s the acrimony within the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), lingers in Osun, with attendant accusations and rebuttals, political watchers have continued to analyse the crux of the friction, especially from the prism of the countdown to the 2018 gubernatorial election in the state.
Many believe that a silent war broke out between the party and the Adeleke political dynasty immediately after the keen and rather controversial primary election that produced Senator Ademola Adeleke.
It was further alleged that the purported removal of the former Chairman of the PDP in the state, Hon. Soji Adagunodo was a clear-cut vendetta of sort, allegedly orchestrated by the billionaire family from Ede.
A source within the party said that the problem of our party “starts and ends in Ede. The nucleus of the crisis is purely war of vendetta; it is a situation where a self-acclaimed super rich is trying to subdue the will of the majority to suit certain parochial tendencies of a family.
“I warned some of our members against this plot to call dog a bad name purposely to hang it. I pity Adagunodo for paying such huge price for protecting our common interest and defending the sanctity of the party, unfortunately, many didn’t see it that way, they compromised and allow an individual to hijack the jugular of our party.
“To tell you how desperate some people could be, they were still not comfortable with the exit of Adagunodo, they felt threatened by the intensity of supports for him amongst our members, hence, the trumped- up allegation of embezzlement. It is disheartening that we find ourselves in this mess as a party, sincerely, Osun PDP is under the siege of a political obscurantist, may God save it’s soul”.
Meanwhile, a close ally of Adeleke political dynasty, Mallam Olawale Rasheed in a swift reaction recently defended Dr. Deji Adeleke whom many have accused of fuelling the crisis in the party. He explained that Adeleke, more than anybody has contributed to the survival and growth of the party and continued to work towards peaceful resolution of any conflict.
“If there is anybody that should be commended and applauded as a huge supporter of PDP in Osun and the South-West in general, it is Dr. Deji Adeleke. I can authoritatively tell you that Dr Deji Adeleke is not the one behind Adagunodo’s travail, calling him out on such flimsy allegation is a sheer politics taking too far,” he said.
Meanwhile, Adagunodo, in a statement personally signed penultimate Friday and made available to newsmen in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, described allegation of financial impropriety against his person as charade and baseless, with no iota of logical substance.
Adagunodo, who after initial resolution to remain silent, expressed disappointment in his former deputy, Mr. Sunday Atidade, who is now the acting chairman of the party.
He said that it was funny that Mr Sunday Akanfe Atidade , who always sat by my side during most party meetings, deliberations and decisions has now turned around, since the beginning of the unfortunate turn of events in the party, to be a major actor in these festering hostilities is appalling, disappointing, unfortunate.
“PDP faithful and the general public will recall that the State Youth Leader, Mr. Seyi Bamidele, in a statement signed on behalf of the party, which in itself was bizarre, had clearly said, “the State Chairman, Hon. Olasoji Adagunodo was yet to be found guilty of anything” and barely 24 hours later, the Acting Chairman of the same Executive Committee to which Seyi Bamidele belongs, and on whose behalf he had issued the statement, claimed that a hired auditor had confirmed hundreds of millions missing, ‘though no specific figures were given.’
“One wonders at what quality of auditor, worth his salt, would not be specific about quoted figures. Besides, is it possible that the said auditor was hired and completed his hatchet assignment, if he did any at all, within 24 hours and as such could not provide exact figures? Whatever the case maybe, why were the figures not stated anywhere in the body of the press conference?
“Meanwhile, contrary to the lies and claims that a report has been sent to me, I wish to state categorically that nobody has contacted me till this moment neither was any report sent to me. I only read about the audit in the news feed,” Adagunodo said.
He faulted the process of purported probe adopted by the party, adding that such approach negates best practice of procedures and accounting management anywhere in the world.
He added: “In all, the Acting Chairman needs not be told that the Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer and Internal Auditor of the party are still members of the SWC. I am fairly certain that they should have cooperated with the External Auditor, if he exists outside the imagination of the conjurers. Everyone behind this ridiculous turn of events is by this statement reminded that different officers are saddled with the responsibilities of keeping financial records.
