Kashamu’s expulsion versus peace prospects in Ogun PDP
It all began about a decade ago, when the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, failed to install his successor in the 2011 gubernatorial poll based on which faction had the upper hand in the party structure.
The fact that there were four factions of the party worsened the confusion.
Kashamu, Daniel, former Speaker House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole and Oladipupo Adebutu, all had a splinter of Ogun PDP.
The Kashamu camp, waving a Lagos High Court judgment, claimed it was the authentic chapter having properly elected its executive which tenure expires in 2020.
However, on Monday July 23, the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) wielded the big axe and announced the expulsion of Kashamu, as well as, the dissolution of the Bayo Dayo-led executive, which the senator controls.
But, the dilemma remained: Would the senator’s expulsion bring back the elusive peace to the party, bearing in mind there are still were three other claimants?
One of the arrowheads of the fractionalization, Adebutu, is currently in the Ogun gubernatorial race.
The Director-General of Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation, Mr. Sunday Shorarin, told The Guardian that he believes Kashamu exit would automatically pave the way for peace. But other stakeholders disagree.
Kashamu, a very wealthy businessman, joined PDP sometime in 2009 but deployed his deep pocket to take over the party after a prolonged battle of wit and wealth with the former governor.
Signs that peace was still faraway emerged a day after the Senator’s expulsion, because the Dayo-led state executive hurriedly addressed a press conference, insisting that they are the legitimate organ of the party in the state even as he described the expulsion of Kashamu and his executive as the “height of illegality, which cannot stand.”
Citing a judgment of the court, he claimed that his executive remains legal, leaving the party with the Bayo and that of Adebutu’s faction, headed by Sikirulai Ogundele.
However, before the NWC struck, there were indicators 10 days earlier that the days of the senator, who holds the highest political office holder in the Ogun PDP, were numbered in the party.
Prior to the party’s decision, there was a meeting between the NWC led by its aational chairman, Prince Uche Secondus with the Adebutu-led faction in Abeokuta on July 13 where the issue of Kashamu was deliberated among others.
One of the party’s faithful, Mrs. Iyabo Apampa, spent more than twenty minutes explaining to the national chairman that if the party is to survive in the state, Kashamu must be expelled immediately.
She narrated how Kashamu had on several occasions taken the party to court on flimsy reasons, adding: “The only problem we have in Ogun State is Kashamu and I must say a Leopard cannot change his skin.”
While alleging that Kashamu was an agent of the ruling party, Apampa said he does his politics in the court, stressing, “If we want the PDP to win any election in Ogun now or in the future, the NWC must do something quickly. Enough is enough.”
The PDP chairman, Secondus, assured that the party leadership at the national level would consider them and apply due process in the right decision.
That decision was the expulsion of the senator and dissolution of the Dayo-led executive.
One factor that seemed to have hastened Kashamu’s expulsion is that, during the legal battle between the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee and the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction over the party’s national chairmanship, the senator openly supported Sheriff, who was seen as a mole of APC.
Eventually Makarfi won the battle at the Supreme Court.
Kashamu reportedly bought over 300 vehicles and 100 motorcycles to empower party members in the 20 local councils recently.
This alone, stood him out among other party leaders.
It is also alleged that he had so much control of the party structure to the extent that he singlehandedly approved who should contest for what position in most cases.
Recently, he was said to have made overtures to Daniel who hitherto was his arch political rival and reportedly handed over the party structure to him.
At present, the former governor is the recognised leader of Ogun PDP by virtue of Kashamu’s ordeal.
Adebutu and Daniel, who used to belong to different camps within the party, may have now joined forces to take advantage of the unfolding situation.
Mr. Sunday Shorarin alleged that Kashamu was a very disloyal party man, whose expulsion was necessary.
According to him, “Before he joined us in 2009, there was absolute peace in the party.
We won all elective positions, but no sooner he joined it has been one crisis or the other as a result we of which we have been losing all elections.”
He added that it was because of the senator the likes of Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, who is now the African Democratic Congress (ADC) governorship standard-bearer left the aspirant, abandoned the party.
He added that the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole also abandoned the party with his supporters due to the crisis orchestrated “but I can confirm to you that we are wooing them back.”
However, Kashamu insisted he strongly remains with his people in the party PDP.
He accused the NWC of being “lawless and undemocratic in taking the decision, as no due process was followed in line with the party’s constitution.
Therefore the decision was null, void and of no effect.
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