he (returning officer) is nowhere to be found.
“The security officers are around, we are ready, we are prepared for the election but we can’t find the returning officer and that is why we are doing the accreditation by ourselves under the watch of paramilitary and police officers. So we have started the accreditation, thinking that probably he (returning officer) will come.”
He added, “If we don’t see the returning officer we will conduct the election by ourselves and we will forward the result to the appropriate place because we don’t know if there’s something that happened to him on the road or something. This is the Ogbomoso North secretariat and this is where we are supposed to conduct the primary election.”
Furthermore, Alhaji Omoba Ismaila Akande, from Isale-Ora ward 6 also informed, “Members have been accredited but we are now awaiting the returning officer.”
Alhaji Akande added that after a lot of efforts, the interim chairman of Ogbomoso North local government, who was also an aspirant, Hon Ibrahim Alagbe Toskay, “finally got the returning officer’s contact and called him but to his chagrin, the returning officer said he was still in Ibadan that he hadn’t been given the needed material for the election that when he got to Ogbomoso he would give him a call. He said he heard nonetheless that the result of the yet to be conducted primary election was on its way to Ibadan.”
Efforts of ogbomosoinsightonline.com meanwhile to talk to Hon Ajagbe proved abortive as he was too occupied.
But in a telephone interview, Hon Kabiru Akanji, candidate of Alhaji Gbadegesin Kareem, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Alao-Akala, backed by Ogunwuyi, dismissed the claim of his opponents alleging their intent was to disrupt the exercise.
According to him, “The accredited venue for the primary election was Liberty Event Centre (he showed the list on which the venue is boldly written). Security officers duly received signal and so they were represented at the venue.
“We have it on impeccable authority that they had the intention of causing trouble at the venue but this was foiled. And that is why the returning officer was at Liberty Event Centre. That is what the party instructed. On a normal day can Toskay defeat me?”
He further claimed that representatives of Toskay were at the venue as well as Hon Seun Adeyinka, another aspirant and who is currently the caretaker chairman of Ogbomoso Central LCDA, revealing “delegates queued behind the three of us and I emerged winner.”
In Ogbomoso South Hon Adedoyin was alleged to have sponsored thugs to disrupt the primary at the council secretariat at Arowomole.
There were claims that about four men were injured from gunshots allegedly fired by these thugs. This is according to Facebook post by one Oba Adegboyega Stephen, a member of the party.
However, the Majority Leader swiftly dismissed the claim. In a press statement, the lawmaker described the allegation as a fabricated story to destroy his personality.
He described the caretaker chairman, Oyedokun and another party chieftain, Oba Adegboyega Stephen as liars and blackmailers stressing they were behind the orchestrated allegation against him.
He said many other party leaders were at the venue and witnessed what actually transpired while going ahead to finger members of the Park Manager Committee acting under the instruction of the caretaker chairman as the culprits.
“The process was relatively peaceful, free, fair and void of any irregularities until Ogbomoso South Park Management System representative, Jimoh Ejeoto led the PMS members to cause crisis while we were around the secretariat premises.
“The party faithful and delegates were recklessly stabbed with knife, cutlass and axe. They chased people away from the venue of the election with guns and other dangerous weapons.
“If anybody had a gunshot, it must be the handwork of park managers and other gun welding touts mobilized by Timothy Oyedokun to prevent party members from exercising their civic right.”
This is the situation across the state, multiple chairmanship candidates have emerged, accusations and counter-accusations dog the primaries and the centre in the ruling party appear crumbling thus throwing the party in great turmoil. How the party navigates and resolves this crisis will go a long way in determining the chances of the party in future elections.

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