By WILLY EYA
The battle for supremacy in the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has continued with fresh indications that the party is in disarray as the principal actors seem reluctant to sheathe their swords. A top member of the PDP hierarchy who does not want his name in print informed Sunday Sun that it is a matter of time for the National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur to be shown the way out despite subtle effort by the presidency to save him.
It was gathered that the party would witness more turbulence in the weeks ahead as majority of the PDP governors have vowed to give Tukur the same treatment meted to former chairman of the party, Okwesilieze Nwodo when he tried to challenge their influence on the party. Our source said that as the days go by, the party is increasingly getting factionalised along Tukur and Oyinlola camps. But stakeholders of the party continue to express optimism that the PDP would survive the crisis and come out stronger ahead of 2015 general election.
Speaking on the development, an elder of the party, Chief Ebenezar Babatope described the crisis in the PDP as a routine disagreement associated with political parties. He dismissed insinuations of a possible implosion in PDP saying that the party would resolve all the issues and emerge stronger at the end.He urged governors of the party to work hard to ensure that the PDP does not experience crisis. Another chieftain of the party and a former House of Representatives member, Dr Muyiwa Oladimeji described the situation as iritating and disturbing.
He faulted Tukur for removing Oyinlola without exhausting the full potentials of the law. The chieftain dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the removal of Oyinlola was not unconnected with moves by President Goodluck Jonathan’s supporters to dislodge those loyal to former president, Olusegun Obasanjo ahead of 2015 general election. “If anybody thinks that Oyinlola should insult Obasanjo to prove that he is loyal to Jonathan, the person must be making a mistake.
From Oyinlola’s background as a citizen of the South West, he cannot be disrespectful to Obasanjo just to prove his loyalty to Jonathan. “It is irritating and disturbing that Tukur was in a hurry to remove Oyinlola and one wonders why he does not want to work with the National Secretary”, he said. In his reaction, former Deputy National Chairman of PDP, South West, Yinka Omilani said that as a senior member of the party, he knows that the governors from inception never supported the emergence of Tukur.
He faulted Tukur’s removal of Oyinlola saying he acted based on the party’s constitution that’s not yet approved. On Monday, Tukur replaced the National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola with the party’s Deputy National Secretary, Solomon Onwe, hence raising dust over the validity of such a decision. Tukur, in a statement personally signed by him said Onwe should assume office in acting capacity following the removal of Oyinlola by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Federal High Court presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati, had in a judgment involving a suit by the Ogun State Executive Committee (SEC) of the party, voided the nomination of Oyinlola as the candidate of the South West Zonal Chapter of the PDP and his consequent election to the office of National Secretary at the National Convention in March 2012. But the former Osun State governor had filed a notice of appeal as well as a stay of execution on the ruling party. The PDP also filed a stay of execution on Monday.
Oyinlola’s camp believes that the development was an abuse of court process. Tukur had rationalised his decision in a statement saying that he acted in conformity with the provisions of the constitution of the party.