BY KOLADE LAREWAJU & DAPO AKINREFON
THE power play between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Olugbenga Daniel is reportedly getting more intense.
It will be recalled that the former state Chairman of the party, Elder Joju Fadairo, who is now the state Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation, penultimate Sunday raised the alarm that some political appointees loyal to the PDP in the state were being intimidated by the governor.
The governor has, however, vehemently denied the accusation, saying nobody has been asked to go for reason of political affiliation.
The governor also explained what led to the movement of some former members of PDP to PPN.
The allegation of political intimidation, first raised by an on-line publication – that some prominent political aides to the governor who were allegedly loyal to the former President – were at the weekend asked to quit the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] or have their appointment terminated
It will be recalled that the former state Chairman of the party, Elder Joju Fadairo who is now the state Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan/Sambo had penultimate Sunday raised the alarm that some political appointees loyal to the PDP in the state were being intimidated by the governor.
The allegation by Fadairo was said to have preceded a meeting of political appointees which was held at the Asoludero Court of Governor Gbenga Daniel, Wednesday last week during which it was allegedly agreed that they should support the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN)
Some unnamed political appointees in the state who were said not to be at the meeting were quoted as saying that the Secretary to the State Government, Otunba Adegbemi Onakoya asked them to support the PPN or resign their appointments.
The report added that in what appeared as a realization of the threat, three members of Yewa South Local Government in the state, were on Monday sacked and replaced for allegedly refusing to defect to PPN with the Vice
Chairman; Mr. Deji Orebiyi, Mr. Femi Ogunsola, Mr. Deji Ogunsola and Mr.Taiwo Jimoh being the victims.
Another one of the victims of the alleged development, Bashorun Sanjo Soyoye who until Wednesday last week was the Governor’s Liaison Office (GLO) in the state in confirming his sack said ‘’I was shocked and surprised to receive the letter. I was loyal to the Governor until the morning of Wednesday when I received a letter terminating my appointment as the GLO in Obafemi/Owode Local Government.
A copy of the letter made available to newsmen titled ‘’Termination of Appointment” dated 10th March, 2011 and signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Otunba Adegbemi Onakoya said the termination was as a result of re-organization of government machinery.
The letter said ‘’In view of the on-going re-organization of government machinery, I wish to inform you that your appointment as GLO for Obafemi/Owode Local Government is no longer required with effect form Thursday 10th March, 2011’’ and directed him to hand-over government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Political Affairs and Administration, Governor’s Office, Abeokuta.
Ogun govt’s reaction
Reacting to the development, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Sina Kawonise debunked the claim saying at no time did Daniel sacked anyone in his cabinet because of his/or her affiliation.
Kawonise who reacted through a text message said: ‘’This is to formally disclaim the falsehood that Governor Gbenga Daniel has sacked members of his cabinet who refused to join the PPN. Governor Daniel did not sack anyone in his cabinet because his/her affiliation’’
‘’Governor Daniel himself remains in PDP and continues to solicit votes for President Goodluck Jonathan in all the PPN’s rallies he attends. I use this opportunity to challenge any political appointee of Governor Daniel who claims to have sacked to produce his sack letter for the world to see’’.
“I must also use this opportunity to alert the general public of the evil ploy of some elements in Ogun State who have little or no significant following in the state to peddle falsehood against the government and governor of Ogun State in order to weaken his potent political structure, confused the good people of Ogun State, particularly the voters and subvert the electoral and democratic process.”
Nobody sacked for political reason
Further clarifying the explanation given by the commissioner for information the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, AdegbenroAdebanjo said yesterday: “ I like to state that the people concerned were not elected but appointed by the governor.
And it is within his purview to so determine their appointment when he is convinced that it is no longer tenable for them to hold such position. It could not have been for reasons of their not joining one political party or another. All of those concerned were found to have abandoned their duty post and were no longer contributing in any way or form to the day to day running of machinery of government.
“The government recently injected some fresh blood into the administration and it is not out of place to ask those not living up to expectation to leave. Of course we expect those so disciplined to look for excuses to cover their inadequacies which necessitated their being asked to leave by government. We reiterate that nobody has been asked to go for reason of political affiliation,” he said.
The PPN story, by Gov Daniel
The governor at a forum presented what led to the mass movement of former members of PDP to the PPN
According to him, to get PDP ticket has become something that is regrettable apart from the monetary aspect of it, it has become a game.
“While that one lasted, for consistency, I began working for Jonathan. I stayed in the PDP but the people got annoyed and moved to PPN.
“Of course, I encouraged them at the beginning but later discouraged them because I felt there was need to get the bigger process to a logical conclusion.
“Since our lawyers had gone to court and assured us that except something fundamentally goes wrong, this is a straight forward case. Whatever injunction that Justice Kafarati gave, they assured us that he would the judge would reverse himself.
“We had four SANs. Lateef Fagbemi was the one who led the team of lawyers and they were just saying we had a good case. But, lo and behold, they went to court and Kafarati re-confirmed his order based on even much more spurious decisions.
“I waited in the PDP because the president spoke nicely. I now said alright, if you can make an offer, I can then go and talk to the people to come back to the PDP.
“No offer came and it just appeared that they were just waiting for the deadline instead of the offer. Rather than make an offer to the people, who have been wronged, no offer came; instead all manner of games were being played so much so that there was really no basis to remain in the party. That is the PPN story.