Obasanjo should stop listening to liars, says Dayo
Adebayo Dayo, an engineer and chairman, Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), spoke to SEYE OLUMIDE on the crises in the party, both at the national and Ogun State levels, and its plan to oust the state ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 governorship.
WHAT are your views on the Kawu Baraje’s-led faction of the PDP and the court ruling that both sides should maintain the status quo ante?
I do not know how people interpret the word, status quo. What I believe is that no court of law would support or rule in favour of something that is illegal. The Baraje New-PDP is an illegality that is neither recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) or the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Nigerians do not recognise the New-PDP. So, for goodness sake, why should the court ruling on status quo be interpreted to mean that the PDP and the illegal New-PDP should stay?
We are not saying anybody should leave but at the same time, we would not allow anyone to destroy the party. The status quo does not mean that the illegal New-PDP should exist.
In a situation like this, the INEC ought to have come out to declare the New-PDP illegal. Do you suspect any complicity in INEC’s silence?
What do you expect INEC to say? Kawu Baraje and his group have not officially applied to INEC for registration. Secondly, INEC was present during our convention where we rightly elected our national officers.
As far as the commission is concerned, I don’t think it has any business to join issues with illegality. The question I will put across to you is whether the illegal New-PDP can stand for any elections in this country?
But it is being whispered that the PDP’s Certificate of Registration is in the possession of the other faction….
Does that make sense? If any of them has the party’s certificate of registration, they should take it to their village. Remember when former Senate President, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, took the maze of the Senate to his hometown, what did he make out of it? I don’t see any sense in that statement.
For reconciliation in the PDP, the New-PDP is urging the sack of the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and for President Goodluck Jonathan to drop his 2015 ambition. Are these feasible?
Ask them whether they were not part of the convention that produced Tukur as the chairman of the party. Some of them voted for Tukur.
Secondly, let them also go and re-write the 1999 Constitution, to say that Jonathan has no constitutional right to contest for a second term. If they can do this, fine; otherwise, they have no argument.
Every Nigerian, according to the 1999 Constitution, has the right to run for a second term. Look, it is better for them to remain in the PDP than to do otherwise.
Is it possible for the PDP to oust APC in Ogun State in the 2015 elections when the party is in a state of disarray both at the national and the states level?
The PDP is a national party, and when somebody is telling us that the party is in disarray, what would you say about the newly inaugurated APC that has up to four or five factions?
In a large party like the PDP, perhaps the largest party in Africa, there is bound to be differences, there is bound to be groupings. Some people would tell you that they belong to this faction, or that group but they are still within the same party. If any of them would talk, they would say PDP.
We are unlike the mushroom APC, which is a combination regional parties that lacks ideology and focus. APC is not a serious party and it has no concrete agenda for the country.
Some northerners in the APC are not really comfortable with the party because they feel that it has nothing to do with their region. Majority of them are sceptical about the fact that APC is still using the symbol of ACN. Their perception is that APC is a regional party of the Southwest.
It is certain that the present crises in the PDP will soon fizzle out and they would be resolved like a family affair.
It is alleged that some of the members of the Ogun State PDP, including you, conspired to edge out former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his group from the mainstream of the party. Is this truthful?
Of course, people have been asking me about Obasanjo’s group and what I tell them is that Obasanjo has no group. He is our political father. He is my father, politically.
If we are to say the truth, what Obasanjo needed to do is to regard all the party members as his children. He should be the person we can approach and get our problems resolved.
He should discourage backbiting; he should be the one to encourage us to go and work and anybody that is most popular within his or her area must be recognised.
Have you suggested all these to him?
Baba, like I used to call him, always loves to listen to people who lied to him. He loves to listen to those people, who go to him and slander others and this is not right.
Obasanjo is a very rare gem in this country and even in the world. Nobody had ever governed a country and came back to the same position 20 years after and then ruled twice again.
He has this gift from God and our advice is that he should use the gift to the benefit of all his children and not for those people who parade his house to tell him lies. I can assure you that in Ogun State today, PDP is one.
What led to the expulsion of former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, from the party? Is this part of the reconciliation efforts?
One of the good advantages of democracy is freedom of decision and speech. But if you want to be a member of the PDP, you must show commitment to the success of the party. I cannot tie anybody down or force anyone to be a member of the PDP.
Of course, Daniel is a very good mobiliser; he has the political skill to mobilise supporters and that is one of the good qualities I saw in him. When he was with us, we had a good campaign and won many elections.
But that is not to say that he did it all alone. First, the people of Ogun State were fed up with the style of governance of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) as at 2003 and therefore decided to vote for a change.
It is, therefore, not right to say or for Daniel to assume that he did it all alone. The PDP also defeated AD in Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo States and took over the Southwest region except in Lagos during the 2003 elections.
But it got to a point where Otunba Daniel was thinking that he was the only one who had the solution to every problem and whoever is thinking like this must be deceiving himself. If Daniel has solutions to all problems, why did he not solve the problem within the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), which he formed?
When he could not fulfill his aspiration in the AD, he left and crossed over to the PDP where he became governor. But when he realised he could not install his anointed candidate to succeed him in the 2011 governorship election, he formed the PPN.
But now that the PPN could not fly, he puts one leg in the PDP and the other one in the Labour Party (LP). He said he would stay in the PDP, only if we could recognise him as the leader of the party.
A leader emerges in a party and it is the quality of a person that makes him or her emerge a leader. Daniel did not want to emerge as a leader; he wanted people to appoint or elect him as the leader in Ogun State PDP; that was his mistake.
I am sure that he can never get what he desires in the LP and at the end of the day, he would have nowhere to go.
He pretended to work for President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2011 elections but that was not the truth because if you love Mr. President, you will also love and work for his party.
Daniel benefited so much from the PDP for eight years and when it was time for him to pay back, he went to form another party, to whittle down the influence of the party in Ogun State.
It is painful that most of the so-called leaders in Ogun State and the Southwest PDP in general are a selfish people who think about themselves and their children alone. They are not thinking about their followers or the party.
That is the problem we are having in the state and even in the entire Southwest. The people that benefited so much from PDP kept everything to themselves and their families and they want to be leading people by force.