ANALYSIS: Conspiracy, chairmanship tussle, powerblocs differences – issues that will shape Osun PDP guber primaries
The gubernatorial primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun state is slated to hold on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Every member including apologists of the opposition party in the state are anxiously waiting for the outcome of the primary election. Unlike the APC who allowed members of the party to elect the flagbearer of the party through direct primary, the PDP will engage in “indirect primary” where delegates across party structures in the state will be allowed to elect the flagbearer of the party.
WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that more than seven strong politicians in the opposition party expressed interest in the guber race but six people later bought the gubernatorial nomination form. These six aspirants are namely; Senator Ademola Adeleke, Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, Sanya Omirin, Fatai Akinade Akinbade, Dele Adeleke and Otunba Dotun Babayemi.
Political analysts in the state have expressed worry over the number of aspirants battling the guber ticket of the party. They expected the opposition party who left the corridor of power in the state barely 12 years ago to present a unified candidate to defeat the incumbent governor of the state after the opposition party was narrowly defeated in a rerun election. But reverse was the case, the political situation that allegedly caused the narrow defeat in 2018 has gone worse and messier.
Recall that in 2018, three people namely; Akin Ogunbiyi, Fatai Akinade Akinbade and Senator Ademola Adeleke bought PDP guber nomination forms but it was stiff contest between business mogul, Akin Ogunbiyi and Senator Ademola Adeleke. But the 2022 PDP guber contest is different. It will be a serious battle between six aspirants who are desperately ready to become the flagbearer of the party.
Barely a year after the electoral loss the party witnessed in 2018, recent developments have shown that the opposition party has not only reflected its loss but learnt no lesson. The party in its consolation state has witnessed a sharp division as a result of attempts to claim the soul of the party and its leadership against 2022 gubernatorial election in the state.
Olusoji Adagunodo was suspended as the chairman of the party. His vice, Elder Atidade became acting chairman before the PRO of the party, Sunday Bisi rose to the chairmanship position. Currently, a faction loyal to Soji Adagunodo who is now National Vice-Chairman of the party recently held a meeting and presented Wale Ojo as the chairman of the main opposition party in the state. They widely shared some court documents affirming their position on Wale Ojo but as at the time of filing this report, WITHIN NIGERIA can not confirm the authenticity of the said documents.
As the battle for the soul of the party aggresively continues, the division within the party worsens. Followers of each aspirant have now taken side. Akin Ogunbiyi, a PDP guber aspirant has the backing of Soji Adagunodo who is now the National Vice-Chairman (South West) of the Peoples Democratic Party and Senator Ademola Adeleke, another guber aspirant has the backing of the embattled state chairman of the party, Sunday Bisi.
The embattled chairman of the PDP, Sunday Bisi had in several interviews declared his support for Senator Ademola Adeleke, citing that his performance at the 2018 poll deserves a return ticket in 2022. This position of the embattled chairman has aggreviated the crisis rocking the main opposition in the state as other guber aspirants such as Sanya Omirin, Dele Adeleke, Fatai Akinade Akinbade and Otuna Dotun Babayemi reportedly formed a coalition and agreed to work alongside the proxy leadership of Wale Ojo who inagruably has the backing of Soji Adagunodo, National Vice-Chairman (South-west) of the party.
WITHIN NIGERIA clearly observed that the battle for the PDP guber ticket is between Senator Ademola Adeleke’s camp and the ‘choice’ of the coalition of the other aspirants. There are speculations that there is possible reconciliation but it is likely possible that the demands of both camps will frustrate the reconciliation moves.
Besides the demands of both camps that might likely frustrate reconciliation moves and deeply rooted conspiracy associated with tussle for the soul of the party, there is a greater conspiracy which is the wrestle between powerblocs at the national level of the party. Dele Adeleke, a nephew of Senator Ademola Adeleke who was also his agent at the 2018 guber election is no doubt the product of the conspiracy and cold war between powerblocs in the party.
There are claims that former vice president and 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar is in support of the candidacy of Senator Ademola Adeleke while the governor of Oyo state, Seyi Makinde and his counterpart in Rivers, Nyesom Wike are in support of Dele Adeleke. As at the time of filing this report, several meeting have been held and more meetings would still take place before the party’s guber primary but there are doubts that any aspirant who emerged as the flagbearer of the party might likely contest the election with APC candidate, Gboyega Oyetola as a political orphan.
Sodiq Lawal Chocomilo
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