The rumour making the round on the likely defection of former governor of Ogun State and leader of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has become a reality.
Osoba, had on Monday, unofficially declared for the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
He defected alongside the state’s deputy governor, Mr Segun Adesegun, members of the National Assembly, including the three Senators representing the state, Alhaji Adegbenga Kaka, Akin Odunsi and Gbenga Obadara.
Members of the House of Representatives were Honourables Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, Bukola Buraimoh, Adekunle Adeyemi, Olumide Osoba and Babatunde Ogunola.
Three members of the state House of Assembly loyalists to Osoba are Honourables Elizabeth Anifowose, Femi Allen-Taylor and Daisi Elemide.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune on the development, Kaka, representing Ogun East, said all those loyal to Osoba had defected from the APC to SDP.
He said the party was introduced to the people of Imeko-Afon and Yewa North during a sensitisation meeting.
“There is hope in our new party. We were all at Imeko-Afon and Ayetoro on Monday, to introduce the party to our people. You can imagine the support and acceptability we received from the people. I am very sure that our party will spring surprises in the coming elections. For us, we have moved on,” Kaka said.
Kaka said many of them had shown interest to contest on the platform of the party with a strong assurance that the party would win all elective posts.
Meanwhile, the power play which caused the misfortune of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead the 2011 general election, is rearing its ugly head again, as gladiators within the party are at each other’s throat over who controls the party’s affairs.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the party, which reunited all its factions, at a massive rally, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, about two weeks ago, is again brewing with leadership crisis.
It will be recalled that former governor of the state, Chief Gbenga Daniel, alongside the founding fathers of the party, former Minister of State for Finance, Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye, Alhaji Sule Onabiyi, Chief Kolapo Ogunjobi, former Chairman, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Abeokuta, Chief (Mrs) Iyabo Apampa and other loyalists, were accepted back into the party at a rally tagged “PDP Unification Rally.”
While still basking in the euphoria of the reunification, the political scheming by the leaders of the party might lead to an unending crisis again, if the leaders fail to bury their egos and self interest, in the quest to wrest power from ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
To some political watchers, especially the opposition parties, the return of Daniel and his supporters was nothing but “marriage of inconvenience,” which could not stand the test of time, while some were of the opinion that the return of all the forces in the fold would make the ‘Amosun Must Go’ a reality.
However, prediction of the opposition parties may come to reality, if the leaders of the party fail to agree on certain issues, as the state executive committee under the leadership of Bayo Dayo, last Wednesday, approached a court of law and initiated contempt proceedings against former Speaker of the House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole and ex-governor, Daniel, for allegedly flouting a court order.
It was gathered that since Daniel’s return, there had been allegation that there was an attempt by him and Bankole to hijack the party’s structure.
As if that was not enough, the last ward congresses held across the 236 wards in the state, last Saturday, was another pointer to the fact that a lot still had to be done in the area of unity, if the party would upstage the APC.
The state executive accused some members, who recently defected into the party, of alleged attempt to hijack its forthcoming primaries.
It said the returnees had become desperate to hijack the party’s structure.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, Daniel, who did not mention the names of the party chieftain, who he claimed wanted to hijack the party, said: “No doubt about the fact that some people are already planning to hijack the primaries, because when you see somebody having 1,000 forms in three batches bringing it to the secretariat, you will know that something is behind that.
“Some people have no follower and they think they can just collect forms because they want to cause confusion since things did not turn out well for them, but I have been in the system for long, nobody can push me around. They are party members who are trying to cause confusion in the party.
“Some people will leave the party and go away for years. When they now see that there are chances in the party, they want to come back to contest on the party’s platform, but there is no shortcut to a good job.”
Nigerian Tribune learnt from a reliable source that the major financier of the party, who also doubles as the chairman, South-West Organisation and Mobilisation Committee of the PDP, Mr Buruji Kashamu, has shown willingness to cooperate with the returnees.
As of last week Wednesday, people that matter within the party held series of meetings on what the likely sharing formula of political positions would be.
A source, who preferred anonymity within the party, said that the meeting, held in Abuja, was a way of reaching consensus on elective posts.
According to him, the meetings had not yielded any positive result.
The source said: “I agree with you that there is a kind of power play in the state chapter of the party. “There is a clear indication that Kashamu only wants to work with Daniel, not JMK and Bankole.
“He (Kashamu) knew that Daniel is close to the powers that be at the national level and, therefore, could not do otherwise, but work with him. Daniel’s weight is not something any reasonable politician will want to joke with.
“I can assure you that all the demands of Daniel on position sharing may likely be met.”
It was also gathered that 11 governorship aspirants were jostling for the exalted seat and that the issue of where the next governor would come from was also generating issues within the party, but the party leadership at the state level had promised to provide a level playing ground for all aspirants.
Another source, who does not want his name in print, said the issue of zoning is not a problem in the party.
He told the Nigerian Tribune that the governorship slot cannot be zoned to Ogun East.