– PDP is reportedly unhappy over the rift between Senator Adeleke and Ogunbiyi in Osun state
– Adeleke defeated Ogunbiyi in the party’s gubernatorial primary but the latter questioned the outcome of the election
– Efforts to settle the rift between the two prominent members have, however, reportedly proved abortive
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is reportedly unhappy over its inability to settle the rift between the camp of Senator Ademola Adeleke and some aggrieved governorship aspirants in Osun state, led by Dr Akin Ogunbiyi.
Senator Adeleke, representing the Osun West senatorial district in the Senate, is the governorship candidate of the PDP in the September 22 election in the state.
He defeated Ogunbiyi with seven votes which was contested by the defeated candidate.
However, The Punch reports that Ogunbiyi, who was backed by some other aggrieved aspirants, petitioned the members of the National Working Committee of the party, complaining about alleged irregularities in the conduct of the primary that produced Adeleke.
TRACK NEWS gathered that Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state was the chairman of the election panel.
Though the NWC led by Prince Uche Secondus upheld the outcome of the primary, it nevertheless set up a committee to harmonise the sharing of political offices between the two camps.
The committee, which had four members drawn from each camp of Adeleke and Ogunbiyi, was said not to be able to resolve the differences.
The newspaper reports that the Ogunbiyi group, though agreed to work with Adeleke, allegedly gave some conditions.
Part of the conditions, it was learnt, was that the group would produce the deputy governorship candidate while Adeleke would drop his nominee for the position, Albert Adeogun.
Adeogun, a member representing the Ife federal constituency in the House of Representatives, is a retired Customs Area Controller.
He was among the aspirants who earlier signified their intention to run for the position of governor on the platform of the PDP but later stepped down for Adeleke.
It was also learnt that the Ogunbiyi group demanded an automatic senatorial ticket for the retired insurance chief, among other conditions.
Investigations by The Punch correspondent reportedly showed that the Ogunbiyi group had pencilled in a professor (name withheld) from Osogbo for the position of deputy governorship candidate.
The newspaper, however, reports that anonymous sources said that the national leadership of the party was unable to reach Adeogun, who was expected to write to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), about his desire to step down from the race.
The Electoral Act as amended makes it mandatory for a candidate for an election whose name has been submitted to INEC, to personally write to the commission and inform it that he is no longer interested in the race.
A source close to the Ogunbiyi camp allegedly said that there was no way Adeogun would have allegedly absconded without the knowledge of Adeleke.
It was also gathered that the Adeleke group refused to offer automatic ticket of the senatorial district to Ogunbiyi in case the party wins the governorship election.
The source said: “How can Adeogun disappear and become unreachable without the knowledge of Adeleke? He actually colluded with the senator to disappear from our radar.”
Meanwhile, TRACK NEWS had previously reported that Emmanuel Ibeshi, first national publicity secretary of the PDP, had become the major challenger to Governor Ben Ayade’s quest for a second term ticket.
Addressing supporters at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, Ibeshi who was a former member of the House of Representatives said the focus of his gubernatorial ambition would be focused on entrepreneurship development.
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