Yinka Kolawole Osogbo
Seventeen days to the Osun State governorship election, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are yet to settle the rift between its gubernatorial candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, and the runner-up in the party’s primary election, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi.
Senator Adeleke had won the primary election with seven votes but the result was contested by Ogunbiyi who believed that the election was manipulated to favour Adeleke.
Consequently, a few weeks ago, the PDP leadership set up a committee headed by Senator David Mark, a former Senate President, which admonished Adeleke to concede some positions to the Ogunbiyi group which included the deputy governorship seat as well as the Osun West Senatorial ticket.
But up till now, Adeleke is yet to honour the agreement.
However, Ogunbiyi had called on Adeleke to be honourable and upright so as not to completely jeopardise the chances of the party in the forthcoming election in the state.
Speaking on what he described as a dishonourable and fallacious statement from Adeleke’s campaign office, Ogunbiyi, in a statement issued by his press secretary Ismail Afolabi in Osogbo, the state capital, said: “In the interest of the PDP, one would not have responded to the indecorous utterances from Senator Ademola’s campaign office and hope that the governorship candidate and his team will learn to be honourable over time, if they had simply stopped at their extreme enmity and not resorted to telling serial lies against Dr. Ogunbiyi.
“It is not unknown to the great people of Osun and of course, the PDP faithful that Dr. Ogunbiyi actually won the July 21st primary election of the party but Senator Ademola allegedly dubiously clinched the gubernatorial ticket through manipulation. And since then, the Senator and some of his followers have been calling for the head of Ogunbiyi.
“Already, it is almost seven weeks after the party primaries and Ademola’s camp has infamously remained hell bent at bringing Ogunbiyi to his knees for no just course after all Ogunbiyi is not their opponent at coming election.
“This said, the dishonourable statement credited to the campaign office of Senator Ademola doesn’t come as a surprise, as they have resorted to all forms of lies and blackmail to cover up the dismal reactions on their poorly coordinated outings.
“Also after the primaries, the national leadership of the party, led by Prince Uche Secondous, the respected PDP national chairman and his executives had brokered peace between Ademola and Ogunbiyi wherein they ceded the deputy governorship position to Ogunbiyi’s camp, among other things. But today, everyone knows that it is the Adelekes, not Ogunbiyi that floated the pact.
“Furthermore, contrary to the skewed claim by Senator Adeleke’s campaign office, Dr. Ogunbiyi is accessible to all and on collision course with none. As a core party man and peace loving person, shortly after the controversial primaries, he publicly declared that he has nothing against the Adelekes and expressed willingness to work for the party.”