*Party faithfuls urged to tow line of peace
Ogun State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has denounced statements attributed to a group of politicians and impostors parading themselves as members of the party in some social media platforms.
In a statement signed by Alhaji Malik Ibitoye, the State Publicity Secretary and made available to www.gongnews.net the party said, “it is a known fact that there is only one People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State and the entire country. The Supreme Court had ruled in finality and put paid to all contentions that the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee of the PDP is the legally recognised executive organ of the party which derives its powers and authority from the National Convention- the supreme organ of the party which decision is binding on all members of the party.
“It is also on record that at the last Convention of the party which was held in August, 2017, a landmark decision was made to dissolve the two parallel executive committees of the party in Ogun State (one purportedly led by Engineer Bayo Dayo and the Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele led Executive committee), and a caretaker committee was subsequently inaugurated to take charge of the affairs of the party with a mandate to conduct an all-inclusive brand new state Congress on the 4th of November 2017.
It is also in public knowledge that while the Sikirulahi Ogundele Executive adhered to the decision of the National Convention and stood dissolved and prepared for an elective congress on Saturday 4th November, 2017, the renegades led by Engineer Bayo Dayo became roguish, mischievous, deceptive and knavish by window shopping for all manner of court orders in the land to stop the congress.
Along the line, the group led by Bayo Dayo were able to procure an Abeokuta, Ogun State magistrate’s court order, barring the Ogun State caretaker led by Barrister Tunde Odanye from conducting the state congress; the National Caretaker Committee, committed to rebuilding the PDP saw through this legal loopholes and took a wise by dissolving the Tunde Odanye led Ogun State Caretaker Committee and took charge of the State Congress by instituting a congress panel led by the National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Eddy Olafeso who thereafter conducted the 4th November, 2017 Ogun State Congress of the PDP in the presence of monitors from the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja; Officers and Operatives of the Department of the State Security (DSS) and other security outfits.
After about 8 hours of rigorous voting by delegates from across the 20 local governments council areas of the state, Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele and 30 other members of the PDP were elected to steer the ship of the party for a period of four years. The State Congress was aired live on Africa Independent Television (AIT) and streamed live on other social media platforms in order to show transparency.
It should be emphasised that the Supreme Court had held that the Senate Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee is the appropriate organ of the party to administer the affairs of the party.
By the landmark judgement and decision of the Supreme Court, all claims to factions are presumed rested; that is the position of the law. Every other executive committees derives their authority and legitimacy from the Maikarfi led NCC.
The National Convention of the PDP held in August, 2017 dissolved both claims to factions in Ogun State PDP. The ordinary meaning of this is that there is nothing called Bayo Dayo led Executive of the PDP in Ogun State as it stood dissolved.
The fact that the congress where the Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele executive members were elected was in appropriate tune with the decision of the Supreme Court, the National Caretaker Committee and the Constitution of the party, makes the Sikirulahi Ogundele led executive committee the legitimate, legally recognized body to administer the affairs of the PDP in Ogun State.
At about 1:30pm on Monday, 6th November 2017, the newly elected members of the PDP in Ogun State led by Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele went on a tour of the expansive PDP Secretariat, opposite the NNPC mega station in Abeokuta to assess the facilities therein and take stock of inventory.
The delegation was escorted to the Secretariat by about 20 men and officers of the Nigerian Police from the Special Anti-robbery Squad. The police personnel on the entourage were positioned in strategic areas of the secretariat to prevent possible breakdown of law and order.
Also on the entourage were about 15 journalists (print, electronic and online news media) who covered the brief tour from beginning to the end. After the inspection which revealed the sordid state of the facilities in the party secretariat, Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele was interviewed by the press men. The interview and tour had been reported.
Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele and his team spent about 30 minutes in the party Secretariat and drove off without any single incident of harassment. The DSS and other security operatives on ground would corroborate this.
Two hours after Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele left the party secretariat, information got to party chieftains that some members of our party who are still around and within the vicinity of the party Secretariat had been arrested by some policemen.
On inquiries, it was learnt that 17 members of PDP had been arrested by the police on the orders of the dissolved and non existent Bayo Dayo led executive.
The arrested members are party faithfuls who had visited the secretariat on hearing that the Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele and his newly elected executive members were on tour of the place. The 17 young men were eventually detained and brought to court by the police today, 7th November, 2017.
The 17 PDP members were arraigned on a two-count charge in an Abeokuta Magistrate Court by the Police on alleged offences “..to commit misdemeanor to wit contempt of court/conduct likely to cause breach of peace…”
Though, the PDP members had been admitted to bail; the PDP in Ogun State welcomes this judicial process and enjoins all party members to remain peaceful.
On a final note, the Ogun State chapter of the PDP under the leadership of Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele will continue to preach peace and unity through constructive engagements with all aggrieved members of the party in order to achieve the sole aim of winning not only the 2019 governorship elections, but in all other elective positions to give the people of Ogun State the good governance they deserve.