BY DAUD OLATUNJI
It has been a popular prediction that the ruling ACN in Ogun State would one day suffer some internal implosion on account of the ego of its leaders. The political prophets seem to be much on course!
Within two weeks, no fewer than 7,000 defectors were received into the two major political parties in Ogun State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the emerging Labour Party, LP. Ordinarily, it could portend bad omens for the ruling Senator Ibikunle Amosun administration despite its successes on the ground because many aggrieved members of his ACN are exiting the party.
The first batch of the defectors were some 2,000 aggrieved ACN members in Ijebu-East Local Government Area who dumped the party for the PDP.
The immediate-past deputy governor of the State Alhaja Salmot Badru has also dumped the Peoples Party of Nigeria, PPN, the contraption of her former boss, Otunba Gbenga Daniel for the PDP.
Badru had in 2011 contested and lost for a seat in the House of Representatives on the ticket of the PPN. Vanguard gathered that, Badru dumped her former boss following reports that Daniel had directed his supporters to go to LP ahead of the ahead of the 2015 general election. The move may not be unconnected with the former governor’s anxieties about the unending spate of crises in the PDP under which he served for two terms before projecting the PPN.
The defectors who left the ACN for the PDP in Ijebu-East were led by former ACN chairmanship aspirant for the local government during last year’s council election, Yemi Duduyemi. He hinged their action on the alleged imposition of chairmanship candidates on the ACN by Amosun and the resultant internal wrangling between the governor and some leaders of the party in the state.
While receiving the new members into the PDP, the State Chairman of the party Chief Bayo Dayo and the party financier, Chief Buruji Kashamu described the A C N as a dead party which according to themwould be buried in 2015.
“If about 2,000 members of the ACN in a local government could decamp, it means ACN is dead in Ogun State,” Kashumu said.
Barely a week after the feast by the PDP, the party itself suffered a setback as about 5,000 members allegedly dumped the party for Labour Party.
A former chieftain of the PDP Mr. Ladi Adebutu who led the defectors to the LP in the state said he had to defect from the PDP to the emerging party because the main opposition party had become”prostrate” in the state. Adebutu, son of multi-billionarie businessman, Chief Kessington Adebutu said that with the perennial crises rocking the PDP in Ogun, it had become clear that the PDP lacks capacity to adequately represent the interest of the people of the state in the 2015 poll.
The former PDP chieftain said the defectors were former members of PDP and the ACN.He said that they defected from the PDP in protest against the poor leadership of the party by Kashumu.
He accused Kashamu of excluding supporters of Jubril Martins Kuye and former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the affairs of the party.
The LP Secretary in the state, Mr. Sunday Oginni said that the party would continue to welcome defectors from the PDP and other parties in Ogun.
In a swift reaction, the ACN in the State faulted the PDP’s claims of snatching 2,000 of its followers describing the claim as deceitful. ACN state publicity secretary Sola Lawal in a statement issued in Abeokuta said it wondered why large number of buses were deployed to ferry purported defectors to the venue if, genuinely, they were from Ijebu-Ife and Mushin, small communities of largely rural people.
The ACN pointed out that Duduyemi only went back to his original party, PDP, with eight of his supporters with whom he earlier decamped to the ACN. Eight or two thousand, it is still a loss of some sure support that Governor Amosun had at one time counted on!