An aspirant for the post of chairmanship of Peoples Democratic Party chieftain in Osun State, Mr Funmiso Babarinde, has accused the caretaker committee leadership of the Party in the state of sharing positions ahead of its forthcoming Congresses among loyalists of the sitting governor, Ademola Adeleke.
Babarinde who served as an Executive Assistant to a former governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and the PDP South-west Youth Leader, Seyi Bamidele, had indicated an interest in vying for the office of chairman of the party in the state congress.
The former aide to Oyinlola on Students Affairs, in a statement obtained in Osogbo, on Thursday, insisted that a group within the party had distributed offices among only Adeleke loyalists, and alienated other interests in the party fold.
The statement reads in part: “Two weeks ago, a stakeholders’ meeting was conveyed and to the dismay of the party members across the state, the Caretaker Committee called only a few members, while so many top echelons of the party, including former governor, BOT members and an array of former party executives were excluded from the meeting, where a lot of issues affecting the party were discussed.
“I am bothered because if the current arrangement, where only a clique is allowed to apportion offices to both qualified and non-qualified people for party offices, it will not augur well in the future. Only loyalists of the governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke were given forms.
“The Zoning basket of the party was never discussed at any fora. The State Working Committee offices that have been domiciled in Osun Central and West Senatorial Districts in the last eight years, (two consecutive congress periods), were still retained in those places, which is not right with the spirit of zoning in the PDP,” Babarinde further explained.
Expressing concerns that despite complaints across all Local government areas, the State Caretaker Committee of the party still went ahead to release nomination forms to only loyalists of the governor, Babarinde demanded immediate cancellation of all steps already taken regarding the Congress.
He maintained, “In as much as I don’t have any issue with the decision of our performing governor on consensus arrangement for the ongoing State Congress, I am of the opinion that an all-encompassing stakeholders’ meeting of the top leaders across all local government should be called where harmonised party officials should be agreed upon so that all members of Osun PDP would be on the same page to have a vibrant party.
“To ensure justice, I am calling on the National Working Committee of the party to cancel all steps so far taken regarding Congress by Osun PDP leadership,” the politician admonished.
When PDP’s Director of Media and Senior Special Assistant to Adeleke on Media, Mr Oladele Bamiji, however, dismissed the allegation that the party offices had been shared.
He advised Babarinde to continue his consultation with different groups within the party, as others interested in contesting for different offices in the next Congress were also doing.
“Elective positions are not shared. People who have indicated interest are already in the field, consulting with stakeholders. I advise Mr Babarinde to also intensify efforts through consultation,” Bamiji said.