“It will also be interesting to know which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Investigation by the NWC or SWC? This desperation and drives to tear the party apart to please an individual on a self-righteous vengeance and vendetta mission does not smell right. Did this auditing begin before the step-aside order or after the step-aside order?
“Knowing full well that the basis of my being ordered to step aside are outright lies, some people are seriously looking for a means to cover up their dastardly acts. I know what to do but if I respond appropriately, the credibility of our great party may suffer severe damage. I have decided to wait and let them expose themselves to the whole world to know who actually is hell-bent on ruining our party in Osun.
“It is interesting that, at this juncture, the whole of the State Working Committee feigns ignorance of all the expenses of the party that we executed between the March 25, 2018, when we were inaugurated, and October 6, 2018. This was the period fund was raised and expenditures incurred. Let me state unequivocally that between then and when I was told to step aside on April 30, 2020, I was the major financier of the party.
“The list is long but among others, the following party programmes were undertaken between May and October 2018:
“South-West Mega Rally, three ad-hoc Ward Congresses, Local Government Congresses, State congress for the PDP gubernatorial primary, Senatorial rallies, mega rally for the gubernatorial campaign, three Ad-Hoc Ward delegates congresses again, for State and National Assembly primaries.
“Others are local government congresses, gubernatorial campaigns and consultations, gubernatorial elections, Senate primaries, House of Representatives primaries, State Assembly primaries, National Convention, National Assembly and Presidential campaign, State House of Assembly Campaign, National Assembly and Presidential elections and State Assembly elections.
“For all the above-listed party activities, State Working Committee meetings, State Executive Meetings, Stakeholders meetings and Elders Caucus meetings in the House of our Leader Senator Olu Alabi were held. We, in fact, discussed all budget proposals and all expenses and how to raise funds to execute them.
“In this light, it is more than funny and ridiculous seeing the Atidade-led State Working Committee members that were fully part of all the decisions taken turning around, feigning ignorance of how these expenses were incurred.
“Whereas, proceeds from the sales of forms, including payments for delegate forms, were all remitted to the National headquarters of the party, all expenses and incomes were targeted at carrying out the party programs, including those mentioned above. Furthermore, 130,000 party membership cards, copies of the party constitution and ward registers that were also purchased and distributed free of charge to the wards are also known to all. How convenient was it for Atidade-led SWC members to claim ignorance of all these expenses? “
He claimed that the Acting Chairman was culpable in the ongoing crises in the Osun State PDP maybe because he is also from Ede, stating that though he could be wrong but added that he believed that other executive members are still not and cannot be part of the activities.
He should state whether they were aware that the party undertook the above-mentioned activities and expended some funds; whether they were aware that the party had budgets for each of these activities and that they discussed how to raise funds for them?
He said the whole allegations were becoming extremely laughable and a serious joke taken too far, which might not be palatable for the Party. He called on the founding fathers, pioneer members and leadership of the party to come and salvage the situation from those who are hell-bent on destroying PDP for their selfish reasons.
Elder Sunday Olatunde Akanfe (Atidade) on his part said the state working committee of the party in accordance with the dictates of our party constitution, will deal with all issues regarding the suspended chairman without witch-hunt or vengeance.
Speaking through the party’s State Youth Leader, Seyi Bamidele, he said those trying to paint a wall of crisis within the PDP fold in Osun State should desist as that will not fly any distance than the bowels of the mischief being weaved by the hired “errand boys”.
“The State working Committee of the party is doing everything possible to address issues as they were for the good of our party and galvanize all areas of strength of the party towards an unwavering interest of the good people of Osun State.
“To the best of my knowledge as a member of the State Working Committee of our party in the State, nobody has pronounced the suspended chairman guilty of any embezzlement, unless some people are trying to curry undue sympathy and shed pre-emptive tears when it is completely unnecessary,” he said.