By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Ogun State, Hon. Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu on Wednesday raised the alarm over attempts by a faction in the party in the state to smuggle an unauthorized list of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja.
Similarly, the National Publicity Secretary, NPS, of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan equally raised concerns over attempts by same faction to submit a list of candidates to INEC on Tuesday night but for the quick intervention of the Legal Adviser of the electoral body who rejected the list because it was not endorsed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the party.
The PDP governorship candidate in Ogun state made the disclosure on Wednesday at the Headquarters of the PDP during a media briefing.
Adebutu, who is a member of the House of Representatives representing Ikenne/Shagamu/Remo North federal constituency, recalled that the National Caretaker Chairman of PDP dissolved all the parallel state executives in the state in a National convention and later reconstituted it after an election which was monitored by the National Executives.
He noted with regrets that a faction of the party in Ogun state led by Senator Buruji Kashamu refused to abide by the wish of the party and has continued to run parallel administration.
While disclosing that 40 candidates emerged from the congress duly organised by the state chapter of the party, the governorship candidate expressed worries that a faction that never held a Congress is making attempts to submit list of candidates to INEC.
He said, “The National Working Committee (NWC) set up election and screening committees, forms were sold, we participated in the primaries and 40 candidates emerged in Ogun state.
“But a parallel group printed some forms, sold the forms, held a convention and people emerged. If we allow this kind of lawlessness, people will stay in their rooms, claim they have done primaries, go to court and obtain an injunction and take it to INEC and it will be accepted, then there is trouble.
“The element of transparency is totally destroyed. The law clearly states that there shall be only one primary organised by a party.
“This is a deliberate attempt to make the opposition party, the PDP, a weaker party. We saw this in Edo, we saw this in Ondo state. The time we could have spent campaigning, we spent it on conflict resolution” he lamented.
He urged INEC and well meaning Nigerians to stand up and oppose these enemies of our Democracy.
On the efforts the party has made to vacate all the pending court orders and unite the party towards the forth coming election, he said,
“We have made attempts to vacate the court order but the process has been deliberately slowed down and in my view, as long as it continues to linger, democracy continues to be in jeopardy.”
Collaborating the view, the National Publicity Secretary of the party explained that the same group went to INEC Tuesday night with another list but because it was not endorsed by the National Chairman of the party and the National Secretary, the legal adviser of INEC jettisoned it.
He clarified that PDP submitted its list for Ogun as early as 18th October while the faction made first attempt to submit theirs on the 22nd October.