The crisis of confidence over the governorship race in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State appears not abating, 47 days to the governorship election.
NIGERIAN TRIBUNE reports that the camp of the winner of the party primary of July 20, Senator Ademola Adeleke and that of his main challenger for the PDP ticket, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, are locked in a fresh dispute over the position of deputy governor.
Adeleke is being accused of breaching the agreement entered into that the Ogunbiyi should fill the slot of deputy governor at the reconciliation meeting brokered by the PDP national leadership last Monday in Abuja.
Under the position-sharing deal, it was also agreed that Ogunbiyi would have the ticket of the PDP for the senatorial race in the 2019 elections.
However, the camp was reportedly jolted when it was discovered that Adeleke had forwarded the name of a member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Albert Adeogun, as his running mate, in an apparent breach of the Abuja agreement.
Adeogun had pulled out of the governorship race prior to the conduct of party primaries on July 20 in Osogbo, the state capital.
An account of proceedings at the Abuja meeting had it that the PDP leaders had difficult times convincing Ogunbiyi to accept the offer of a senatorial ticket because he preferred that it should be left for any member of his camp.
But when the issue of deputy governor came up, he reportedly asked that he be allowed to consult with other members of his camp, with a view to taking a collective decision.
Accordingly, the group was said to have proposed four names, including a former Senator, two hitherto governorship aspirants for Senator Adeleke to pick one of them as running mate.
Section 34 of the Electoral Act deals with the alteration and substitution of names of candidates submitted by political parties to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“When the camp of Ogunbiyi went for the consultation, four people were discovered to be interested in the slot. So, they agreed to shortlist three of the names to be forwarded to Adeleke to pick one of them as his running mate. But, they were shocked to learn that he had submitted the name of Honourable Albert Adeogun from Ile-Ife to INEC as his running mate. No one has been able to reach the lawmaker for him to write to INEC notifying the commission of his intent to withdraw as the running mate, as he had made himself incommunicado,” the source said.
One of the Osun PDP elders, who corroborated findings by Sunday Tribune said: “The feud is yet to be resolved. They promised certain things which have not materialised. They gave him a Senate ticket and position of deputy governor. But they had chosen a deputy governor without telling the national leadership of the party that brokered peace. The national level is still insisting that Honourable Adeogun must withdraw. We cannot lay our hands on him again. If he does not withdraw by August 8, we can no longer substitute his name,” he stated.