- SDP Factional Chair Heads For Court
By Kehinde Ayantunji
The two leading political parties in the state of Osun, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are currently battling with defections, protests and litigations as a fall out of the just-concluded parties’ primaries.
APC appeared to have suffered a set back with the resignation and defection of the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti who rose from the councillorship position to the party chairman and later SSG.
He formally decamped on Monday to secure the ticket of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) alongside some past local governments’ Executive Secretaries in the state.
His defection was a rude shock to many spectators in the state considering his long standing party loyalty and political history in the state as the longest serving party chairman since the return of democracy in 1999.
Those who decamped with Adeoti among the former councils’ Executive Secretaries include, Disu Oyedele, Atakunmosa East; Taiwo Fatiregun, Oriade; Kehinde Moronkeji, Boripe and Stephen Dosunmu Adetunji, Boluwaduro.
Other APC chieftains who left the party with the SSG include the former Commissioner Information and Strategy, Oluomo Sunday Akere, former Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, the state party deputy chairman, Alhaji Azeez Adesiji, among others.
It was equally rumoured that Senator Bayo Salami, a prominent APC leader in Osogbo and Chief Sulaimon Afariogun decamped alongside Adeoti but Afariogun denied joining ADP when contacted by Osun Defender Newspaper.
Senator Salami when contacted by our reporter to confirm the rumor of his defection told our reporter that he was in a meeting and promised to get back. As at the time of filing this report, he has not reached nor replied messages sent to him.
Salami close political associate who pleaded anonymity confirmed to Osun Defender that he has decamped to ADP to negotiate Osun Central Senatorial ticket having envisaged that the current Commissioner for Justice, Dr Ajibola Bashiru, may secure the APC ticket to the senate.
The situation in PDP is also dicey and may experience huge implosion if the party leaders failed to address the grievances of one of the major contenders, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi whose supporters locked down Osogbo, the state capital on Monday protesting the result of the primary that produced Senator Ademola Adeleke.
It is not clear if Ogunbiyi would dump the party, but his supporters are mounting pressure on him to defect to another party. He has insisted that he would explore all available internal mechanism before legal option or defection.
It was also gathered that Ogunbiyi has initiated a legal process to stop INEC from recognising Senator Ademola Adeleke as the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the forthcoming election in the state.
Defection option to pick another party’s ticket might however, have become late for him as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deadline for submission of nomination lapsed on Wednesday, July 25, but he is not giving anything to chance on the litigation against the emergence of Adeleke.
Ogunbiyi in a statement late Tuesday night rejected the poll’s result, insisting that it was rigged in Adeleke’s favour and that Adeleke is unfit to run for the election in the first instance.
Ogunbiyi said contrary to the requirement of Section 177(d) of Nigeria’s constitution, Adeleke had no secondary school certificate and was not qualified, in the first place, to have contested the primary.
“Senator Ademola Adeleke submitted a document purported to be a testimonial as evidence that he was educated up to the senior secondary; a document which is not sufficient to meet the basic qualifications stipulated by the constitution and the Electoral Act.
“The date of issue on the purported testimonial submitted by Senator Adeleke was altered with a pen. The Principal of Muslim Grammar School, Ede, Osun State, Mr Khalid Abbas, who purportedly signed the testimonial, had not been posted to the school in question as of the date indicated on the document.
“The principal, who purportedly issued the testimonial to Senator Adeleke, has denied ever issuing or signing it and the denial is very well on record,” Ogunbiyi said.
Similarly, the issue surrounding the emergence of Senator Iyiola Omisore as the SDP candidate is yet to settle as the factional state Chairman, Chief Ademola Isola has threatened to return to court to challenge the recognition of the senator by the party’s national secretariat.
According to report available to this medium, the chairman claimed that the Omisore’s faction is unknown to the party constitution, declaring his emergence as an affront in the eyes of the law, considering that a court ruling is against it.