By Shina Abubakar
The build up to the 2018 governorship primary election in the State of Osun chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be creating another crisis, as the financial muscles of two major aspirants in the party is dividing its stakeholders.
Investigations showed that since Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi joined the race on the party platform, many observers had termed the contest a show of financial muscles between the newcomer and the Adeleke’s family.
A section of the party is of the view that Ogunbiyi could liberate the party from the hold of the Adeleke family, which is believed to have the control of the party executives and delegates across the state.
However, the state PDP Chairman, Hon. Soji Adagunodo had in a statement denied that the party is working for a particular candidate or being in support of the Adeleke family, he pledged its decision to give all aspirants a level playing ground to contest the party ticket.
But checks indicated that many of the party members are afraid that the influence the Adeleke family has on the party may work against the man who came with loads of money for the party supporters.
A source close to the party secretariat confided in the medium that many of the party’s stakeholders in the state do not trust Ogunbiyi, especially, being a Lagos based business man and he is already tagged an ‘Ajele’, who does not understand the political terrain.
The source further disclosed that the speculations from many of the other aspirants about the authenticity of Ogunbiyi’s intention is a source of concern for the elders of the party, who are said to be worried about losing the control of the party to a stranger.
It was however learnt that, the coming of Ogunbiyi may provide a sort of balance of terror financially, between his camp and the Adelekes on one side and some intimidated aspirants, who might see him as a shield against the Adeleke’s arsenal.
Findings showed that the PDP has zoned its governorship ticket to the Osun-West Senatorial zone of the state, where both Ademola Adeleke and Akin Ogunbiyi hail from and the duo had no record of any confrontation but some of their supporters had been nursing fair over their ambitions.
The party source added that it is difficult for the party leadership to forget the contributions of the Adeleke family, especially as the family stood by the party in the peak days of its crisis and stabilize it in the state.
Besides, it added that the family had through the late Isiaka Adeleke movement helped to keep its members across the state intact during the time of crisis and funding many of its activities when the party was expected to lose membership to the ruling party in the state.
According to the source, the Adelekes deployed their resource towards ensuring that it was freed from Senator Iyiola Omisore and ensured that the party held its congresses across the state and also galvanized its supporters towards having a united front against the tyranny of the former senator.
It also ensured that its first major outing after the congress did not fail and the PDP, the source added, is not known for abandoning those that stood by it at a time of turmoil.
Similarly, since the inception of Ogunbiyi, he has not failed to help the party financially and he has always redeemed his pledges to the party.
“He has also pledged to play by the rules of the party and only seek a level playing ground for all the aspirants. That I believe is not too much for the party to provide and in addition, the man had just given the party the campaign vehicle he promised us”, the source added.
Findings revealed that some of the aspirants have been nursing grievances against the party executives in the state, believing that they have been relegated to the background in the scheme of things and have even vowed to resist any attempt to sell the party to the highest bidder.
Two of the aspirants who were part of the past PDP administration in the state were even fingered to be part of those claiming that Ogunbiyi was sponsored by some power brokers in Lagos and have been on the party’s neck to make sure money is not made a priority in the coming primary election.
This new development is building up tension in the party, especially among supporters of the aspirants, who believed they have sacrificed more than enough for the party for anyone to come and seize control of the party from them.
It was gathered that PDP members have been sensitizing delegates across the state on the need for them to ensure that the party remains a collective property rather than an item that can be purchased by moneybags.