You’re jesters, ignorant of party rules – Babayemi reacts
BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, on Friday, announced the expulsion of a gubernatorial aspirant of the party in the just concluded 2022 gubernatorial election in the state, Dotun Babayemi from the party over alleged anti-party activities.
Specifically, the party accused Babayemi of attempts to truncate the victory of the state governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke in the July 16 gubernatorial poll by instituting several suits to challenge the validity of the nomination of Adeleke as the party’s governorship candidate.
Recall that the party held parallel governorship primaries where a faction declared Babayemi the winner of the primary election held at the Children and Women Development Center in Osogbo.
The primary election that produced Adeleke as PDP candidate was held at Osogbo City Stadium. However, the Independent National Electoral Commission recognised Adeleke as the PDP governorship candidate for Osun State.
Babayemi had filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Osogbo to be recognised as the PDP’s governorship candidate.
But in a ruling by Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, the court upheld Adeleke as the Osun State PDP’s duly elected flagbearer.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Babayemi filed a suit at the Court of Appeal, Akure, challenging the judgment of the lower court and seeking to be declared as the PDP governorship candidate.
In July, the court of appeal in its judgment dismissed Babayemi’s appeal and recognised Adeleke as PDP candidate for the election.
Babayemi had resolved to approach the Supreme Court.
To this end, executives of Otun Balogun Ward 02, Gbongan, in Ayedaade Local Government Area of the state, where Babayemi hails, in a statement issued and signed by the Ward Chairman, Awodeji Juliu, expelled Babayemi for instituting several legal actions against the party and approaching the apex court to rob Adeleke of his electoral victory.
“Recall also that the Osun State PDP Governorship primaries was held on March 8th, 2022 at Osogbo Township Stadium under the supervision of the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, as directed by the National Working Committee of PDP, statutorily monitored by INEC from Abuja and Osun State offices. Whereas Senator Ademola Adeleke duly and physically attended the primaries, Prince Dotun Babayemi chose not to attend but organized a parallel primaries elsewhere at the WOCDIF Events Centre, Osogbo, unknown to, and without the authority of the National Working Committee of the PDP. Since then, Prince Babayemi had engaged in several legal actions against the party and series of other anti-party activities.
“While he had lost his court cases at the Federal High Court and the court of Appeal, he has again instituted a legal action against the party at the Supreme Court,” the statement read.
Juliu said despite the interventions of the National Working Committee of PDP, party stakeholders and elder statesmen to persuade Babayemi to withdraw all court cases filed against the party, “he has refused to yield to words of reasoning and is hellbent at pursuing legal actions against the party with the sole aim of truncating the wishes of good people of Osun State in the mandate given to Senator Ademola Adeleke.”
“Following receipt of petitions bothering on the state of affairs of our party and alleging in particular serious anti-party roles being played by Prince Dotun Babayemi and his supporters and clandestine moves that could jeorpadise the chances of victory of our party in the 2022 Osun gubernatorial election, the Executive Committee of Peoples Democratic Party of Otun Balogun Ward 2, Ayedaade Local Government Gbongan met in an emergency meeting on the 12th of July, 2022 and after extensive deliberations resolved and set up a seven man disciplinary committee to look into the petitions and come up with appropriate recommendations.
“In other to avail him the opportunity to respond to the allegations, the disciplinary committee at its inaugural sitting on the 13th of July, 2022 issued a letter of invitation to appear before the committee within seven days to Prince Babayemi, delivered to his residence, Babayemi’s house, Obada Area, Gbongan, Osun State, duly acknowledged and received by the private guard at his house. Prince Babayemi however failed to appear before the committee to respond to the allegations at the expiration of the seven days which lapsed on 19th of July, 2022.
“The committee on the 19th of July, 2022 thereafter looked into the petitions and came out with the following findings.
“That the state of affairs of our party in Gbongan and in Osun State generally is such that had its root in the promotion of factions within the party by Prince Dotun Babayemi and his allies, and further fuelled by his group’s setting up of parallel executives in all the wards, an action which has impacted negatively in the fortune of our party and caused sharp division among the party members.
“That Prince Dotun Babayemi’s serial legal litigations and court actions against the party was a deliberate ploy to rock the boat and destabilise the party, an anti-party activity which had caused disaffection among party members, and deterred PDP sympathisers from identifying with the party in Gbongan. The committee viewed Prince Babayemi’s continuous filing of several court cases against the party as an affront and his refusal to withdraw same despite the intervention of the party’s leadership both at the State and National level as complete disobedience to the party’s lawful directives.
“That rather than serving as an influencer and a rallying point to all members of the party at ward meetings, Prince Dotun Babayemi had not been attending the ward meetings since October, 2021 till date. His absence at ward meetings over a long period of time spanning October 2021 till date was perceived as a wrong signal to the members of the party of his indisposition to the unity of the party. The committee observed that Prince Babayemi’s persistent absence at ward meetings was a self orchestrated antics on purpose.
“That supporters and allies of Prince Babayemi made clandestine moves and held secret meetings with the APC with the aim of forging alliance to generally work against our party in the last July 16th 2022 gubernatorial election and vote for the APC across all the wards in Gbongan, an action considered as gross anti-party activities aimed at sabotaging the success and victory of PDP.
That majority of voters in Gbongan felt disenchanted with the unwillingness of Prince Dotun Babayemi to forge a united and cohesive alliance with the party, an action which portrayed our party as too disunited , thus weakening our support base, and losing the confidence and sympathy of majority of prospective voters.
The disciplinary committee seriously frowned at the actions of Prince Babayemi and considered his adamant postures and anti-party activities as embarrassing to the party, bringing to disrepute the name of our town and a discrete plan to sabotage and subvert the will of the people of Osun State.
“The committee found Prince Dotun Babayemi as having engaged in serious anti-party activities to the detriment of the party, and has breached the provisions of sections 58(1) (a),( b), (d), (e) (g), (h) (i), (k) and (l) of the constitution of PDP. To avoid further damning damages that may be too costly to bear on the party going forward, the disciplinary committee had recommended that Prince Dotun Babayemi be removed as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“The Ward Executive Committee of the party at its meeting of 20th July, 2022 received the report of the disciplinary committee, and after careful and extensive deliberations ratified the report of the disciplinary committee .The Ward Executive Committee of the Party in exercise of the powers conferred on it by sections 57(2) and 59 (1) (g) of the constitution of PDP hereby remove and expel Prince Dotun Babayemi from the Peoples Democratic Party. He therefore ceases to be a member of the PDP henceforth,” the statement read.
When contacted for reaction, the media office of Babayemi described the party ward executives as jesters saying that they lacked knowledge of party rules.
“Those who carried out the shenanigans they called expulsion of Omooba Dotun Babayemi from the PDP, are ignorant of the rules that govern the party; they and their sponsors are only being clever by half in their bid to browbeat Babayemi, a man of the people. They are jesters who enjoy amusing themselves,” the statement read.