…Buruji in dilemma despite court victory
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- A governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Oladipupo Adebutu has decried an alleged plot by a faction in the party to smuggle an unauthorized list of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
This is even as spokesperson of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan similarly raised concerns over attempts by same faction to submit a list of candidates to INEC on Tuesday night but for the quick intervention of the Legal adviser of the electoral body who rejected the list because it was neither endorsed by the National Chairman nor the Secretary.
The governorship candidate made the disclosure on Wednesday at the Headquarters of the PDP during a media parley with journalists
The candidate who is representing Ikenne/Shagamu/Remo North in the Federal House of Representatives said the then National Caretaker Chairman of PDP, Ahmed Makarfi dissolved all the parallel state executives in the state in a National convention and later reconstituted it and after an election which was monitored by the National Executives, but a faction led by Senator Buruji Kashamu refused to abide by the wish of the party and have continued to run parallel administration.
He noted that 40 candidates emerged from the congress organised by the state chapter of the party but was worried that a faction that never held a congress is making attempts to submit list of candidates to INEC.
He said, “The National Working Committee (NWC) set up election and screening committees, forms were sold, we participated in the primaries and 40 candidates emerged in Ogun state.
“But a parallel group printed some forms, sold the forms, held a convention and people emerged. If we allow this kind of lawlessness and people will stay in their rooms, claim they have done primary’s go to court and obtain an injunction and take it to INEC and it will be accepted, then there is trouble.
“The element of transparency is totally destroyed. The law clearly states that there shall be only one primary organised by a party.
“This is a deliberate attempt to make the opposition party the PDP a weaker party. We saw this in Edo, we saw this in Ondo state. The time we could have spent campaigning, we spent it on conflict resolution” he lamented.
He urged INEC and well meaning Nigerians to stand up and oppose these enemies of our Democracy.
On the efforts the party has made to vacate all the pending court order and unite the party towards the forth coming election, he responded.
“We have made attempt to vacate the court order but the process has been deliberately slowed down and in my view as long as it continues to linger, democracy continues to be in jeopardy.”
A prominent member of the faction and lawmaker representing Ogun East at the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu who on Tuesday lauded INEC for pledging to abide by a Federal High Court ruling which nullified the group’s expulsion from the party, is now in a dilemma following the insistence by the party that they stand expelled.
Collaborating the view, Ologbondiyan explained that the same group went to INEC Tuesday night with another list but because it was not endorsed by the National Chairman of the party and the legal adviser at INEC jettison it.
He clarified that PDP submitted its list for Ogun as early as 18th October while the faction made its first attempt to submit theirs four days later.