The tussle between the national leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the Ogun State chapter of the party over the Ogun State gubernatorial ticket continued on Monday as the National Working Committee of party stopped the State gubernatorial primaries. In a statement signed by Olisah Metuh, its National Publicity Secretary, the PDP said it cancelled the conduct of the Governorship Primary election because it is “unauthorised”.
The party said a new date for the primary will be announced later. It added that any primary held in Ogun State today (Monday) will be declared null and void. “For the avoidance of doubt, the NWC hereby states that it did not authorise any governorship primary in Ogun state, consequently, any such exercise held in Ogun state is hereby declared null and void and of no effect. A new date will be communicated for the primaries,” Metuh said in the statement.
The National leadership of PDP has been at loggerheads with the Bayo Dayo-led Ogun State executive over alleged plan to impose Dimeji Bankole, former Speaker of House of Representatives as the 2015 gubernatorial candidate of the State. Members of the Ogun State PDP had argued against the candidature of Bankole who they said have no local appeal while the national leadership of the party is of the view that the former Speaker has the clout to defeat Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the incumbent governor.
Dayo told journalists that Bankole was not one of its 11 aspirants contesting in the primary election as he was yet to purchase the PDP Expression of Interest Form which would have formally indicated that he is an aspirant in the governorship primary election. According to him, Bankole had only been looking for a “short cut” to becoming the PDP governorship candidate instead of going through due process. “But we’ll continue to say it that he (Bankole) did not obtain Expression of Interest Form from Ogun State.
Until that is obtained, I wouldn’t know him as one of our aspirants,” Dayo said. “Somebody cannot just say because he has been to Harvard, Cambridge or Oxford, he’s coming to lead us overnight. It’s not going to happen. So, if you are contesting you must come to the state secretariat and obtain an Expression of Interest Form. “Those forms that are given to us by the various aspirants are the forms we are using for all these primaries, congresses we are doing. We do not have special funds for all these things. It is the money contributed by all these aspirants that we are using. The arrangement about Dimeji Bankole, I do not know anything about it.” He added that Bankole distanced himself from the party since he failed to get re-elected into the House of Reps in 2011.