The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Diran Odeyemi, who also speaks for the party in Osun State, tells FEMI MAKINDE that some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress are holding regular secret meetings with PDP members
The PDP in Osun has no executive because the party is embroiled in a serious crisis now. Will this crisis not affect the chances of the party in the governorship election which is less than six months away?
There is no political party in Osun State that is not embroiled in crisis much more serious than what is happening in the PDP now. The APC is the worst hit in the state. In the ruling party, there are many of their aspirants who are clamouring for zoning and they know that their party will take orders from outside the state to pick a particular person who is from where those clamouring for zoning want. The crisis will tear them apart and everybody will see this very soon. That the PDP is open to the public is better because we know where each person belongs and we are working hard to resolve this but their own is usually done secretly. I think that is more dangerous. That is why it has been difficult for any of the PDP gladiators to leave for the APC. Even at the height of the PDP crisis, when some people opened another secretariat, they did not put the logo of any other party there apart from that of the PDP. That means the party is like a big church with branches everywhere.
If we could amicably resolve our crisis during the Osun West Senatorial District rerun election in July last year, then even if it’s just a week to the election, the crisis will be resolved and we will win the election. The people of Osun State are waiting for us and we are sure of victory because of this.
Why do you think that the PDP will be able to dislodge the APC in the forthcoming governorship poll in the state?
The PDP crisis is what can be managed but that of the APC is beyond redemption and that is why some of their members are now joining the PDP. That shows that the APC is gone in Osun. The people of the state are just waiting for them to complete their tenure in the next few months and they will become history here.
There is this agitation that Osun West should produce the next governor of the state. Is the PDP looking for its candidate from that direction?
It is the people that will determine where the governorship candidate and the eventual governor would come from. When the time comes, if it is the wish of the majority in the PDP to pick the candidate from Osun West, we do not have any choice than to agree with them but the majority of the people will decide this. If it is otherwise, we will abide by their decision.
There is a rumour that the PDP is working to give its ticket to Senator Ademola Adeleke because of the influence of his late brother and Dr. Deji Adeleke. How true is this?
There are rumours making the round on the issue. Some people are saying that the PDP is trying to give its ticket to Kayode Oduoye and some are saying that Senator Iyiola Omosire already has the governorship ticket of the party while some also believe that it is Lere Oyewumi. As far as the PDP is concerned, we are going to conduct a free and fair primary election where all aspirants will be allowed to contest and whoever emerges as the winner will be accepted and endorsed by the party at the national level.
What is the national executive doing to resolve the PDP internal crisis in the state?
The party has directed that the ward congress should be concluded according to the INEC report which says that we still have congresses in 108 wards to be done. We are following the report of the INEC as an unbiased umpire and that is what we are going to do. Although there is a faction that went to court to challenge this, the court will rule at the end of the day and we are going to abide by the ruling. The court will rule and the party will stand.
What if the court rules otherwise?
We will abide by whatever the court says because we are law abiding people. But we will wait for the court’s verdict before we will know the next line of action.
Is your party also making overtures to some APC members who are dissatisfied with what is going on in their party?
It is too early to start mentioning names but I can assure Nigerians that what they are seeing in the APC now is the carcass. There are no serious politicians still remaining in that party. They are all with us now but we still allow them to still be using the logo of the APC but we know that they are with us now and we hold meetings with them from time to time. By the time they pull out of the APC fully, you will realise that their party has become an empty shell. You will not be surprised when you begin to see many of their high-ranking officers contesting the governorship ticket in the PDP.
But will the performance of Governor Rauf Aregbesola not jeopardise the chances of your party in reclaiming power in the state?
What you call an achievement is relative. Do you call non-payment of workers’ salaries an achievement? Any achievement that left the state in financial crisis is a failure. If you talk about the school buildings, they are just an avenue to rake money from Osun State and take same to Lagos which they have done and that is why our people are now very hungry. The hood does not make the monk just as buildings do not make the students. There is an evidence of this in the last WAEC results where Osun State was ranked number 28 out of the 36 states in the country and the FCT. It is unfortunate. The good news is that the people of the state are just waiting for him to end his tenure in November and go back to Lagos.
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