My attention has been drawn to news reports credited to the spokesman of the National Caretaker Committee of our great party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Dayo Adeyeye that the party would “impose severe sanctions on Ali Modu Sheriff and his faction for all their actions intended to undermine the party’s interest”.
I wish to say that I believe that Prince Adeyeye was either misquoted or misrepresented because it is totally inconceivable that anyone who has the interest of the party at heart would contemplate such at this time. No one is afraid of any sanctions so long as we know that we are fighting to protect the interest of our people.
A political party is a congregation of people with a common goal yet with various interests. In every political setting, people align and realign with the bloc or group where they feel their interest is better protected and guaranteed. If your bloc or group wins, it does not mean you should seek to emasculate the other because you never can tell what would happen tomorrow. Your worst enemy today may become your best friend tomorrow. That is why they say in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies but permanent interest.
It is in the light of the foregoing that I wish to advise that no one should mistake the verdicts of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court over the Ondo State PDP governorship ticket as their pronouncements on the national leadership crisis. They are two separate issues that I hope we can still resolve amicably.
Anyone talking of sanctioning any member of the party for fighting to protect his interest does not wish the party well. As we have seen in Osun, Ogun and Kwara states, it will further exacerbate the crisis and lead to a gale of suspension and expulsion. The truth is: such a move will further undermine the party and its leadership.
Is anyone saying that if tomorrow the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court rule in favour of any of the national leaders, he should send all those in support of the other out of the party when all the 36 states are polarised along the lines of Senators Sheriff and Makarfi? No. That is not the spirit of party politics and participatory democracy.
We were all witnesses to the electoral success recorded by the party within the first three months or so when Senator Sheriff took over. That is the power of unity. I am not by any stretch of imagination saying that the amiable Senator Ahmed Makarfi cannot lead us to achieve the same electoral feat. He has proven his mettle as a political leader of note with visible results. The point is that since Governors Ayo Fayose and Olusegun Mimiko caused the division in the party following their insistence on perpetrating illegalities in the South West PDP, we have lost Senatorial rerun in Imo State; we have lost Edo State and now Ondo State.
In a political party, like every other setting, people are bound to have disagreements and protect their interests. Senator Makarfi should not let Governors Mimiko and Fayose to mislead him any further. The mess that they have put the party is already more than enough.
Both of them are at their wits end, living on past glory and in self-delusion. They have failed to manage their political successes. We told Governor Mimiko that after eight, the good people of Ondo State would resist the injustice of producing a successor from the same senatorial district where he hails from. It is not that Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) is not a good material. He is urbane, intelligent and smart. He would have probably won had he come from any other senatorial zone than Mimiko’s. We told Mimiko that the people would not take anything that would look like a third term for him and his senatorial district.
He would not listen. Ever slippery and sly, Governor Mimiko turned deaf ears to wise counsel, just like he turned his back on all those who helped him to power.
Despite being the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Mimiko turned himself into Fayose’s puppet, allowing Fayose to lead him by the nose.
Yet, this is the same Fayose that we rehabilitated and repackaged after he returned to the PDP to be able to win the governorship ticket and the election.
Today, if elections are held in Ekiti State, Fayose cannot get up to 30 percent of the votes! He has frittered away his political goodwill by his cantankerous nature and ostentatious lifestyle.
In Ondo State, we collapsed the structure of the Omoilu Group, which included the old PDP members into Mimiko’s structure ahead of the National and State Assembly elections in 2015. This accounted for why he appointed six of our members into his government. Now, we told them to carry along all the interest groups and consider their views, they shunned and spurned us. So, should we fold our hands and allow them to ride roughshod over us?
It is common knowledge that each time a reconciliation meeting is called at the national level; I am one of the first to show up. My commitment to the reconciliation process at the national level does not mean that I would not protect the interest of our people in the South West where those who did not sow want to reap, at the expense of all.
My activities and records speak for themselves. I am not blowing my own trumpet. But, I challenge any leader who has contributed more to the growth and development of the party in the South West to come out and say so. I stand for truth, justice and equity. That is why I will never support any attempt to perpetrate illegality and impunity in the South West PDP. Let us appreciate one another and foster genuine peace and reconciliation devoid of injustice and impunity. That is the way forward.
Senator Buruji Kashamu
Ogun East Senatorial District
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