Ten months to the 2019 general election, and with two governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states later this year, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the southwest has been hit by a fresh crisis with three of its chieftains allegedly set to dump the party any moment from now.
Nigerian Tribune reports that a former governor of Oyo state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja; the immediate past governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Mimiko; and a former deputy governor and candidate of the party in 2014 governorship election in Osun state, Senator Iyiola Omisore, are on their way out of the PDP.
NAIJ.com gathered that the trio met recently and, after reviewing the development within the party, particularly under the Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee (NWC), resolved that the impunity which plummeted the fortunes of the party in the zone has not been done away with.
The three leaders, after resolving that exiting the PDP is the option, contemplated adopting a uniform platform, but the idea could not fly as some of them have gone for in discussions with the leadership of different parties they are planning to defect to.
It was gathered that while Ladoja and his loyalists may move to the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Omisore and his supporters are in talks with the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). But Mimiko, who won two consecutive governorship elections on the platform of the Labour Party (LP), opted to re-unite with his former party.
It was learnt that at a meeting held in his Bodija residence on Wednesday, April 11, Ladoja, and some of his loyalists, spoke in favour of dumping the PDP for AD.
A steering committee to further discussion with the leadership of AD in the state was set up during the meeting, according to Sunday Tribune.
Ladoja and his loyalists were miffed that the party had not been allowed to make any progress since the conclusion of its congresses last year, as a result of the decision of the party’s NWC to redistribute the 26 state executive positions.
It was gathered that the decision, which followed a complaint by a group belonging to one of the governorship aspirants in the party, did not go down well majority of the party leaders in the state, as well as other gubernatorial aspirants who sought Ladoja’s intervention in the matter.
The Osi Olubadan, Sunday Tribune learnt, met with the national chairman of the party, Secondus, in Abuja about two weeks ago to register the displeasure of the party leaders and members to the NWC.
Secondus, at the meeting held in the residence of Senator Ben Obi, who was the secretary of the Ahmed Markafi-led caretaker committee that conducted the congresses in Oyo and eight other states, promised to make a categorical statement on the matter the Wednesday following Easter break.
Sunday Tribune was informed that no statement came from Secondus, a development fuelling speculations he might have reneged on the agreement reached at the meeting.
In Osun state, rather than the conclusion of the party’s recent congresses resolving the differences among the leaders and groupings in the party, it only worsened it.
Loyalists of Omisore were said to have been played out in the power tussle for the control of the party machinery ahead of the delegate congress and governorship primary for the September 22 election.
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had earlier reported that a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has lauded Osun state Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s achievements.
He said that the party would stop Senator Iyiola Omisore from leaving the party because “he is invaluable member of the party.”
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