Lagos PDP, miles away from unity
• Adewale accuses George faction of drawing party back
• I never knew any faction chairman, says Gani
Since the Lagos State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 governorship election, the party has not been able to find its feet.
Although, it made some remarkable success in the 2015 National and State assemblies election, where it won eight and six seats respectively for the first time since 1999, it has not been able to meet the expectations of building on that achievement due to a lingering internal crisis.
While the accusation and counter-accusation between the factions led by the former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George and his rival, Chief Kola Balogun continue unabated, concerned citizens of the state have urged the party to put its house in order before the date for the councils election in the state is fixed.
The PDP has the challenge of going into the election a divided house, based on the fact that the two factions have teamed up separately behind Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s camp and Senator Ahmed Makarfi group respectively.
Balogun’s faction is with Sheriff while George’s faction remains loyal to Makarfi’s interim committee.Speaking with The Guardian on the development yesterday, Mr. Segun Adewale, popularly called Aeroland, who was the party’s Lagos West Senatorial candidate in the 2015 election, accused Chief George of deliberately killing the Lagos chapter due to his personal and selfish ambition.
When asked why the party has gone to sleep after losing the governorship election, he said: “There is no doubt the Lagos PDP has gone to sleep since we lost. The cause is no other person than Chief George who has singlehandedly arrogated the wish and power of the people to himself.”
He dismissed the present state executive led by Mr. Moshood Salvador, saying it did not command the support of entire members of the party because George alone imposed the current executive and it has been doing his biddings.
Adewale alleged that the reason the Lagos PDP has continued to function like a lame duck was because George warned members of the executive not to be critical of the APC administration.
According to him, “There is no gainsaying the fact that Lagos PDP has failed to live up to the expectations as an opposition with critical voice to the ruling party because Chief George has cautioned them. From what we learnt, the former deputy national chairman warned his people not to critisise President Muhammadu Buhari because the President was his former superior in the military.”
Adewale, who claimed to be the authentic chairman of the party in Lagos, further, disclosed that the only state where the PDP has not ruled is Lagos “and the reason is because Chief George has always been doing the biddings of the APC.”
When confronted with the allegations, the spokesman of the party, Mr. Taofik Gani, said, “This is not the time to start fighting. I will appeal to all the warring factions to sheathe their sword and let us face the preparation for the council election, else the ruling party will take advantage of us.”
Gani said he knows that one Adewale exists somewhere in the party “he was the senatorial candidate of the party in Lagos West in the 2015 election but I never know him to be the chairman of the party in Lagos. So the allegations are nothing but his own figment of imagination.”
According to him, “What is paramount to us now is the council election and my plea is let every member of the PDP work in unity so that we can salvage the state from the maladministration of the ruling APC.”
It would be recalled that Adewale invaded the PDP secretariat situated around Shogunle bus stop recently where pandemonium broke out.The Deputy Chairman, Mr. Ola Apena also dismissed Adewale’s claim as the chairman. He said there is nothing to assert because the PDP is one family.
To him, there is only one party recognised by law and that party is under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the caretaker chairman. As a founding member of this party, I belong to the establishment of my party lineage.