By Kolade larewaju and Ola Ajayi
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ward congress in Ogun State was marred Tuesday as the two factions of the party held separate congresses at some designated areas.
There was, however, no report of any violence as each group kept to the designated venue of its congress.
Two factions of the party- the Governor Olubenga Daniel faction, led by the Chairman of the party; Elder Joju Fadairo and the Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye faction, with Bashorun Dayo Soremi as Chairman— had been at daggers drawn for sometime over the control of the party with each side claiming to be the authentic.
While the Joju Fadairo group is claiming that they were duly elected at the state congress, the Dayo Soremi group is insisting on the harmonisation of the State executive Council of the party as directed by the National Working Committee of the party.
The Jubril Martins Kuye faction is believed to have the support of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senators Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, Lekan Mustapha, Chief Sule Onabiyi and about four members of the House of Representatives as Speaker Dimeji Bankole is said to have crossed over to the Daniel group.
In the Daniel camp are members of the Party Executive, commissioners, special advisers and Assistants and local government chairmen.
The Soremi faction, weekend, put up paid advertisements in some newspapers specifying designated places for the congress in each ward across the 20 local government areas of state different from the areas designated by the Joju Fadairo-led executive.
The congresses started very early and were already concluded by noon.
At former President Olusegun Obasanjo’ Ward 11, Totoro area of Abeokuta North Local Government, the Joju Fadairo group held its congress at the Gateway Secondary School, Ita-Iyalode, while the Dayo Soremi Group held its congress at the Anglican High School on Quarry Road.
Reports also from Ijebu-Ode and Ijebu-Igbo also indicated that the two groups held their congresses separately.
Akala group condemns NWC’s directive on fresh congresses in Oyo
GOVERNOR Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State’s faction in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described as unlawful and illegal the directive by the National Working Committee of the party that a fresh congress be conducted in the state.
Led by the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide(SAN), the group, after a marathon meeting with the party’s stakeholders who are sympathetic to the governor, complained that the order by the party’s NWC was tantamount to a contempt of court. He said the court had ordered the party not to interfere in the affairs of the State Executive.
Brandishing the copy of an interlocutory injuction granted by the state High Court before newsmen in Ibadan Tuesday, Chief Akinjide, who spoke on behalf of others, stressed that since all the years of his legal practice, he had never seen illegality being perpetrated like what the party’s NWC had done.
In the order granted by the court and signed on 30th September, 2010, the court had restrained the defendants (PDP) and the National Chairman, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, and others from disturbing, interfering or tampering with the performance of duty of the Oyo State chapter of PDP.
But, reacting to the comments by the Akala faction, the other faction led by Alhaji Yunus Akintunde said the group was confused, asking why it would participate in the congresses after accussing the NWC of contempt of court.
Chief Akinjide said: “Our view is that the directive is unlawful and illegal. I say this with the greatest sense of responsibility. I have never seen illegality being so perpetrated. I have with me the copy of the order.”