Ogb North: Angry supporters boo Saka Balogun, Adibi, others over selection of PDP chairmanship candidate (SEE VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
The stakeholders’ meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogbomoso North local government, ended in fracas Tuesday as supporters of a chairmanship aspirant went haywire over the perceived prejudice of the leaders of the party.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com learnt from witnesses that some of the leaders like Dr Saka Balogun, a state leader of the party; Hon Temilola Adibi, a former member of House of Representatives; Alhaji Abu Salam, another party chieftain; Hon Akinwole Akinwale a.k.a. Wolekanle, PDP senatorial candidate for Oyo North in the last election; Hon Jide Oketunbi, a former member of Public Complaints Commission; Pa Ajibesin; Hon Jacob Ajao Adejumo, immediate past lawmaker who represented Ogbomoso federal constituency and others, had to be ferried out in a hurried manner, as the angry supporters broke into abusive songs, “E se, e se o, e wa maalo (Thank you, thank you, take your leave),” “It is primary election we want” among others. There were those who also carried placards to express their views.
The shouts of name of their preferred candidate rent the air. “In fact, some of the unruly party members allegedly broke the gate of Dr Balogun’s residence where the meeting was held. Meanwhile, they are alleged to be supporters of the incumbent chairman of the local government, Hon Akanji Kabir Ayoade,” an eye witness stated.
It is learnt the meeting had been summoned at the instance of Chief of Staff to Governor Seyi Makinde, Chief Segun Ogunwuyi (who heads the selection committee for the chairmanship candidates in Ogbomoso zone) and Dr Balogun with mandate to work out modality to choose a chairmanship candidate of the party in the forthcoming 2024 local government election.
But there was uneasiness as feelers indicated that most of the leaders invited to the meeting were working for the emergence of a particular aspirant other than the incumbent, Hon Ayoade, who has shown interest in another term.
“There are three main contenders,” a source told ogbomosoinsightonline.com. “There is the incumbent, Hon Ayoade, his vice, Alhaja Adija Oritoke a.k.a. Rainbow, and Hon George Ogunlade, the party chairman in the local government. However, Ogunlade had been prevailed upon to step down for Rainbow and serve as her vice.”
It was added that a secret meeting by unnamed five leaders of the party was held in Ilorin last week to fine tune the plan for the endorsement of Adija Rainbow who presently heads Ogbomoso Central LCDA, in her capacity as incumbent vice chairman, a meeting which however was said to have thrown Ayoade into discomfiture and agitation.
It was on the basis of this surreptitious meeting that the supporters of Ayoade fearing their candidate might be shortchanged got mobilized to the meeting at the residence of Balogun at High School area.
Sources at the meeting informed the leaders were looking at the possibility of a consensus which supporters of Ayoade knew would not favour him and they resorted to unruliness and became agitated, singing in solidarity against the “compromised” leaders, and demanding a primary be held to elect the candidate.
Meanwhile, Ogbomoso Insight was informed by a source that both Ogunwuyi and Alhaji Rasaq Gbadegesin a.k.a. Agbeti, a former Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala (who was at the disrupted meeting on Tuesday), are the main backers of Ayoade, while most others are rooting for Adija, “and they predominated. That is why they entertained fear and why the meeting became rowdy and ended in chaos.”
Speaking with ogbomosoinsightonline.com, chairman of the council, Kabiru Ayoade said he was not at the meeting but was told what transpired later, adding, “They should allow primary to hold in the circumstance.”
Confident of emerging victorious in the primary, he disclosed, “Out of the ten ward chairmen in the local government, eight have endorsed me, nine youth leaders are rooting for me out of nine (the tenth one is late), seven women leaders out of ten have endorsed me, nine ward secretaries out of ten are backing me, all ward vice chairmen endorsed me and majority party members. These are the real stakeholders of the party, the engine of the party.
“When the ward chairmen and others got wind of their plan as they had perfected plan to choose someone else they were the ones that went to attend the meeting to protest that you can’t foist minority over the majority, it is never done to foist someone who lacks the support of the people over someone who has grassroots support.
“After all, within a group the excos constitute the leaders, youth leaders too and so on. The party chairman at the local government level has shown interest too so he can’t be reckoned with in this circumstance but others are with me. Some five people now say they want to impose an aspirant. So, the party excos went there to express discontent that the minority should not be imposed over the majority.
“That is what happened. What will happen now is that the report will be submitted to the Chief of Staff, who is chairman of the committee. What that means is that Baba could not resolve the matter. Chief Segun Ogunwuyi will receive the report and decide what to do. But on our part we are ready for primary election.”
Ogbomoso Insight spoke with Oritoke on phone but she declined to comment saying we should rather speak with the chairman of the party, Hon George Ogunlade.
In his own, Ogunlade, a former House Leader in the legislative house of the local government, disclosed he was not at the meeting, “I travelled yesterday and so could not say anything on what happened.”
Asked to comment on his purported interest in the council chairmanship position and his being offered the vice chairmanship position, he stated, “It is true I had ambition to be chairman but when the guideline was released, and it stipulates the fees to be paid and at the same time it indicates I must resign as chairman of the party, that any party official or political appointee has to resign 7 days to the primary, I backed out and I have my reasons for that.
“At least those who showed interest were 14 in number across the ten wards. On Sunday (July 9), we screened them and I chaired the screening committee. The screening came up at 2pm at the party secretariat. I did not write letter of interest, and I didn’t parade myself as an aspirant or tell anyone I would contest. I chaired the screening committee where we appealed to the aspirants to step down for each other. And out of the 14, 5 eventually stepped down. Others refused, I have the report with me.
“Alhaja Adija wrote letter, Alhaji Kabiru wrote letter, but during the screening, they sent representatives, though others showed up. I didn’t write letter and I did not show up before the committee to be screened. So, how will I, when I did not write letter of interest, step down for anyone or be prevailed upon to step down for anyone?
“So, it is all rumour. The meeting that was disrupted yesterday was to pick a candidate. The instruction of the governor was that stakeholders in each local government should choose the candidate by way of consensus. It was that meeting that was to be held yesterday but Alhaji Rasaq and Alhaji Kabiru brought thugs to disrupt the meeting. And I was not at the meeting, I travelled. That is why I could not tell you what happened there.”
He similarly debunked the claim that he was offered vice chairmanship position to Alhaja Oritoke averring, “Isn’t it after the chairmanship candidate is chosen that they will begin the process of choosing the vice? It is never paired before then, don’t mind them.”