The crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party yesterday worsened with the formal request by the Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, asking the Independent National Electoral Commission to recognise Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele as the party’s chairman in the state.
In the same vein, Makarfi has also urged the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission to accord Ogundele the necessary recognition ahead of the October 8 local government elections in the state.
In the two letters, dated July 14, 2016 and addressed to the INEC Secretary in Abuja and OGSIEC Chairman in Abeokuta, respectively, Makarfi asked both INEC and INEC to recognize the chairman of the Ladi Adebutu faction of the Ogun PDP as the authentic state chairman and accord him due cooperation.
The Adebutu and the Senator Buruji Kashamu factions have been embroiled in a lingering leadership tussle since their parallel congresses where separate executives were elected at the ward, local government and state levels.
While Kashamu has thrown his weight behind Chief Adebayo Dayo as the state PDP chairman, Adebutu, a current member of the House of Representatives, along with other prominent chieftains in the party, have supported the Ogundele-led executive.
Secretary of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ben Obi, said in the letter to INEC that the authenticity of the Ogun State Executive Committee led by Ogundele was informed by the order of Justice Mobolaji Ojo of the state High Court.
Obi, in the letter, made reference to suit No: AB/170/206 between Mr. Taofeeq Apesin and nine others vs PDP, INEC and two others to back the position of the caretaker committee.
The PDP caretaker committee’s letter reads in part, “Kindly refer to your letter dated 14th June 2016, reference INEC/DEPM/PDP/024/T/37 and be informed that Hon. Justice Mobolaji Ojo of the Ogun State High Court of Justice on the 26th day of May 2016 granted interlocutory orders directing the PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission, the Inspector General of Police and Department of State Services to accord recognition to the Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele-led Ogun State Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“A copy of the court order and list of the Executives of Ogun State is hereby forwarded for your record and guidance.”
Also, the PDP urged OGSIEC to accept the list of candidates for the forthcoming local government elections from Ogundele and members of his executive only.
Both Makarfi and Obi jointly signed the party’s letter entitled, “Re: 2016 Local Government Election” to OGSIEC.
According to the letter, “We congratulate you on behalf of our great party for your decision to conduct Local Government elections in October, 2016.
“Kindly be informed that the list of candidates for the said election will be forwarded to you by our state party Chairman, Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele and members of his State Executive Committee. We urge you to accord him the necessary cooperation.”