By Senator Buruji Kashamu
There are rumblings in our beloved Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State and the South West. Most people do not, however, understand that the issue is essentially one of a contest between individuals interested in the strengthening of PDP as a viable political party that aggregates and caters for the interests of all its members and persons.
The South West and Ogun State PDP Executive have a reliable and tested team elected to attend and represent it at the National Convention. I call on our national leaders to avoid the distraction posed by some self-serving persons.
Most politicians and political observers are well aware of the political differences between me and Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, on the one hand, and former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD), on the other hand.
The others, such as Chief Iyiola Omisore, Chief Olabode George and the amateurish Ladi Adebutu – are latter day joiners who dread a free and fair competition.
In their desperate bid to destroy me, they have resorted to all manner of tricks, intrigues and maneuverings. They have continued to blackmail me and poison the mind of the members of the National Working Committee (NWC), some of our national leaders, past and present governors as well as former ministers, calling me all manner of names.
I will continue to fight for the interest of my people in the South West as they are my strength and shield. Without them, I am nothing. Since all my actions are borne out sincerity and singleness of mind, I will continue to put my trust in the Almighty Allah.
THIS IS MY SIDE OF THE STORY…
The account of events between me and Fayose on the one hand, and OGD on the other hand, are well-known. While they both have Vice-Presidential ambition, Fayose wants to seize the party structure in the South West for future negotiation for his ambition, whereas OGD, who has his eyes on the National Chairmanship position, wants to be in control of Ogun State PDP.
I am not the foremost leader of the PDP in the South West. I am just one of the leaders and one of the foot soldiers who have political strikers. If they are sure of themselves, they should limit our fight to the South West. They should not drag our national leaders into the fray.
A leader has to be strong and forthright. I cannot stand injustice. I see any act of injustice to any human being as an act of injustice to all of humanity. That is why I am indirectly connected with over 400 cases in various courts across the country. Of the number, only about 10 cases are mine. I cater for the health issues and scholarship of many people and children respectively.
Over 6000 people from all walks of life benefit from me in one shape or form every month. I do not have any powers. I derive my strength from the Almighty Allah, His words in the Quran and the underprivileged whose cause I have always fought.
I am a loyalist of the PDP and I am loyal to worthy men and women as well as worthy causes. When I stand with people, I don’t betray them.
OGD has been looking for ways to take the PDP structure in Ogun State from the grassroots and return it to the years of yore when he held sway and singlehandedly dictated who gets what in the state. Fayose, on the other hand, wants to be the supreme leader of the party in the South West whether by hook or crook.
It is common knowledge that the fight between me, Fayose and OGD has been on for some time now. I have tried severally to bury the hatchet and work with them with a view to getting everyone to have a sense of belonging and making the generality of our people to have a say in the scheme of things. But, it has always been a game of lies, deceit and dictatorship.
They later got Chief Bode George involved in the scheme. Otunba Iyiola Omisore, a two-time governorship candidate of the PDP in Osun State, wants to remain the sole governorship candidate of our party every four years irrespective of the fact that there are other younger and capable people. Adebutu is a pig seller who does not know his left from his right. Yet, he wants to use the PDP structure to realize his forlorn governorship ambition in 2019. So, all of them team up together and started cooking lies against me at the national headquarters of our party.
THEIR PLOT AGAINST THE AUGUST 12TH CONVENTION
In the build up to the National Convention and as part of their plots to blackmail me, OGD and his puppets hired one lawyer who filed a case against the PDP. Last Wednesday, they held a meeting in OGD’s Abuja house where they perfected their plot on how to blackmail and implicate me. That was why OGD got his boys to post a report on the social media where they alleged that I was looking for an injunction to stop the convention on Wednesday.
They printed the report, got one Sikirulai Ogundele to issue a statement condemning the act and took a copy of the case they orchestrated to purportedly stop the convention.
After the meeting in OGD’s house, they went to Chief Bode George’s house who then took them to the National Chairman’s house.
At the National Chairman’s house, they fed him with their cooked up stories. But, as a God-fearing man who believes in the Rule of Law and justice, he was circumspect.
According to Ladi Adebutu who was later briefed on happenings at the meeting, as the National Chairman saw them off into the compound, the delegation sustained the pressure on him. But, it seemed the National Chairman did not believe them. So, they were not happy and started looking for ways to blackmail him.
That same Wednesday, Ladi Adebutu told one of his associates that one of our leaders in the NWC visited OGD twice this week, especially on Wednesday when he went to name his price.
He (Ladi) further said that his father had provided the dollars needed to OGD for onward delivery to the leader who had promised them that the State PDP Executives in Ogun and Osun states, including the South West will be given to them without recourse to due process and the subsisting judgments in favour of the excos. Ladi then stated that OGD had taken the money to the NWC member in his house on Thursday morning, and that they were now sure of achieving their aim.
Although I see this as a continuation of their cheap blackmail which no one should take seriously, I consider it necessary to bring it to the attention of the public so that they can know these people for who they are.
I have also heard that Chief Bode George and some of these characters met last night and their plan is to dissolve the authentic State PDP Executives in Ogun and Osun states.
However, as God would have it, I later discovered that the Ogun State as well as the South West PDP Zonal Executives had approached the court and got order to protect themselves and secure their place as the rightful and authentic delegates to participate in the National Convention – a development which negates their evil plot.
I wish to urge all our national leaders not to allow these people to destroy the party in the South West. If they want the party to survive in the South West, they must accommodate everyone. They should not allow one or two people to control the party in the South West.
We have many tested, educated and intelligent leaders in the South West. The structure of the PDP in the South West should not be left in the hands of some selfish impostors who cannot mobilize for the party and look for resources to build it, alongside other meaningful leaders in the South West.
For instance, during the 2015 elections, one of these people was accused of misappropriating N300 million out of the N500 million meant for the Presidential election. The matter is still with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It is normal for people to disagree. Sometimes such disagreements, especially in a political party, could even shake it to its foundation. But, at the end of the day, it can only make it stronger. It was the laws of the land and our justice system that rescued the party and made it to stand today. We should stop all acts of impunity, lawlessness and illegalities. That is the only way the party can stand the test of time.
Below are the court orders that resolved the issues of the authentic delegates to the August 12th, 2017 National Convention from Ogun State, in particular and the South West, in general:
Senator Buruji Kashamu
Ogun East Senatorial District
11th August, 2017.