Considering the outcome of governorship election on 9th of August, 2014 in Osun state, there had been shades of opinion whether the similar scenario can re-occur or not in Oyo state. In all the political parties in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been recognized as the only political party to wrestle power from the incumbent, All Progress Congress (APC) in the state. But the question is “can PDP wrestle the power from APC considering the internal democracy of PDP. It is gathered that there are factions with many aspirants for various positions in the party. Presently, about 16 governorship aspirants are jostling for ticket. As a result of this, PDP factions in the state are at logger head with one another over supremacy contest. There is also a fear that national leadership may hand pick its favorite aspirant without following due process. Checks reveal that as the general elections in the state is fast approaching; the party members are yet to get their act together to forestall defeat just as the one conceded in 2011. When Dorronews sought the opinion of the wife of late Ibadan politics, Chief Lamidi Adedibu and PDP chieftain, Mrs. Bose Adedibu. She said “We have settled our home. What you are seeing now that seems like a crisis is a as result of aspirants jostling for various positions which is normal as activities expected at the build up to elections”. She said all the aspirants are eligible to become guber candidate of PDP saying that there is not going to be any hanky panky as the guber primary will be conducted with transparency. Said she “the primary is going to be conducted without favoritism. There is going to be a level playing ground for all aspirants. I am representing Baba Adedibu to put things right.
She vowed that PDP is going to wrestle power from APC saying that the party has achieved similar feat in 2003 when PDP wrestle power from Alliance for Democracy (AD) saying it can happen again as PDP is thepolitical party to beat come 2015.
She maintained that PDP forces responsible for ACN victory in 2011 saying that the forces have turned back and return to their fold to reinforce a stronger PDP in Oyo state.
Reacting to one of what killing PDP in the state, Mrs. Adedibu said “what is killing the party and many of these people’s political careers is that they want to contest for elective position and as well own party machinery. “You cannot have your cake and eat it at the same time. You want to hold government and the party, it is not possible. You have to leave one for other. You can see what failed governor Akala, he wants to be in government and also have the party machinery, because it is party that will bring up government. They are both different entities” she added.
But in a contrary view, Oyo State PDP chieftain, Elder Wole Oyelese said that there is division among members.
Oyelese said the national leadership needs to organize new congresses to accommodate the four factions in the state party.
He said the alternative solution is to harmonize the factions to give all members a sense of belonging.
The former Minister of Power and Steel lamented that rather than do the right thing; the national leadership is supporting one group.
He maintained that faction close to the national leadership mislead it to maintain a supremacy in the party saying until the national leadership is well informed, the state party will continue to suffer its woe. He said the harmonization embarked by the party is without credibility. Said he “Any harmonization that does not involve party leaders is not harmonization and any harmonization in which a few people want to dictate, even when nobody made them our leaders in Oyo State, won’t work. So if harmonization cannot work, then we should have fresh congresses”.
“They always tell us that fresh congresses would tear the party apart. No, it won’t. As a matter of fact, it would make it stronger. The more you prevent internal democracy from working in political parties, the more problems you are going to have”, Oyelese said.
Corroborating him, a former chairman of Ibadan North East local government and an aspirant for House of Representative, under the party, Hon. Gbenga Adewusipopularly known as ‘Arole’ said the crisis in the party still gets messier as warring factions are yet to close ranks.
Arole established this fact in an interview with journalists. According to him, he is contemplating on which political party to contest saying he does not want to concede defeat again just as it happened in 2011.
“The reason I’m contemplating on which political party to contest is that our party is not settled and I don’t want what happened in 2011 to repeat itself because there is still serious crisis in Oyo PDP especially as a result of aspiration for governorship seat”, he said.
“I behold a serious problem for Oyo PDP because of the factions. If a faction should emerge as candidate, other factions are poised to leave the party to form alliance with other political parties to seek PDP downfall as it happened in 2011”, he explained.
Arole maintained that the PDP crisis is problem of party leadership saying during the time of Baba Adedibu, he portrayed an impeccable leadership adding that one of which is that Baba don’t allow ‘a winner take it all’ rather he shares positions among the contestants to make everyone has a sense of belonging.
Presently, he said members don’t agree on a consensus leader saying at the beginning, PDP had two factions from Jumoke Akinjide and Arapaja that held congress in Olubadan stadium and second faction from Akala and Teslim that held congress in Liberty stadium.
He said presently, the Akala and Teslim faction has been divided into two due to aspiration for the governorship candidacy. He said for PDP to win come 2015, they must get their acts together saying party leaders are meeting on harmonization but can’t say if there will be any prospect.
In his own submission, one of the governorship aspirant under PDP platform, Engr. Femi Babalola popularly known as Jogor recently said at a grand finale of Oranyan festival in Oyo that there is 100 per cent assurance that come 2015, PDP is the party to beat.
According to him, none of the aspirant will leave the party after the primary because they are now brothers and sisters and one family. He said Oyo state PDP having too many governorship aspirants is normal considering the fact that PDP is largest political party in Africa. “Do you know the size of the party as the largest political party in Africa, even if we have hundred aspirants for governorship seat we are not enough, considering the size of the party?
He picked hole in the present administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi saying his performance is abysmal and not a people’s friendly government. “In term of security, people’s lives and property are not saving. Hoodlums just stole a friend’s car and killed somebody a month ago”, he said.
Also in his own reaction at the festival, Senator Hosea Ayo Agboola popularly known as Hallelujah maintained that Oyo state PDP is one. “You can see us together now in harmony, we are now one as we are now practicing a true internal democracy and I’m promising you that there will be level playing ground in the party’s guber primary.
Rt: Otunba Alao Akala, Engr. Seyi Makinde and Senator Teslim Folarin
Meanwhile, three aspirants are guessed to stand a chance to click the governorship ticket. They are former senate leader, Senator Teslim Folarin that people believe close to the presidency, immediate former governor of the state, Otunba Alao Akala and Engr. Seyi Makinde. But while reacting to this, Engr. Makinde said this is not the first time he is coming out to contest for elective position. “I contested for Oyo South senatorial seat in 2007 and also in 2011 for the similar position but I was not given ticket” he said. He however vowed never to cross carpet in case he lose in the primary saying he believes party leadership will bring out the best in the primary.
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