Some aggrieved leaders of the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stormed Abuja yesterday, following a disagreement with Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
The chapter was thrown into crisis after Mimiko’s defection from the Labour Party to the PDP and the subsequent dissolution of the Ebenezer Alabi-led state executive by the party’s national leadership.
It was gathered that the aggrieved members, comprising leaders of the Alabi group, arrived in Abuja on Monday to meet with the party’s leadership.
A meeting was held with the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, who was said to have brokered peace between the two groups.
Kuku is from Arogbo-Ijaw in Ondo State and is one of the key financiers of the party in the state.
A source said the aggrieved party leaders complained about the lopsided sharing of elective offices, with the Alabi group given nine House of Assembly slots, and Mimiko 17.
The Alabi group insisted on 10 and 16 for Mimiko.
The group also faulted the formula allocating six House of Representatives slots to Mimiko, against its three. They are insisting on a five-four ratio.
“If this anomaly is addressed among others, the dissolution of the state PDP exco and the handing over of the party structure to Mimiko won’t be an issue anymore,” an aggrieved party leader said.
Chairman of the Ondo All Progressives Congress (APC) Isaac Kekemeke has said three PDP House of Representatives lawmakers would join the APC.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Kekemeke said the APC was ready to do everything morally right to accommodate them.
“Yes, it is true that some lawmakers and the party (APC) are discussing the possibility of their defection to our party. As a party, we will ensure that all new comers and old members are fairly and equally treated.
“This is the only way we can unite the party and build it in readiness for the task ahead.
“I can assure you that these lawmakers who have approached us will openly declare for the APC next week,” Kekemeke stated.
One of them, Akintoye Albert, who represents Okitipupa/ Irele Constituency, at a briefing with reporters in Akure, attributed his planned defection to the unresolved crisis that trailed the governor’s defection to the PDP.
The lawmaker said the PDP had witnessed “political decadence” since Mimiko joined the party a month ago.
He said the governor had not carried members along but he rather adopted a divide-and-rule tactic for his selfish interest.
Akintoye said: “How can you just come into the party and say you want to take over the party at the detriment of the old members and destroy the existing structure?
“Everyone in Ondo State knows that Mimiko left LP because the party had lost credibility and relevance in the state.
“We expected the PDP leadership to address and handle the issue appropriately but instead, it did otherwise.
The lawmaker, who was a former chairman of Irele Local Government, accused Mimiko of causing disaffection during the party ward congress.
With the party crisis in the state, Akintoye said President Goodluck Jonathan would lose the state in 2015, if the crisis is not resolved.
He said: “How can a governor pick two sisters for House of Assembly and House of Representatives?
“The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Jumoke Akindele and Princess Oladunni Odu are sisters.
“The governor has endorsed Odu for the House of Representatives and her younger sister for the House of Assembly.
“It is against the PDP tradition. PDP is not a father, mother and child party as they did during their days in the Labour Party. I will not tolerate that,” he said.
Culled from The Nation, Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014.