Factional leaders barred from peace meeting
… As Adeniran picks form
From Fred Itua, Abuja, Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure and Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention scheduled for Port Harcourt, Rivers State, former president of the Senate, David Mark has cautioned leaders of the party against impunity and imposition of candidates.
In a press statement in Abuja yesterday, Mark blamed the defeat of the PDP in the last general election on imposition of candidates and the impunity of some leaders.
The former Senate President urged members of the party to remain steadfast with the PDP as a party of choice just as he frowned at cross carpeting at will because of the current challenges. He stressed that such inconsistencies neither enhance the sustenance of democratic culture nor the integrity or credibility of politicians who defect.
“If we must uphold the sanctity of democratic culture, we must follow the path of honour like the Democrats and Republicans in the United States of America or the Labour Party or the Conservatives in the United Kingdom who hold on tenaciously to their political ideologies no matter the odds,” he said.
He restated that no matter the challenges, he will not leave the PDP, a platform he said has afforded him the opportunity to contest and win elections since 1999.
Mark reminded party faithful to work hard in the days ahead as credible opposition and over come the challenges.
However, the crisis rocking the party yesterday took another dimension as members of the Senator Alli-Modu Sherif led faction of the party were prevented from entering the Ondo State Government House, venue of the peace meeting called by Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
The meeting, which was attended by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, former Minister of Works, Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe, former Minister of Aviation, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and former Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Chief Olabode George was presided over by the National Vice Chairman (South West) of the party, Dr. Eddy Olafeso.
However, members of the Alli-Modu Sherif faction led by Senator Buruji Kashamu were locked of the meeting.
It was a drama at the Ondo State Government House as factional leaders of the party who claimed to have received invitation to the meeting were denied accreditation by the Zonal Organising Secretary of the party.
The factional Chairman of the party in Osun State, Mr. Soji Adagunodo who made attempts to enter the venue of the meeting was reportedly chased out by security agents.
Although, a few members of the Sherif faction of the party including former Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, Dr. Olu Alabi and Adejare Bello attended the meeting, many members of the faction met at Royal Plain Hotel, Alagbaka, Akure, where they addressed a press conference.
The factional zonal Chairman of the party, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe expressed displeasure at the manner members of his faction were treated.
He alleged that Chief George took over the affairs of the meeting and determined those to attend the meeting, describing the development as “executive rascality.”
Meanwhile, Former, minister of education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, has picked his national chairmanship nomination form at party national secretariat, Abuja.
He said his commitment to re-position the party towards greatness informed his decision to seek the mandate of the delegates to the national convention.
“I want to assure our party members that my desire to contest the chairmanship position of our great party has no other motive other than to reposition, rebrand and put the party on the path of greatness. As a founding member, who has remained with the party through thick and thin and served in various capacities, I possess the fortitude and experience to help the party achieve its objectives.”
He urged the delegates and leaders of the party to entrust him with the responsibility of being the national chairman in order to ensure its rebirth and the enthronement of good governance in the country.