By Kolade Larewaju
ABEOKUTAâ€“THE crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] in Ogun state, yesterday, deepened as six members of the reconciliation committee including Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello and Dr. Doyin Okupe stormed out ofÂ the meeting with Governor Olugbenga Daniel over allegedharassment of Senator Obasanjo-Bello.
But the state government said immediately that there was no physical assault of any sort on Senator Iyabo-Obasanjo Bello or anybody present at the scheduled party meeting held at the Conference Room of Governorâ€™s Office, Okemosan, Abeokuta.
According to the statement sent from the Ministry ofÂ Information and strategy; â€œ It should be recalled that Senator Obasanjo is fond of staging walkout at party leaders meetings where serious issues are being discussed.â€
Quoting the statement made by Akogun Kola Onadipe, the statement added that â€œ The Ogun Central Senatorial Chairman, Senator Tunde Osholake was on his feet raising issues of concern. I then raised an open objection to a particular section in his submission that I felt was incorrect.
Having been overruled by the governor who was the chairman at the meeting, I immediately sat back. Surprisingly Senator Obasanjo-Bello made an unguarded remark while at the same time sheÂ suddenly took her bag and commenced her usual walk out.
As a co-colleague of the Senator during Governor Danielâ€™s first tem when we both served as commissioner, I attempted to implore her not to walk out on the Governor as respect begets respect, She refused all pleadings and eventually stormed out with Waliu Taiwo, Doyin Okupe, Senator Osholake and Chief Lekan Ojo,. The walk-out was staged in spite of pleadings by the leading leaders, Senator Jubril Martins Kuye and Chief Dayo Abatan
Former Chairman of the party, Chief Olalekan Ojo, Senator Babatunde Osholake, Chief Lai Taiwo and Prince Dapo Adeyemi in walking out of the meeting accusedÂ an aide of Daniel, the Commissioner for Water Resources, Chief Kola Onadipe of harassing Senator Obasanjo-Bell.
But the ruling party corroborated the state government, saying there was no truth in the allegation, explaining that it was in fact Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello who was rude to Governor Daniel by walking out of the meeting when there was really no reason to do so.
Moreover, the party said that the action of Senator Obasanjo-Bello and others at the meeting was an act of indiscipline which would not be condoned and that appropriate action would be taken against them.
The meeting of the committee with Senator Jubril Martins_Kuye leading those opposed to Daniel and Chief Niyi Adegbenro, leading the pro Daniel group had barely gone on for 40 minutes with Governor Daniel presiding and Chairman and Secretary of the party, Elder Joju Fadairo and Otunba Pegba Otemolu in attendance before the walk out.
Newsmen had been asked out of the meeting at about 11.37 am before Governor Daniel took his seat after the two sides had taken their seats after exchanging pleasantries.
At about 12 15 pm however, Senator Obasanjo-Bello stormed out of the meeting with Dr. Doyin Okupe, saying â€œI have never seen this kind of lawlessness before. We have decided to leave because one of the aides of Governor Daniel wanted to beat up Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello and we say we cannot take this.
â€œSenator Osholake was making a point when Akogun Onadipe raised an objection and Senator Obasanjo-Bello was trying to tell him not to interject when he stood up shouting at her and coming at her, we had to force ourselves out of the place.â€
Senator Obasanjo-Bello also spoke in the same vein, saying that Osholake was making a point about the number of representatives on the Governorâ€™s side when the Commissioner for Water resources began to shout at her and that she had to take her leave.
She said â€œSenator Osholake got up and was making a point when Onadipe interrupted and while I was just trying to say he should allow him make his point, he [Onadipe] got up, shouting at me and was coming towards me and I decided to leave because I was no longer safe there.
â€œMy leader, Chief Abatan was even asking â€˜do you want to beat her up?â€™ They locked the door and prevented us from going out and I said to myself that I should have brought my own security in.
â€œI was amazed because this is our governorâ€™s office and the reason we are here is because of the elders who said we should please try and resolve the issues, but obviously some people with the governor do not want a resolution.â€
Briefing newsmen after the meeting at about 2.30 pm, Chairman of the party Elder Joju Fadairo said â€œduring the meeting, there was an objection and while trying to harmonize views on the unwarranted statement by Osholake that the party lacked legitimacy, which Onadipe objected to, suddenly Senator Iyabo Obasanjo_Bello and others staged a walk out.â€