The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State has cried out over an alleged plot by the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) to recognise a faction of the party loyal to Late Buruji Kashamu as the authentic state executive.
The party, which recently reconciled both the Buruji and Ladi Adebutu factions after the intervention of the Bukola Saraki-led reconciliation committee, said it was taken aback that the electoral umpire “is bent on fuelling another crisis in the party despite all available documents before it.”
The Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Ogun State, Akinloye Bankole, told newsmen on Friday that the Chairman of OGSIEC, Babatunde Osibodu, made it known to the party that the commission would pitch tents with one Leke Shittu as the State Secretary of the party, saying all forms belonging to the PDP had been handed over to him.
“On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, we approached the OGSIEC to request for forms CF001 and CF002 for all our 236 councillorship candidates and 20 chairmanship candidates. On getting there, we were told that OGSIEC cannot release forms to us because there is another faction presenting itself as the state exco of the PDP in Ogun State.
“They mentioned specifically to us one Leke Shittu, who they said came as the State Secretary of the party and that he had submitted a list. We were told that OGSIEC was studying our records before they can release the forms to us. We were set back that we should wait for them till 2pm on Wednesday, promising to get back to us. Unfortunately, they did not revert on Wednesday.
“Around 7am on Thursday, we went to their office and we met the OGSIEC Chairman. We registered our displeasure. He explained that they have considered the documents before them and on the basis of what they have as documents, they have resolved to hand over all forms that belong to PDP to that Leke Shittu. We took the matter up from there and he said there is nothing he could do. He said whatever papers we have, we should go ahead and present them. We showed him about three different documents which actually proved that the Leke Shittu he mentioned cannot represent the PDP at any level because he is unknown to the party.
“He said we should go and present our documents and all evidences, backed up with a formal letter and get back to them. Unfortunately, by the time we got back to their office around 5pm on Thursday, OGSIEC has closed.
“But we now saw across social media platforms that OGSIEC has actually gone ahead to present the forms to Leke Shittu,” Bankole asserted.
Condemning the development, the party spokesman said, “This is a terrible shenanigan that we have detected and spoken about early enough. These people are doing everything to frustrate us out of the electoral process. It is so sad. We want the voting public to know that the government of APC under the watch of Governor Dapo Abiodun has technically handed over all elective posts in Ogun local governments to its cronies and party stalwarts. It is a terrible development that we condemn in all strong terms, because the conduct of this election goes along with the money from the taxpayers.
If the governor knows that he wants his boys in all elective posts in Ogun State local government administration, he should have continued with the illegal caretaker committees that have been in office almost 18 months ago. He shouldn’t have wasted money on an election.
“They are not prepared to conduct elections into the local governments and this has been confirmed officially with what they have gone ahead to do. It is very sad, very pathetic, very disturbing that the government has opened another channel of servicing his boys. It is very unfortunate because it is another way of syphoning our public treasure. We are so disheartened, we are so dissatisfied and we are seriously bittered with this development. It calls for serious public concern because successfully, we are being shortchanged and this is unexpected.
“Despite the fact that the national office of the PDP showed the direction of the party, which they acknowledged themselves, they still went ahead to disregard the correspondence from the national office. All papers concerning the court litigations were presented to OGSIEC, but they chose to look away.
“We are going to resist this, we are going to mobilise against it and it will not stand. Unfortunately for us, the judicial workers are on strike presently, otherwise we would have gone to court. But before then, we will continue to face them in the court of public opinion and push our demands further,” he submitted.
The OGSIEC Chairman did not answer repeated calls to his mobile phone, neither did he reply to messages sent to him.
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