Court Halts Lagos PDP Election

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Segun James

A Lagos High Court, which was presided over by Justice T.A.O Oyekanmi Abdullai, yesterday gave an order stopping the conduct of the proposed “special election” by the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The election was scheduled for today. But the court ordered that the status quo be maintained until hearing in the substantive case.

This is as the party leadership in Lagos State has passed a vote of confidence on Olabode George as the leader of the PDP in the state.

A faction of the party led by the state Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Dominic Adegbola, went to court to stop the conduct of the “special election,” which according to Adegbola, had no input of the state executive committee and was not in compliance with the PDP’s constitution.

Those named as defendants in the case were Senator Ben Obi, Senator Biodun Olujimi, Hon. Jariga Agoro Jarigbe, Hon. Danladi Baidu Tuo and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Meanwhile chieftains of the party, including a member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Dr. Akinremi Akitoye; former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Mrs. Kofo Buknor- Akerele and Dr. Adegbola Dominic, among others yesterday affirmed their unflinching confidence in the leadership of Olabode George as they dismissed factional groups within the fold.

They made this declaration at an emergency meeting of party stakeholders, which took place at Ikoyi’s office of George following the alleged connivance of some young, ambitious elements within the party to elect new officers into vacant state party positions and “get Bode George out of the way” against the existing PDP rules and regulations.

Dominic said: “Today, we got the report that some people have been gathering to get Olabode George out of the way. These people are saying they are going to have election and our leader, Olabode George is not aware of it.”

He said it was unfortunate that some “bad eggs” were trying to betray George in spite of having benefitted from his large heartedness.

“We don’t believe in groups and factions. We have rules and regulations that must be followed. Some members have to go to court to stop the election and the court has granted our prayers, an injunction that the status quo must remain, and I remain the chairman of the party in the state,” Dominic said.

He stressed that leaders emerged naturally and clarified that only chairmen and other officers of party were chosen by elections.

“There is no way we would have a party without having a leader to lead the party. You can elect chairman and others but not a leader. I don’t know which party would make success without a leader. I want to inform you that there is no problem in the party. We have no group, no faction,” he reiterated.

Speaking in the same vein, Dr. Akitoye decried the plan by few members of the party to hold congress and declared that the status quo remained not only at the state level but also at the local and ward levels in the state.

Similarly, Senator Buknor-Akerele also maintained that the party remained united under the leadership of George, adding: “We are determined that the party remains vigorous in the state to enable it present a very strong opposition.”

Former Minister of Transportation, Ebenezer Babatope, who is close friend of George, regretted that the same plot to change party leadership in Lagos State was being attempted in Osun State with the plot to remove the party chairman, Soji Adagunodo.

“I don’t want to wash our party’s dirty linen in the open. But what they are planning in Lagos State, they are also planning it in Osun State where I come from. Some over ambitious elements in PDP are trying to do this,” he said, adding: “They are planning this same thing in other states.”