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In Ogun PDP, it’s still ding-dong

By Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abeokuta
12 November 2017   |   7:10 am
It got to a disturbing level on Monday, when the Dayo Bayo executive of the party, which has occupied the party’s secretariat complex in Abeokuta since 2015, got sacked by the Sikirulai Ogundele-led executive. But the following day...

Buruji Kashamu

The battle over who controls Ogun State PDP rages and it is tearing the party apart. It got to a disturbing level on Monday, when the Dayo Bayo executive of the party, which has occupied the party’s secretariat complex in Abeokuta since 2015, got sacked by the Sikirulai Ogundele-led executive. But the following day, the Dayo Bayo faction reclaimed it.

The fight is between Senator Buruji Kashamu, representing Ogun East Senatorial District And Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu, representing Remo Federal Constituency.

Both of them were said to have belonged to the same political camp before parting ways.

Kashamu used to be in total control of the party structure before Adebutu started challenging him, after he had been elected into the House of Representatives during 2015 election.

Following a court judgment, the Dayo Bayo executive was recognised as the authentic executive and has been occupying the secretariat complex built by former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

But due to lingering crisis within the party, its national leadership ordered dissolution of the executive and set up a caretaker committee to temporarily run the party’s affairs.

But the Dayo Bayo executive, which was loyal to Ali Modu-Sheriff, failed to recognise the committee.

The caretaker committee was set up over two months ago, but it couldn’t take over the secretariat until last Tuesday, with police assistance.

After dismissing the Bayo-led executive from the secretariat on Tuesday, the rival chairman, Ogundele told journalists: “We have only come to take over PDP property in accordance with the directive we got from Abuja that every property of the party, which is mainly the secretariat must be taken care of, and we have just come to peacefully take over the secretariat.

“I have once said at the appropriate time, security operatives will do their job and the secretariat will be taken care of.

Ogundele alleged that after inspecting all the offices, he discovered that the former occupants had vandalised and looted equipment worth N5m, an allegation that has been described as “mere fabrication, lies and subterfuge” by the other side.

He assured that leadership has decided to run a decent, united and peaceful party. And a hand of fellowship will be extended to the aggrieved.

“We would call them and we would do it together. We must just take over this state from of The APC known for running a penny wise, pound foolish policy.”

In his response, the publicity secretary of Bayo faction, Mr. Bolaji Adeniji, told journalists: “We learnt of the secretariat invasion by the dissident group in Ogun PDP. You will recall sometime ago that there was an ongoing case at the state Magistrate Court, where members of the erstwhile caretaker committee were charged for contempt of court for parading themselves as party executive.

“After that, there was an order of the Magistrate Court that prevented conduct of any congress in Ogun. It also ordered the police and the DSS to arrest, prosecute and investigate anybody found gathering anywhere that would call themselves the party executive.

“It cannot stand because there is a judgment of the Federal High Court that says the Engr. Adebayo Dayo executive subsists until 2020. Also, a ruling of a Magistrate Court says nobody should hold congress in Ogun State and nobody else should parade themselves as party executives in Ogun State. None of the judgment has been challenged, and therefore, none of these rulings have been appealed. So, what right does this group have to have invaded the secretariat in such manner and claim to be executive of PDP in Ogun State, nothing has changed.”

The impression Adeniji gave was that they were going to use legal means to get redress. But the next day, they also went to the secretariat at dawn to occupy it.

The Arrest
On Tuesday, the Police arraigned 17 supporters of Ogundele’s group that allegedly participated in the sacking of Bayo executive. They appeared before Magistrate Idowu Olayinka, who had earlier ruled that they should not “hold any congress, gathering, public assembly or meeting likely to cause breach of peace in Ogun State or any part of Ogun State.”

They were charged for contempt of court and breach of peace. They all pleaded not guilty, when the charges were read to them.

Their lawyers, Kayode Akinsola and Muyiwa Obanewa argued that the charges preferred against them are bailable and applied for their bail.

The prosecutor, Inspector Olakunle Sonibare did not oppose the application.

Magistrate Idowu Olayinka granted the bail in the sum of N150, 000 each with one surety each in like sum. In Ogun PDP, it is one week, many troubles.