Former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, on Sunday, in Okuku, said he pitched his tent with Alhaji Baraje-led faction of the party because of what he termed excesses and anti-democratic dispositions of the national chairman, Alhaji Tukur.
He alleged that the many excesses of Alhaji Tukur and his penchant for running the national secretariat of the party from his home culminated in series of crisis rocking the party.
Oyinlola, while addressing a rally organised by his supporters from the 30 local government areas of the state, at Odo-Otin Grammar School football field in Okuku, his hometown, said the Yar’Adua Centre, where Baraje-led group met after staging a walk-out from the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the PDP mini convention, was originally booked for a wedding reception.
He said the five governors, including the Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, who walked out of the mini convention at Eagle Square, were fighting the injustice of his removal as the PDP’s scribe.
“Tukur was engaged in too many excesses and all my efforts to make him realise this failed. When our executive council came on board, he was doing the party meeting from his private house rather than from the party secretariat.
“It was not true that I left their convention under the pretext that I wanted to go to the toilet. It was not easy for me to stay there and watch what they were doing there. They locked out the Adamawa State governor and his people. They doctored the lists of delegates from Anambra and Rivers states,” he added.
According to Oyinlola, “the current crisis rocking the PDP commenced in 2010, when President Jonathan declared his intention to contest the 2011 presidential election, as some serving PDP governors were not favourably disposed towards his ambition.
“President Jonathan called me at about 1.00 a.m sometimes in 2010 and requested that I should come to see him in Abuja. I honoured him and when I got to him, he told me of his ambition to contest the presidential election and sought for my support
“The president later told me that he knew that my hands are tied, but I told him immediately that I am not a goat so no one could tie me. His belief was that I would give maximum support to General Ibrahim Babangida because of my relationship with him and interestingly, Jonathan had 99 out of 100 votes cast by delegates from Osun State,” he added.
He accused the president of taking sides in the process that led to his removal as the national secretary of the party, adding that all peace meetings called by notable leaders of the party to resolve the matter were deadlocked.
Oyinlola, who was accompanied to the rally by his wife, Omolola and former state chairman of the party, Alhaji Ademola Razaq, said he was the recognised national secretary of the party and remained the leader of the party in Osun State, contrary to claim by some leaders of the party that he would be disciplined.
Oyinlola said he had not flouted any provision of the constitution of the party by teaming up with like minds to form a parallel faction, contending that “the PDP constitution does not prevent anyone from teaming up with like minds.”
Recalling the genesis of his travails, Oyinlola said “my problem with my former boss, Alhaji Tukur, started right from my first day in office. He introduced some strange things like creating the office of the chief of staff and others. I kicked against this development and he took offence to my action.
“Tukur ruined the PDP when he started fighting everybody. He fought the governor of his state and other northern governors. He believed he could do everything on his own without the support of other people. Now, he has ruined the party.”
He said President Jonathan was aware of his face-off with Tukur and did nothing to settle it, adding that “even when the president called both of us to a parley in Abuja, nothing meaningful was achieved.”
Oyinlola lamented that the South-West was marginalised in the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP, stressing that the new leadership of the party under Alhaji Kawu Baraje would do justice to correct the anomaly.
16 govs attend post-mini convention dinner Sixteen PDP governors, on Sunday night, attended the party’s post-mini convention dinner hosted by President Jonathan.
Also in attendance were party leaders and chieftains, including former PDP chairmen, Barnabas Gemade, Dr Haliru Bello and Ahmadu Alli; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha; Senator Ibrahim Mantu, Senator Ken Nnamani; Chief Bode George, Senator Andy Uba, among others.
Former governors at the dinner were Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha (Bayelsa), Boni Haruna (Adamawa) and Sam Egwu (Ebonyi). Also in attendance were Professor Jerry Gana; chairman, PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih; PDP chairman, Alhaji Tukur, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa and Ambassador Aminu Wali.
Governors in attendance included Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Hassan Dankwabo (Gombe) and the acting governor of Taraba State, Garba Umar.
Also in attendance were Governors Usman Dakingari (Kebbi), Emmanuel Udua-ghan (Delta), Theodore Orji (Abia), Gabriel Suswam (Benue) and Jonah Jang (Plateau).
Others were Governors Idris Wada (Kogi), Mukhtar Yero (Kaduna), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi).