All is not well with the main opposition party in Ogun State as two flagbearers emerged to represent People Democratic Party, PDP, at the gubernatorial election coming up in March, 2023.
Recall that the PDP in the state has always been enmeshed in struggles and power tussles long before the late controversial politician, Buruji Kashamu, died of COVID-19.
Pundits believed that the internal waggling of political heavyweights in the state has always been a bumper harvest for the opposition. It is believed that by now, the party leaders should have been able to put their house in order.
However, reverse is the case as the primary election conducted recently produced Hon. Ladi Adebutu on one hand and the former spokesman to the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, Chief Segun Showunmi, on the other hand.
According to a report, at the election, which was held at the NUJ Press Centre, Iwe-Irohin House, Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta on Wednesday, Showunmi polled a total number of 554 votes to defeat his opponents, Otunba Jimi Lawal, who polled 30 votes and Ladi Adebutu, who scored 15 votes.
Few minutes later, another report revealed that another parallel election, which held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in the state capital, had announced that Adebutu polled a total of 714 votes to defeat Segun Showunmi, Jimi Lawal and Abimbola Abodunrin who all polled zero vote.
The returning officers and chairmen of Electoral Committee of the PDP governorship elections for the two venues were Hon. Abayomi Daniel and Akase Sorkaa respectively.
In his acceptance speech, Adebutu expressed satisfaction at the conduct of the exercise, saying he was happy with his emergence as the candidate of the party.
He added that other aspirants should team up with him in order to wrestle power from the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We will continue to encourage the other aspirants, that this journey is for the sake of mankind, and the impoverished people of Ogun State. It is not for a particular person and it’s the sacrifice that we need to all make.
“I believe that the other aspirants mean well, and will surely act in the good interest of Ogun State by coming into the fold so that we can do the job together”, Adebutu added.
On his own part, Showunmi thanked the national leadership of the party and the delegates for reposing their mandates and trust on him.
He said, “Well, I will thank God Almighty who has made today possible, I thank the delegates and members of my campaign team and leadership of the party. I am particularly happy that under a very peaceful atmosphere, we have compiled with all other relevant laws, and I have emerged successfully the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun state.”
However, the PDP in Ogun State may have settled for the candidature of Adebutu because according to the party’s Publicity Secretary, Akinloye Bankole, the leaders had called on other candidates to work with Adebutu.
“The party said it wishes to extend an honest hand of fellowship to all loyal members of the party who lost out, including all those who contested but lost in the gubernatorial primary to Hon. Adebutu, to remain and work in total harmony with the party and its elected candidates to reposition the party for electoral successes in the coming rounds of general elections.
“The Ogun PDP congratulates Hon. (Dr.) Oladipupo Adebutu on his emergence as the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2023 general election.
“The party also congratulated other elected candidates, while appreciating party members, leaders, loyal supporters, the electoral committees on the “successful conduct of all primary elections in Ogun State.
“In the same vein, the party saluted the unrelenting courage of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, gentlemen of the press, officers of all security agencies and indeed, other relevant stakeholders as they displayed high level of uncompromising professionalism in the discharge of their statutory duties during the exercises,” Bankole said.
The spokesman maintained that the PDP had shown that it was the only democratic political organization in the country. This, he said, has been undoubtedly reinforced by the peaceful, credible and transparent conduct of the Party’s primaries.
“We, therefore, call on the ruling APC government to begin to number its days in the government house as our great party is adequately, more than ever before, prepared to reactivate a compassionate partnership with the good people of Ogun State in order to put an end to all the agony and undeserved misery which the ruling APC government represents,” he stressed.
Political watchers wonder if Showunmi and other candidates would agree to collapse their structures for the interest of the party.