By Jide Amusan
The Ogun State chapter of the Labour Party has been thrown into pandemonium and deeper crises with the revelation of anti-party activities by both camps and factions of the party. With the woeful results from the state and its inability to deepen internal party activities, the party was expected to go into some deep internal auditing and restructuring but alas, the expectations from what is currently playing out is more than meets the eyes.
Firstly, it was the rushed endorsement of the candidacy of Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for a second term by the suspended state exco of the party led by an equally suspended Acting National Publicity Secretary- Abayomi Arabambi.
It was said that the rushed endorsement became a necessity after the suspended excos got wind of the planned endorsement of the same candidate by the caretaker committee of the party led by Jagun Lookman.
This is after the Jagun Lookman led caretaker committee alongside the Gubernatorial aspirant/candidate of the party Kehinde Shogunle whose candidacy may not be on the ballot, met with Dapo Abiodun on possible alliances and endorsement. Howbeit, it couldn’t because Dapo Abiodun insisted on either having the originally recognised party leaders or they all come together to present a common front.
It is also noteworthy that this split within the caretaker committee and Kehinde Shogunle’s harmony forced each side to send separate delegations to meet with Governor Abiodun.
Sensing that the narrative may not favour him – Kehinde Shogunle and the caretaker committee resolved that given the likelihood of the Governor not recognising them, they therefore elected to pitch their tents with Ladi Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party where Kehinde Shogunle and a delegation of the Caretaker committee were said to have met with the Governorship hopeful at his Iperu home town.
Part of the deal said to have been struck was promised commissioner slots and appointments into key government offices if the PDP wins Saturday 18 governorship election in Ogun State.
Kehinde Shogunle in preparing and softening the ground for an eventual announcement of their planned endorsement of Ladi Adebutu began to gauge opinions of party members in the state by selling narratives of alternative stronger candidacy albeit to subtly play into their minds to adopt by a consensus and announce as such.
This he did with like minds using the Labour Party group and seeing that the first punch inflamed the people, they resorted to guerrilla tactics and gagging the people.
Meanwhile, the planned announcement leaked to party members that various media was awash with a prepared press statement signed by the party caretaker committee chairman and the caretaker committee secretary announcing the endorsement.
It was discovered that this back end deals were done without recourse to the party stakeholders and it was only necessitated by the aggravated greed of the caretaker committee and Kehinde Shogunle who was quoted as saying that he would explore beneficial options while making political decisions.
These episodes and many others similarly have exposed the desperation and ulterior motives driving both factions of the party. Namely, Ashade led suspended executive Committee and Arabambi, the suspended Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party including Kehinde Shogunle, Jagun Lookman and his other strange bedfellows that are composed of the state caretaker committee. For all of them, it is all about self serving interest.
It must be stated that these singular misguided endorsements have been vehemently resisted and rejected by the Local Government Chairmen and all candidates of the party who alleged that they were not carried along and that nobody in the party will make decisions over them in their jurisdiction without due and proper consultations.
It is now very clear that both camps are composed of individuals and personalities that have deficit of the values and correct principles that will usher in the New Nigeria being championed by Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the party, who is putting plans in place to challenge the outcome of the February 25 presidential election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
These kind of men cannot continue to be at the helms of the party’s affairs if a strong, progressive party must be built.
Mr Jide Amusan writes from Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
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