- Category: Politics
- Published on Monday, 08 August 2011 09:04
- Written by Admin
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THE crisis in Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) peaked at the weekend with the suspension of the immediate past governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, by its stakeholders.
The meeting where the decisions were taken was held at the Ibadan home of Senator Lekan Balogun, the arrowhead of opposition to the second term ambition of Alao-Akala in the April polls.
Present at the meeting were the former Alao-Akala’s former deputy during his the 11-month reign declared illegal by the Supreme Court, Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi; former member of the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Gbenga Babalola; his former counterpart in the House of Representatives and son of the late Chief Meredith Adisa Akinloye, Segun; some of the commissioners who served in the administration of Alao-Akala, including Ayoola Makanjuola and Lekan Latinwo, as well as many other party stalwarts.
The meeting, presided over by Balogun, said the decision to suspend Alao-Akala became imperative to avert further destruction of the party.
However, contrary to the way they were pronounced expelled last week, Balogun and his group said they lacked the power to expel the former governor, adding that this was the reason behind suspension.
They described Alao-Akala and his executives as lawless, stressing that if his activities in the party were not curtailed, he would further destroy the PDP beyond control ahead of the 2015 general elections.
The group stated that since the party’s loss to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the April polls due to intra-party wranglings, they had been striving to reconcile all aggrieved members until they were pronounced expelled, thereby weakening the reconciliation effort.
While claiming to be the authentic owners of the party and describing Alao-Akala’s executives as “illegal, going by the court injunction of 27th February, 2008, upheld by INEC in several correspondences to the national secretariat of the party, as well as the Ike Nwachukwu-led committee’s findings, among others”, the stakeholders said that they were never aware of any Agagu panel said to have been set up and which recommended such punitive sanctions against them.
The group alleged that it was not afforded a fair hearing in conformity with PDP’s constitutional guidelines and principle of justice before pronouncing the members expelled.
“Such expulsion is most absurd, a figment of their wild imagination and amounts to futile effort to build something on nothing, as the imaginary executive council is nothing but outright illegality- another demonstration of their lawless and fraudulent disposition,” it said.
The stakeholders further said, “it is strange and ludicrous for a group of party members to hold other members responsible for their failure to secure re-election for simply exercising their basic democratic right to demand for intra-party democracy, transparent, selfless and accountable governance - now labeled as anti-party activities and collusion with opposition party - contrary to the popular notion that they deservedly suffered defeat at the recent polls for their inability to deliver good governance in the state.
“If we must build a truly democratic party, we must learn to respect the opinions, choices as well as the decisions of the majority members”.
While insisting that “only a credible and transparent leadership recruitment process can produce credible and popular candidates to win future elections for the party, devoid of the usual hooliganism and violence that have notoriously differentiated the party”, the stakeholders maintained that there was the urgent need to uphold party discipline, internal democracy and respect for the rule of law.”
Although they were not at the meeting, Balogun said the decision to suspend Alao-Akala had the blessing of other stakeholders, including former Senate Leader Teslim Folarin, former Special Duties Minister, Elder Wole Oyelese and another chieftain of the party, Alhaji Yekini Adeojo.
However, while reacting to the suspension, the spokesman of the former governor, Dotun Oyelade, said: “The purported suspension of former governor Akala from the PDP by a renegade group is not worth responding to as the aim is to engage in a media shouting match.
“Suffice to refer any objective observer to the decision of the PDP National secretariat that ordered those who worked against the party during the last election to go back to their wards and seek reconciliation before they can be considered as members again.
“That is the status of Lekan Balogun and his group. We do not wish to make further comment after this.”
Meanwhile, Oyelese, has reacted to the crisis, saying: “Two wrongs do not make a right. My position is that I was not informed about the meeting, but that does not mean that what Akala and his people did was right because it was a wrong approach to resolve the problem.
“However, we the authentic leaders of the party, who brought (the party) to Oyo State in the first place are already making moves to rebuild our party, which would be all-inclusive, just as when we first brought the party to the state.
“I want to appeal to both the Akala and the Balogun sides to allow peace to reign, while our efforts continue.” (Compass News)