The disagreement between the Osun State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the September 22, 2018 election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, and the runner-up in the party’s governorship primary, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, is generating tension in the state PDP.
Investigations by the PUNCH revealed that supporters of the two politicians had been working at cross purposes, a development said to be unsettling the party in the state.
The major cause of the friction between the two camps reportedly stemmed from the July 21 governorship primary of the party, in which Adeleke was declared winner in a controversial manner.
Adeleke had won the primary conducted by the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, by seven votes, after the votes were recounted.
The camp of Ogunbiyi had alleged that the primary was manipulated to favour Adeleke and from then on, the party had broken into two camps.
Although Ogunbiyi has remained in the PDP, his reported disregard for the peace initiative, brokered by Senate President Bukola Saraki, was said to have further divided the party.
Following Adeleke’s recent disqualification as the party’s standard-bearer by an Abuja High Court, Ogunbiyi’s camp has come under attacks with allegations that the litany of court cases, instituted directly and indirectly against Adeleke, were behind the governorship candidate’s unending ordeals.
But a group, the Idera de Movement, owned by Ogunbiyi, in a statement by its Director of Strategy, Kunle Omolere, denied insinuations that the group was responsible for Adeleke’s travail.
It said, “Senator Ademola Adeleke’s (alleged) examination malpractice (matter) and subsequent investigation by the police predate the PDP primary and governorship elections.
“Some members of the PDP have exercised their rights to explore judicial intervention in perceived injustice. It is also on record that the opposition party and other interested members of the public, who have an axe to grind with Senator Adeleke, have approached the court.
“It is on record that the only case instituted by Dr Ogunbiyi was that of Osun West Senatorial ticket, which was brazenly taken away from him, after all reconciliations to the contrary. The case has long been decided and the rest is left to posterity.
“Out of the sheer mass of hypocrisy, those behind the campaign of calumny also claimed that a loyal party man does not go to court. But the self-claimed moral compass has never, for once, condemned any of the myriad injustices melted out to Dr Ogunbiyi for no just cause.”
When approached, none of the spokespersons for Senator Adeleke Campaign Organisation was willing to comment on the matter.
Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to comment on the matter, a top official of the Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation said, “We are not disposed to taking issue with the former aspirant.
“However, I will seize this opportunity to say that Senator Adeleke is full of gratitude to millions of well-wishers who have called in to express their solidarity and encouragement.”
He said the “purchased misjudgement” had been appealed and that the march to reclaim his “stolen” mandate was unstoppable.