Obasanjo/ Amosun Alliance Thickens in Ogun: OSIEC Adopts OBJ’s Faction of PDP as Amosun is accused of Unholy Alliance

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There seems to be no end to the intrigues trailing the much-anticipated local government election in Ogun state. Political atmosphere has become tensed with divisions rocking two of the dominant political parties in the gateway state. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) are enmeshed in internal crisis parties ranging from sharp divisions within the leadership hierarchy, litigation and other matters relating to nomination of candidate for the forthcoming local government poll.

The controversy surrounding the legitimacy of the two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State deepens on Thursday as Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC), accepts the list of aspirants of the faction spearheaded by the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.  The other faction of PDP headed by businessman philanthropist, Buruji Kashamu had gone to court to compel OSIEC to accept its list for the July 21 poll based on previous court orders which recognize the faction as the legitimate platform of PDP in Ogun state. Notwithstanding, an Ogun state high court granted OSIEC permission to consider the list from Obasanjo’s faction. The nod given to Obasanjo’s faction by OSIEC is largely seen as deliberate move by Governor Amosun of the ACN to subdue and weaken the PDP since Obasanjo’s faction has no visible structure on ground to win election compared to Kashamu’s faction which is more likely to pose threat to the dominance of ACN as well as Amosun’s electoral fortune in Ogun state.

This development has further fueled speculations regarding possible alliance between Obasanjo and his Owu kinsman, Governor Amosun. The unholy alliance between Obasanjo and Amosun was seen as largely instrumental to the defeat of PDP in Ogun in the 2011 general election. It is recalled that the PDP was intensely factionalized with its electoral fortune reduced considerably when Obasanjo brought his weight to bare to ensure that legitimately conducted congresses and primaries by the PDP were rubbished in favour of a list drawn up by a faction of the PDP in Ogun state. According to an aggrieved member of the PDP who spoke with NigerianEcho in Abeokuta, “it has become crystal clear that Obasanjo deceived us into accepting his halfhearted support for Olurin who was the eventual governorship candidate of the PDP from Ogun West Senatorial District. The whole World can now see that Obasanjo was merely interested in creating divisions in PDP to pave the way for the governorship ambition of his kinsman under the platform of the ACN. What is playing out is a continuation of the alliance between Onasanjo and Amosun whose major goal is to put Ogun PDP in perpetual disarray”.

Another member of the Buruji faction who spoke with NigerianEcho under the condition of anonymity accused the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun of playing to the gallary. “It’s obvious that Amosun is close to Obasanjo. In fact, we know all the steps he has taken since assuming office were to appease him. But we didn’t think it would get to this ridiculous level. How could Amosun encourage OSIEC to do his godfather’s bidding? This shouldn’t have happened when a substantive case is in court.  Is there going to be election at all with this biased attitude by an electoral umpire?, the man queried.

As the controversies on the court pronouncement rage on, a Federal High Court Friday gave a ruling compelling OSIEC to accept the list from the Kashamu group. Justice C.E Archibong of FHC Ikoyi, Lagos ordered the compulsory acceptance of Ogun PDP candidates list from the Engr. Adebayo Dayo executives. The judge also commits all defendants in the suit; namely; OSIEC, PDP national working committee (NWC), Oladunjoye, Bakenne et al) to 1 year imprisonment if they fail to comply.

From all indications however, all do not seem well with the ACN in Ogun State as party faithful are protesting the imposition of unpopular candidates by the Governor for the forthcoming elections. Indeed, an ACN member who also spoke to NigerianEcho regarding the political intrigues of the Governor agreed that the Governor enjoyed the support and endorsement of his kinsman, Olusegun Obasanjo during the election that brought Amosun to power. According to him, “as the saying goes, ‘blood is thicker than water’ the former President and Governor Amosun are from the same Owu homestead, in Abeokuta. It is alleged that Governor Amosun and his followers who left All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) to join ACN shortly before the 2011 elections constitute a formidable faction within Ogun ACN. The other faction led by former Governor Olusegun Osoba is at loggerheads with Governor Amosun over the leadership of the party in the state as well as the candidates that will fly the flag of the ruling party in the July 21 Local Government elections. Angry youths protested the imposition of candidates by Governor Amosun in Yewa South Local Government as well as Odeda local government area of the State. On Wednesday a popular candidate in Ogun Waterside area of Ogun state Chief Yomi Ismail, already endorsed by the party’s leaders mysteriously lost his life alongside three others in a road accident on their way back from the ACN state headquarters. Party stalwarts in Osoba’s camp have accused Governor Amosun of being on a mission to install his stooges under the platform of ACN since an easy run is almost guaranteed in the local government election with the list of weak candidates being paraded by his kinsman in PDP.  The drama of Obasanjo/Amosun political alliance in Ogun state is unfolding as not a few has also speculated that Obasanjo and Amosun may even shock the ACN with possible move back into his original political platform, the PDP as later events may dictate. This possibility is being touted a fitting reward to Obasanjo by Amosun who has benefitted largely from the deliberate crisis in the fold of Ogun PDP. With this possibility, Obasanjo is believed to be waiting to reap the gains of his support for Amosun by reasserting control and relevance over the PDP in Ogun state, southwest and at the national level.

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