Members of the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday protested alleged imposition of ward ad-hoc delegates by the state Executive Committee (Exco) of the party.
The protesters, who carried placards, besieged the party’s secretariat located at Magbon, Abeokuta stretch of the IBB Presidential Boulevard, chanting protest songs to buttress their arguments against the party’s governorship hopeful, Ladi Adebutu and some executive leaders.
They accused the National Working Committee (NWC) of working in connivance with Adebutu to impose delegates suspected to be loyal to the politician, thereby throwing away the results of a duly monitored election across the 20 local governments.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “Iyochia Ayu, Save Ogun PDP from autocracy”, “Election rigging is worst than armed robbery”, “Recognised elections monitored by INEC’, No INEC, no Election’, ‘Ogun PDP position not for questionable characters’, ‘Enough of Ladi Adebutu imposition in Ogun PDP’, and ‘Ogun PDP, not an arm of Baba Ijebu’.
The leader of the protesters, Idris Taiwo Olabode, said the party was streamlined to favour just a candidate at the coming governorship primaries, adding that it was a dangerous trend which would work against the party in the general election.
“On Saturday, delegates’ elections were held in all the 20 local governments of Ogun State, but the National Working Committee from Abuja accepted the results of the local governments, whose chairmen are loyal to Ladi Adebutu and disregarded the remaining.
“It’s a case where the leadership of the party is unfair and unjust. It is very dangerous for the party.
“It means the NWC are trying to disregard an election duly monitored by INEC, and trying to forcefully announce the results of a small group of people, who in any case, did not hold any congress. If they held any congress, let them provide video evidence.
“But there is a group who held a congress, duly monitored by INEC, DSS, the Police and the Civil Defence. There is pictorial and video evidence for this.
“The implication is that Ladi Adebutu is trying to impose an unpopular delegate over a popular delegate. How can a man select over 40 elective posts in the party? He is trying to impose delegates in all the local governments for his selfish purpose. This is uncalled for,” he added.
The protesters called on the state Exco, led by Sikirulai Ogundele, to look into the matter, noting that the issue, if not properly managed, might spell doom for the party at the general election in 2023.