Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
By Omololu Ogunmade
Worried by festering crisis in the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), some leaders of the party on Thursday held a secret meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his hilltop mansion in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The parley signalled possible end to the protracted crisis in the party which had hitherto defied solution.
In attendance were former Minister of Commerce, Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye; former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Lekan Mustapha; party leaders from Ogun Central Senatorial District, Chief Dayo Abatan and Chief Niyi Adegbenro, among others.
At the meeting, THISDAY learnt that the former President disclosed his commitment to end the protracted crisis rocking the state chapter of the party as he admitted that the reports of the Congress Monitoring Committee and various court judgments have outlawed the Dipo Odujinrin faction, which has been laying claim to the control of the party. He was also said to have frowned at those who use his name to perpetrate illegalities within the party.
A source told THISDAY: “He urged the leaders of the party to do all within their powers to restore peace to the party, just as he offered to render whatever assistance that is needed whenever the need arises.”
Speaking on the implications of the meeting, the State Secretary of the party, Alhaji Semiu Sodipo, described the move as “a welcome development” adding: “We are glad our father is truly living up to his fatherly role.”
Sodipo added: “The truth is that Baba is the father of all, irrespective of leanings or cleavages. For instance, Governor Ibikunle Amosun is of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Yet, he is his kinsman and son. He loves him as much as he loves the PDP. It is understandable that he would not want to do anything that will hurt either of them.
“It is for this reason and the many others that we have always insisted that there is only one PDP and one leadership of the party in Ogun State. It is our hope that with the rapprochement, all genuine party men and women will join hands with the only legally recognised PDP Exco in Ogun State under the leadership of Adebayo Dayo to move the party forward,” he said.
The party secretary who recalled that the party had witnessed similar development before the 2011 polls noted that “an ordinary court injunction altered the whole political calculations in the state.
“The scenario this time is even more complicated because there are several judgments affirming and re-affirming the Adebayo Dayo-led Exco as the only authentic and legally-recognised management body for the party in the state. And of course, this flows from the fact that the congresses that produced it were conducted by the Dayo Soremi-led harmonised executive, under the supervision of the party representatives from Abuja, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other relevant bodies and security agencies,” Sodipo explained.
He advised party members, especially aspirants, to forge a common front and mobilise people “rather than being involved in any activities that may turn out to be a waste of time, resources and efforts.”
Sodipo added: “The truth is any illegal act done by any illegal person or group will be nullified sooner or later. A sampler was when an Ogun State High Court in Ilaro on August 3, 2012 nullified the list of candidates sent to the State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) for the July 21 council election. Again, on November 16, 2012, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos nullified the purported congresses held by the Dipo Odujinrin group. It follows, therefore, that anything done by any other person apart from the Dayo-led Exco cannot stand the test of time and the law since you cannot build something on nothing.”