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JONATHAN SNUBS AKALA'S EMISSARIES

By NBF News

Oyo PDP crisis
Jonathan snubs Akala's emissaries
•Party leaders form coalition to dislogde gov
•Group opposes Akinjide's daughter's senatorial ambition

From TOYESE OLADEJO, Ibadan
Friday, March 12, 2010


Goodluck and Akala

The hope of Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State to revalidate the ousted state executive committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have been shattered as subterranean moves by the state chief executive were rebuffed by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Senator Ike Nwchukwu Committee had last month reconstituted the state executive committee of the party by putting in a place a caretaker committee headed by Alhaji Yunus Akintunde from the Oyo Central Senatorial District.

A coalition of aggrieved political leaders in the party in the state which included former governor Rashidi Ladoja, Senate Leader Teslim Folarin, Senator Lekan Balogun, Elder Caleb Wole Oyelese, Alhaji Yekini Adeojo and Alhaji Ayo Adeseun had petitioned the National Secretariat of the party over allegation of improper conduct of the party's state congress in 2007.

Consequently, after series of reconciliation meetings in Abuja, the Ike Nwachukwu Committee put in place a new executive committee for the party. Stunned by the outcome of the committee, Akala commenced intensive moves to ensure the annulment of the caretaker committee. Efforts to secure the support of the party's national chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor were in vain as the party's boss only referred the governor's entourage to the committee led by Nwachukwu. Dissatisfied with the position of the national chairman, Akala enlisted the support of former governors Victor Omololu Olunloyo and Kolapo Ishola.

The team met a brickwall as the Acting President told them that he was not aware of any crisis in state PDP. Sources said that Jonathan assured them that he would consult Ogbulafor for necessary briefing.

The Daily Sun gathered that the Acting President put up a call to Ladoja to enquire about the position of things in the party.

The former governor, it was learnt, told the Acting President that he was not in a better position to comment on it while directing Jonathan to speak with Ogbulafor and Nwachukwu: 'You can contact the National Chairman and Major General Ike Nwachukwu on the matter, and if you feel otherwise, you can change the outcome of the committee.'

The Acting President told Ladoja that he could not interfere in the outcome of Nwachukwu's committee, 'I can't interfere in the outcome since the committee was headed by a distinguished personality in person of Major General Ike Nwachukwu. He is a statesman by any standard.'

Apparently inspired by the development, political gladiators in the party would soon hold a summit to provide a veritable spring board and form a common team to dislodge Akala. Speaking exclusively to Daily Sun in Ibadan, the conever of the summit, Prince Tunji Adeoye, revealed that the coalition was in total support of the National Secretariat of the party decision to repackage the party in the state:

'I don't know why they are crying wolf. It is common knowledge that there is no executive committee in Oyo PDP and that is the position of the National Secretariat. The best thing that could be done by them is to toe the parth of honour and decency.' The party chief maintained that the prevailing poor image of the party in the state was due to the monopoly of both party and electoral posts by the late politician, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu: 'We are very much unfortunate that those who got thrown up then were political infidels who lacked the necessary exposure and intelligence to hold political positions.'

Adeoye said that the coalition forum would afford political gladiators like Ladoja, Adeojo, Folarin and leader of the South West caucus in the National Assembly, Alhaji Ayo Adeseun and others to rub minds on how to move the party forward in the state:

'As an elder in the state PDP, I believe we should talk with all these gladiators so that peace could reign in the state.' He urged the Adedibu/Akala group to brace up to the prevailing reality and desist from chasing shadow. 'It is better for them to cooperate with the caretaker committee. We are all members of the PDP and the best thing would be to work together for the electoral success of the party in the state.'

Meanwhile, a political group within the PDP, the Patriotic Forum (PF) has vow to oppose the senatorial ambition of the daughter of the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide, in the Oyo Central Senatorial district. The state co-ordinator of the group, Elder Jide Ajao in an exclusive chart with Daily Sun in Ibadan affirmed that 'the recent declaration of Chief Jumoke Akinjide ambition into Oyo Central Senatorial seat is a joke of the decade.'

According to him, although the daughter of the former minister has the constitutional right to declare her ambition but it was sheer injustice to allow her into the seat:

'I am from Ward One in Ona Ara Local Government, the same ward with Akinjide, but the fact remains that Ona Ara has produced the district's senator twice. 'We have 11 local governments in the senatorial district, five of the 11 local government areas are from Ibadan, four from Oyo while the remaining two are from Ogbomoso. She is only joking with her father. Ajao maintained that Akinjide should realize that the era of political godfatherism and imposition has gone with Adedibu:

'We are of the opinion that the era of godfatherism and imposition is gone. No matter how history is placed, democratic process must be followed to the letter and the principle of justice must be considered.'

He emphasized that the present occupier of the position Senator Teslim Kola Folarin got his ticket from Ona Ara in 2003 and is yet to signify his intention whether to re-contest or not.

He urged Jumoke Akinjide to forget her ambition promising that the PF would employ its political arsenal to prevent her from realizing the senatorial ambition.