Dr Saka Balogun
90% candidates, functionaries from Osupa, chairmanship not again – Why PDP is in crisis in Ogbomoso North
More insights have been provided into the disruption of the stakeholders’ meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party q(PPQPDP) in Ogbomoso North local government, Oyo state, Tuesday in which party leader in the zone Dr. Saka Balogun and others including Hon Temilola Adibi, Hon. Akinwole Akinwale a.k.a. Wolekanle, Alhaji Abu Salam, Hon Jacob Ajao Adejumo and others were jeered at and pelted with abusive languages.
The protesters hurled abusive words at the leaders, carrying placards bearing various inscriptions to express their disapproval of where they suspected the meeting was heading to.
Held at the residence of Dr Saka Balogun at High School area, the meeting aimed at selecting the candidates for the forthcoming local government election – chairmanship and councillorship – for the ten wards.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com learnt the two major contenders for the chairmanship position meanwhile are incidentally the first and second citizens in the council area, Hon Akanji Kabir Ayoade (council chairman) and Alhaja Adija Oritoke Aremu a.k.a. Rainbow (vice chairperson). The two who are on their first term have been at loggerheads over who will emerge.
So, party elders gathered Monday to consider aspirants for the chairmanship slot out of the seven who submitted letters of intent as well as councillorship candidates for each of the ten wards. But other stakeholders according to findings consisting of majority members of the executive committee at local and ward levels, youth and women leaders across the wards and so on, suspecting the Balogun-led committee was queuing behind Aremu, activated their grievances which snowballed into the disruption of the meeting, reported Wednesday by ogbomosoinsightonline.com.
Speaking with ogbomosoinsightonline.com Thursday, Banji Oyelowo, who is party leader in Sabo/Taraa ward, said the action of the Balogun-led committee was improper.
Furious, Oyelowo said the committee held the meeting at Balogun’s residence in Ibadan Wednesday to “execute the hatchet job they began Tuesday.”
According to him the former Chief of Staff to Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala “went to Ibadan with Adibi, Wolekanle, Captain Jacob and some others. They sat at Saka Balogun’s house to compile the names and that is the list they are planning to submit.”
Oyelowo further revealed, “That was the plan for Tuesday meeting which ignited the protest. The chaos was not perpetrated by thugs, nobody mobilized any thugs anywhere, but aggrieved members of the party exco showed their grievances, they are exco members at ward and local levels that said they could not accept such shenanigan.
“Yet, yesterday, Baba (Saka Balogun) took his people to Ibadan to perpetrate the same thing the exco members said was not right. They have compiled the names. The chairmanship candidate they chose is from Osupa.”
He lambasted the committee for “gross insensitivity and promotion of lopsidedness” in political appointments and allocation of candidates.
The party chieftain who spoke in the presence of other members of the exco disclosing the chairmanship candidate penciled down hails from Osupa pointed out Osupa ward had produced about 90 percent of candidates and appointees in the council area.
He stressed, “Let me make this disclosure, it is something not democratic. Only Osupa is being favoured by Baba Saka’s leadership to the chagrin of others. The chairmanship candidate he plans to use is from Osupa – Rainbow, the commissionership candidate is from Osupa, board chairman is from Osupa, chairman BCOS (Dotun Oyelade) is Osupa, chairman signage board (Adibi) is Osupa, overall youth leader hails from Osupa, overall women leader is from Osupa, that is why the party members are angry.
“In addition, all candidates during the last election are from Osupa – the House of Representative’s candidate (Femi Onireti), the senatorial candidate (Wolekanle) and the House of Assembly’s candidate (Bisi Oyewo) though not originally from Osupa, is married to an Osupa person and so is Osupa. So, all what is Ogbomoso North’s, Baba Saka Balogun favours only Osupa people.
“Everything being done by him is lopsided. That is why Alhaji Rasaq Gbadegesin Agbeti and party excos complained on Tuesday and why they didn’t want the meeting to hold. But it is what they went to Baba’s residence in Ibadan to perfect. It cannot stand.”
Balogun who was Presidential Liaison Officer during the administration of President Sheu Shagari (1979 – 1984) was further alleged of nominating all councillorship candidates unilaterally without allowing input from other leaders of the party. “Can you imagine Hon Bisi Oyewo, who is the lawmaker representing us in the Oyo state House of Assembly, was blocked from nominating any councillorship candidate, ditto Hon John Oke Legacy, another party stalwart and Prof Abdulrahman Afonja, a former commissioner for works in the state, all who are authentic party leaders? It is totally anti-party.”
Another source of discontent according to him is what he called disequilibrium in religious consideration. “There are five local governments in the zone, four have Christians as chairmen, but the only one where a Muslim is heading they are now trying to replace with a woman. And if you recall, a woman is representing us presently in the state House of Assembly,” Oyelowo submitted, why calling for primary election.
It is recalled that the council chairman Hon Kabiru Ayoade reacting Wednesday similarly demanded primary election, stressing, “How can the minority be foisted over the majority? We are not afraid of primary. ”