By Daud Olatunji
As the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogun State goes to the polls to elect its new leaders from the wards to local government and state levels, there seems to be unease within the camps of some power blocs in the party.
The PDP has about three power blocs struggling for either continuous control or total take over of the party in the state.
The power blocs are being led by the representing Ogun East Senatorial district and a chieftain of the party, Buruji Kashamu, former Speaker of House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole and the former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
Now, the PDP is being controlled by Kashamu who successfully installed the outgoing executive of the party from the wards to the local government and state levels.
Barring a last minute change of mind, the PDP may hold its congresses February to usher in new leaders to paddle the canoe of the party for the next four years
According to the PDP constitution, all National, Zonal, State, Local Government Area and Ward Officers of the Party shall hold office for a term of four years and shall be eligible for re-election for another term and no more.
“The election of National Officers shall be at the National Convention, while that of those at the lower levels shall be at the respective congresses”.
Chapter seven of the party constitution which dealth with mode of election of officers of the party stipulated that “the National Convention, the Zonal, State, Local Government Area and Ward Congresses shall meet to elect the officers of the party at the various levels of the party structure as specified in this constitution except in the Federal Capital Territory where officers of the party shall be elected based on geo-political zones.
“ Every registered member of the party who has satisfied the requirements for nomination and election under this Constitution, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any other law, rules or regulations in force shall be eligible to contest for any of the offices of the party.
“The guidelines for elections to any office of the party shall be approved by the National Executive Committee of the party in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”.
Meanwhile with the situation of things, only Kashamu and Bankole seem to be warming up for the forthcoming congresses as the Daniel camp seems to be indifferent to the congresses .
However, in his bid to take over the structure, Bankole has begun hosting party members across the state.
Bankole who organised a new year party under the aegis of Dimeji Bankole Movement for his loyalists in the party, warned that he may quit the party if the coming congresses are manipulated.
According to the former Speaker, I am still in PDP, if they repeat the same manipulation they did at the last congresses, we will react. “The event in the next few months will determine our actions”.
But, in a bid to sustain his control of the party, Kashamu has inaugurated coordinators across the state.
Kashamu who played host to hundreds of party leaders and members at Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State, during an empowerment programme for PDP members in the state under his Omo Ilu Foundation, announced his plans to donate cars to all the coordinators numbering about 100 in the 20 local governments.
According to Kashamu, five coordinators in each local government would be given cars while about 4000 people would be given various empowerment packs.
He however, denied any plan to manipulate the forthcoming congresses, saying, “the era of sitting in your room and writing the names of the delegates and executive members of the party has gone.”
Kashamu also ruled out the idea of harmonisation and reconciliation of different emerging power blocs in the party.
He noted that each group should embark on massive mobilisation and sensitisation of their members ahead of the congresses.
Kashamu said he would not be a party to any form of manipulation during the congresses, which would hold at ward, local government and state level.
He urged the leaders of the different power blocs to play by the rules of the party.
He said: “There is no need for any harmonisation of groups, let us not make that mistake. We can only come together after congresses. Let each group bring its candidates and allow voting to be done transparently.
“But the only thing I cannot do is to sit in my room and start writing names of the delegates and the executives from ward to the state level. It is not possible.”