Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Saturday rejected ward, local government and state congresses a faction loyal to Senator Buruji Kashamu claimed to have conducted in Ogun State or elsewhere.
PDP, the country’s main opposition party, said it rejected the congress of the Kashamu faction in obedience to an interim order of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that ordered all parties to maintain status quo until substantive suit is determined.
In a statement by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and the National Secretary, Senator Umaru Tsauri yesterday, the PDP disclosed that it had not conducted any congress – ward, local government and state – in Ogun State.
The Kashamu faction of Ogun PDP claimed that it inaugurated a new executive members to steer the party’s affairs for the next four years.
The faction, in a statement, claimed it had administered oaths of office to the new executives, which took place in batches of 15 persons because of social distancing order.
According to its statement, the oath was allegedly administered by a lawyer Victor Owokoya and a notary public, Oluwatoyin Omomehin, respectively.
But in its statement yesterday, the PDP justified its decision not to recognise any congress in the state “in obedience to the interim order made by Justice Inyang Ekwo in Suit No: FCT/AB/ CS/208/2020 on March 4, 2020.”
It acknowledged that the court directed all parties in the litigation to maintain status quo until the hearing of the motion on notice which is still pending on account of the disruption caused by COVID-19.
For the benefit of all members, the party noted that there “is only one PDP, as a political party in Nigeria whose National Headquarters is at Wadata Plaza, Plot 1970 Michael Okpara Street, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja. 2.
“It is the sole responsibility of NEC/NWC of the Party to conduct congresses for the elections of party leaders at all levels of the party; and no state organ or individual has such power except as may be expressly donated by the NEC/NWC.”
In view of this, the party said that it had not mandated any organ of the party “to exercise that right on its behalf. The same has not been exercised with regard to Ogun State.”
It thus urged all members of the public and appropriate institutions, especially the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ignore any purported elections and or inauguration of any officer of the party at any level in Ogun State as same is unconstitutional, null and void.”
The 23 newly inaugurated executive members are loyalists of a former Senator representing Ogun East, Buruji Kashamu, also received a car each from the Omo-Ilu Foundation, founded by Kashamu.
Kashamu’s loyalists had assembled at the party secretariat, located along Oke-Mosan Road, Kuto, Abeokuta to witness the inauguration.
Some of the newly inaugurated executive members include: Kehinde Oladehinde as deputy chairman, Adeleke Shittu as secretary, Abimbola Lanre as women leader, and Rafael Olaosebikan as youth leader.
Others are Olasunkanmi Oyejide as publicity secretary, Vivian Ogunwo as legal adviser, Tomi Anifowose as financial secretary and Toyin Atoba as treasurer.
The new PDP chairman in the state, Samson Bamgbose, explained that the inauguration was done on Friday, being the last working day of the week.
He said the new executive members would assume office on Monday, adding that the tenure of the outgoing state exco would end officially May 10, 2020.
Bamgbose, who was a former deputy chairman during the administration of the outgoing executive, pledged that his administration would bring victory to the party in the coming elections.
Speaking on the legality of the inauguration, he insisted that the congress that produced its executive was backed by the constitution of the party.
He also said the list of names of the newly inaugurated executive had been sent to the National Executive Committee of the party in Abuja.
He said, “About what is happening now, as far as I am concerned, there is no error. Today, we are doing our inauguration of the executive that has been constituted and elected and before we can do anything, we must be inaugurated.”