By Ismaeel Uthman
Speculations have ripen over the alleged plan of the former Governor of the State of Osun, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The speculations followed the visit by the Sarafadeen Ishola-led Osun Caretaker Committee visit to the former governor in his Okuku home on Monday.
The PDP caretaker members besieged the country home of the former governor of the state, to apologise to him for his unjustly removal as the national secretary of the party by the national leadership led by its former Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Ishola, had during the visit said, the visit was not to lure Oyinlola back to the party, but to apologise to him for the injustice meted to him by the party.
He said, “The decision to be member of any party is personal and we respect that decision of yours. Our mission is to come and ask for forgiveness, that you forgive us in your heart and we admit that what happened to you was an injustice and an error.”
However, contrary to the impression created during the visit by the caretaker chairman, a prominent leader of the PDP who did not want his name mentioned said, it was a strategy designed to appease the former governor and some other former leaders of the party who have left the party.
The leader said the party is now being confronted with the reality that no electoral victory could be achieved with the current division within the party, hence, the need to swallowed a bitter pill and begin move to reach out to former and aggrieved members of the party.
Those that had been identified for the appeasement are members of the party, who are now prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and political office holders in the APC government.
Though, Oyinlola has not given any commitment to return to his former party, a source in the PDP said, the move to lure him back began few months ago during a visit of some prominent party leaders, led by Senator Ademola Adeleke to him.
According to him, the former governor might not have given any commitment, “but there is hope that with the way things were going, Prince Oyinlola will return to our party”.
However, the Ishola led caretaker committee has drafted a list of the aggrieved and former members of the party to plead to and persuade for possible return to the PDP, it was learnt.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the caretaker committee steering the affairs of the PDP decided to reunite its present and former members to strengthen and make the party more formidable to confront the APC.
It was gathered that the PDP caretaker committee had carried out a survey which revealed that the party could not win any major election in the state with the factional crisis rocking it and in the absence of some strong former members of the party.
According to the sources, the mandate given to the party was to pacify the aggrieved members and persuade former members to come back, adding that the party would also seek for forgiveness of those who might be willing to return to the party.
Oyinlola was controversially removed in 2013 as the National Secretary of the PDP while his Deputy, Chief Onwe Solomon Onwe was installed to replace him.
While responding during the visit, Oyinlola said he cherished the visit and explained that he felt concerned that the matter ended up the way it ended, despite all his efforts to ensure that the unity of the party was protected.
He said the reign of indiscipline and impunity within the PDP led to his exit, adding that the series of crises within the party as well as the division later resulted in the electoral setback for the party.
Oyinlola said, “I want to say that I did everything humanly possible to make sure that the division did not come from me. I went to the extent of writing to the leadership of the party, the then Mr. President to draw his attention to the issues that were eroding the unity of the party but it seemed my own sincerity about the whole issues were misconstrued.”
The former governor who said he felt vindicated by the visit and the apologies tendered, maintained that politicians must rub minds together and exploit all avenues of peaceful resolution of conflicts.
“I want to take a recourse to the Bible which says ‘If your brother transgresses, rebuke him; if he repents, forgive him. It is on that score that I want to say I have forgiven and forgotten all that was done to me”, he added.
Oyinlola, however, said he was happy that the PDP chieftains said they respected his decision to choose the party he wished to belong to, just as he introduced some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state who joined him to receive them.
He advised politicians in the country to always seek the progress of the country, irrespective of the side of the political divides they belonged, saying political affiliation of politicians may differ but the delivery of democracy dividends to the people must be important to them.
The PDP caretaker committee also visited former Secretary to Osun State Government, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade at his house in Osogbo on Tuesday to seek his forgiveness and return.
Akinbade is now a member of the Labour Party.
Former members of the PDP who the caretaker committee wanted to appease are: Alhaji Fatai Diekola, former Chief of Staff to Oyinlola, Elder Peter Babalola who are now members of the APC.
The PDP caretaker committee is also billed to visit former South-West Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo and other aggrieved members.