My attention has been drawn to orchestrated media reports that some of my political associates and supporters have defected to the Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN).
I wish to state without mincing words that the misleading report linking me with the move was concocted and spread on the social media by one Lere Olayinka who is a well-known attack dog of Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose.
While it is true that the 14-month leadership crisis that engulfed our party started as a result of Fayose and ex-Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s attempt to perpetrate impunity and cut short the tenure of elected party executives, I mediated between the two leaders, pointing out their virtues and mistakes as someone who has related with them over time. I proposed a political solution to the leadership crisis. But, when all that failed, they went the whole hog of the judicial system.
It is also on record that when the Supreme Court gave its judgment, I congratulated the National Chairman, Senator Makarfi and other members of the National Caretaker Committee (NCC), on the verdict and urged all aggrieved party members to unite and work with them in the overall interest of our party.
However, what we got in return from the spokesman of our party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye and his master, Fayose, were talks of “amnesty” and that the phrase “no victor, no vanquished” was “a mere political slogan”.
And to make good their threats, they arranged thugs who beat up the chairmen of the party in Ogun and Osun states during the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) held earlier in the week.
Fayose and ex-PDP governorship candidate in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, then got their illegal puppets, Sikirulai Ogundele and Bayo Faforiji, into the NEC meeting until they (including Omisore) were sent out by the National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, upon the observation raised by a member of the Board of Trustees, Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun.
These men never took part in state congresses held before the national leadership crisis broke out in May, 2016, but were handpicked by a member of the House of Representatives from Ogun State, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu and Omisore, both of whom are nursing governorship ambitions!
ECHOES OF DEFECTION
From my interactions with some of those who defected and what I read in the media, these were the undercurrents that informed their decision to align with another political platform.
But, as for me, Fayose and Omisore cannot push me out of the PDP. They do not have what it takes. I am not going anywhere. I remain a strong mobiliser for the PDP and one of its leaders in the South West. That is why I cannot close my eyes to impunity and injustice. I will continue to fight for the rights of the less privileged within and outside the party. I will continue to fight for the interest of the Yoruba people and the South West in general.
For our members, who, out of annoyance, decided to join another political platform to prove their worth, I have started talking to them and will continue to do so.
Most of them had worked with Fayose and they know him. They feared that if the party in the South West is handed over to him, he would muzzle them and kill the party with his greed, impunity and childish antics.
It is high time we stopped massaging the over-bloated egos of Fayose and Omisore. These people do not have what it takes to deliver for the PDP. Nigerians and the people of the South West want a paradigm shift from those who brought our great party to its knees. They crave for a new narrative. They seek new ways of doing things. They want leaders who abhor impunity and respect the rule of law, in words and deed.
Most of the characters parading themselves as leaders are mere opportunists who are after feathering their own nest. Ask them what they have done for the party other than positioning themselves to benefit from every opportunity the party offers.
For instance, Omisore should tell the world what he did with the N15 million that he was given early this month for onward delivery to the then PDP candidate in the Osun West Senatorial District bye-election. The candidate who is now a senator was meant to add the money to his campaign expenses. A governor from the South/South gave him N5million, just as someone else donated another N10 million. But as usual, the money developed wings.
At this juncture, it has become necessary to ask Fayose to stop bragging about the Supreme Court judgment. Although it is the Almighty Allah that gives victory, we know those who truly worked for it. A governor like him spent about N850 million on legal fees while his own contribution was just N3million.
It is against this backdrop that I wish to implore our leaders and elders, especially the God-fearing National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, not to allow Fayose and Omisore to spoil their efforts to unite the party and reposition it.
Fayose is consumed by his unbridled ambition to be Vice-President or President while Omisore wants to be governor by all means. I said it when the leadership crisis started that Fayose orchestrated it to pocket the party’s structure in the South West and make it easier for him to realize his ambition. Since he cannot imagine a life out of politics and power, few days after the Supreme Court judgment, he launched his so-called Presidential campaign.
This explains why in Osun State, Fayose and Omisore are promoting Hon. Faforiji over and above the validly elected state exco which is led by Hon. Soji Adagunodo.
In Oyo State, Fayose is scheming to install Hon. Ajibola Muraina as the State Chairman, just as he wants to install his puppet in Lagos State and also thwart the aspiration of Chief Bode George for the position of the National Chairman of our great party. Since Chief George is seeking elective position at the national level, it is imperative for him to put his house in order and build a virile and united front in Lagos State.
Even in his home state of Ekiti, I wager that Fayose alone cannot deliver for the PDP. He needs to work with other notable leaders and stakeholders. Otherwise, he would soon see that he has become like a fish out of water, panting and struggling for a life line. He should realize that he is not going to be on the ballot. Even if he were to be, the scenarios under which he won his elections in 2003 and 2014 will not be there. The dynamics are totally different. And it takes a clear and balanced mind to appreciate the odds and work on them. Pride and arrogance cannot do it.
It is my humble and candid opinion that if peace is to return to the South West PDP, our leaders from other zones should step into the issues plaguing the party in the zone and address them without fear or favour.
As a first step towards promoting enduring peace and harmony, the party executives that were constituted in the states before national leadership crisis broke out should not be tampered with. They should ensure that no one interferes with the party structure in another state other than his home state. Again, the party structure should not be handed to anyone with governorship ambition. Otherwise, this would drive away other aspirants, stifle competition and further reduce our chances of winning.
On a final note, I salute the courage of the National Chairman, Senator Makarfi and other upright members of the committee such as Senator Ben Obi, Senator Abdul Ningi and others who have continued to stand for fairness, equity and justice.
The members of the Committee have a rare opportunity to rebuild the PDP and put it on the path of recovery and steady growth where things are done according to the rules and not the whims and caprices of a few.
I wish to emphatically state that I will remain in the PDP and continue to work for it, even as I watch events unfold. I am not going anywhere. We are all equal stakeholders in the PDP. It does not belong to anyone or a clique.
Senator Buruji Kashamu
Ogun East Senatorial District