As a keen lover of politics, I have always admired a situation where those in opposition would always be on the neck of those in power. It helps the ruling party a lot especially when they are criticized on issues and not on baseless allegations. For close to 7 years, the Abiola Ajimobi led administration have been having an easy ride. This is despite the fact that opportunities have presented themselves for opposition to hit the All Progressives Congress, APC, harder.
Only few months ago, when the major opposition parties- Accord, SDP, PDP, LP and AD, decided to unite, to provide a common voice against the ruling party, we were happy that the new dawn was here. It was, however, shortlived! They are almost dead on arrival, looking ‘sick’ to participate successfully in the coming elections. No doubt, I am closer to those in the APC but I have always wanted them to be checked. It will serve our state and her people right. Opposition is very good in any democracy that seeks good for majority.
Being in the opposition is not an opportunity to unleash blackmail as criticism. Yes. You only need to assemble a good team of researchers to look at where the ruling party is at fault and you ‘punch’, for them to amend their ways. Since the last 7 years, we have not enjoyed the kind of opposition the then AD/AC/ACN provided against the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. I love propaganda too much. I have read many materials on it. Even in advanced democracies, they use it a lot. However, propaganda is good when the contents are real. Some people will say propaganda is the same thing as blackmail. No.
Oyo PDP, as presently constituted, is not ready to challenge the ruling APC. The party may be in the opposition for another 8 years, from 2019 to 2027, if something is not done in the next four months. The only opposition to APC is the APC. For PDP, it is one day, one trouble ever since last year’s parallel congress at Oke-Ado and Old Ife Road. Chief Jacob Adetoro and Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha emerged chairmen from the two parallel congress respectively. This was after attempt had been made to ‘harmonise’ the list. While Oloye Jumoke Akinjide provided the party chairman, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja nominated the secretary, publicity secretary, Sen. Adeseun nominated the women leader, Barr. Sharafadeen Alli nominated the legal adviser and senatorial leader. The action angered Engr. Seyi Makinde, who, together with the trio of Sen. Hosea Ayoola Agboola, Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande, Barr. Gbolarumi Hazeem, opted out of the planned congress at Watershed Event Centre, Old Ife Road, Ibadan. That led to the fictionalization of the party along Ladoja and Makinde’s factions.
Few weeks ago, when news filtered that the national secretariat of the party has waded into the matter, many of its members were ecstatic. They awaited the outcome. Soon, the ‘outcome’ came and it was learnt that Seyi Makinde’s faction had been allocated 12 out of the 26 positions in the State Working Committee of the party. Rattled by the decision of the National Executive Committee, NEC, Ladoja’s men met the second day to express their displeasure. Mustapha, while briefing newsmen, after the party’s ‘SWC’ meeting, accused the party’s zonal chairman, Chief Eddy Olafeso of working with others to rock the boat of the party and frustrate former governor Ladoja out of the party.
Mustapha said Olafeso, who could have intervened by finding out what was happening in the party, took the matter to Abuja to use a platform that looked as if though he and others invited for last week’s meeting were discussing with the National Working Committee (NWC).
Warning the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, against tampering with Oyo PDP executive as currently constituted, he disclosed that the proposal to share the 26 state offices neither got to the NWC nor the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party, but was a secret agenda between Olafeso and others.
Making a veiled reference to Makinde and others, Mustapha said the ‘personal interest of some people in clinching PDP tickets for 2019 elections sparked the current crisis,’ urging ‘such individuals to put the interest of the suffering people of the state who desired a change above their personal interest.’
He went further: ‘We received a call from Abuja that I should see that I bring five people each from Ladoja’s faction and five from Seyi Makinde’s faction. To me personally, I see that as an insult. We did the ward and local government congresses successfully and there were neither factions nor rancour. We did not have any problem because the arrowheads of the five parties were appointed coordinators to handle the congresses in the wards and councils. We formed a committee of 33 people. But Eddy Olafeso unilaterally increased the number to 47, until he was vetoed by the Senator Ahmed Markafi-led National Caretaker Committee (NWC).
“Makinde himself conducted the congresses in Ibadan North East Local Government Area. Honourable Mulikat Akande-Adeola did the congresses in Ogbomosho North and South councils. Senator Hosea Agboola conducted those of Itesiwaju Local Government Area, while Chief Sharafadeen Alli handled Ibadan North Local Government Area.’
But in a swift reaction, Makinde, who is eyeing the governorship seat of the state in 2019, said there has never been any leadership contest between him and Ladoja, stating that the former governor’s leadership status is very clear.
He ‘toasted’ Ladoja, saying that the ‘Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland is not only my leader but the leader of our party, the PDP, in Oyo State. Makinde, however, forgot to address the 12/14 sharing formula in the address. Instead, Sen. Agboola helped him, berating Mustapha over his comments on Olafeso.
Alleluyah, as Agboola is fondly called, said Mustapha cannot deny the fact that they are part of the harmonisation exercise, disclosing that “majority of party members are satisfied with the decision to fairly harmonise the state exco. The issue of harmonised state executive was inherited from The national caretaker executive committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi who, in an Interview Granted Nation Newspaper of Tuesday 27th Of February 2018, revealed that ‘on Oyo State, the party is harmonised since Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Seyi Makinde came in. Of course they have their differences at congress but they too have agreed to harmonise where they have differences at congress’. This statement came at the right time to vindicate us and has affirmed that harmonisation has come to stay.’
But why is this happening? They have not been sincere with themselves from the beginning. Since 2007, members of the PDP have always been divided whenever election is coming. Remember 2011 and 2015 especially. The same scenario is playing out. As we speak, none of the Accord lawmakers has officially joined Ladoja in PDP? What are they waiting for? One of Makinde’s men, my own Uncle Kehinde Ayoola is yet to leave the SDP? What is he doing? Are they on course? Are they not on curse?