February 16, 2011

Obasanjo, Gbenga factions hold separate rallies

*It’s embarrassment to party leadership, says PDP

By Jide Ajani &  Kolade  Larewaju
At a time when the Northern Political Leaders Forum, NPLF, issued a communiqué after its meeting of Monday, February 14, 2011, calling on the opposition to rise against the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the show of popularity in Ogun State, yesterday, between the Governor Gbenga Daniel and former President Olusegun Obasanjo factions of the party is said to be causing serious embarrassment to the leadership of the party.

While the faction loyal to Gov. Daniel held its rally in Abeokuta, the state capital, and moved round major streets of the town chanting slogans against Obasanjo, the faction loyal to the former President held its own in Ilaro where the factional gubernatorial candidate of the party was the centre of attraction.

The anti-Obasanjo protesters reiterated that there was no plan to defect to another political party but protested alleged injustice done to it by the faction that is loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

A leader of the party in Abuja and who is also a member of the Board of Trustees told Vanguard that “PDP should have demonstrated to the opposition in the state that we are the same.  We hear that a rally was held at the party secretariat in Abeokuta, the state capital and there was a mammoth crowd.  That is good for the party.

“But when you now have another rally being held in another part of the state by another group of people, what message do they think they are sending to the opposition in the state.

“The NPLF, as you know, just issued its communiqué and the members are calling on opposition to rise against our party.  God forbid, if the people who are in the governor’s camp decide to leave the party, with that crowd which was in Abeoukta, how would we still claim that we can win the election?  Even if they do not leave the party, they vote for our President Goodluck Jonathan, but choose to vote against the PDP on account of what is going on, won’t we lose the state?

“This is not a time for us to have these divisions and party headquarters which sent supervisors to monitor the primaries in the state should do what is right, fair and just not minding whose ox is gored.  Our party is being made a laughing stock”, the BoT member concluded.

And speaking at the rally held at the Party Secretariat in Abeokuta before taking their protest round the town, the State Chairman, Elder Joju Fadairo, described the crisis rocking the party as temporary and pleaded with the members to remain calm as all would eventually be well.

Some of the placards read: “OBJ Going! Going! Gone,” “Judiciary, enough of kangaroo injunctions,” “Ogun PDP says no to OBJ,” “OGD is our leader in Ogun.”

The Ilaro rally

In Ilaro the other factional governorship candidate of the party, Gen. Adetunji Idowu Olurin, addressed a rally said to be the prelude to the launching of his campaign, a crowd turned out to welcome him dancing and singing various songs.

Olurin in his speech said that he was on “a rescue mission” to the state and that he would address the issue of poverty if elected as Governor and that he would not plunder the resources of the state.