By Samuel Ogundipe
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, may be excluded from participating in the PDP gubernatorial primaries scheduled to hold today.
This is according to a statement by the state chairman of the party, Engr. Bayo Dayo, who said the former top lawmaker did not pick intention-of-interest form at the party.
“I’m still saying that I am not aware that Dimeji Bankole is contesting the governorship in Ogun State,” said Dayo.
Bayo further accused Bankole of trying to cut corners to emerge the party’s flag bearer in the state, noting that his Ivy-League education has nothing to do with the political atmosphere in the state.
“The money we are using to run this party is enormous. Some people have been doing that for years. Somebody cannot just say because he has been to Harvard, Cambridge or Oxford, he’s coming to lead us overnight. It’s not going to happen. So, if you are contesting you must come to the state secretariat and obtain an Expression of Interest form.
“You must follow due process. This young man is not following due process. He’s only looking for a short cut and there is no short cut in politics.
“I can tell you today that whatever arrangement is going to happen, I’m still the chairman of the party, I must know what the arrangement is. Even if it’s coming from our leaders at the national level, I’ll still at least be an observer at whatever meeting where they are going to have a tangible discussion.”
He explained that to the best knowledge of the party leadership in the state, Bankole did not pick an intent form from them, except he did so in Abuja, where the party national headquarters is located.
The chairman, however, explained that, as at the time of filing this report, the national headquarters of the party was yet to release a list of governorship aspirant but if later released and Mr. Bankole’s name was on it, he was welcome to participate in the primaries.
“But we’ll continue to say it that he did not obtain an Expression of Interest form from Ogun State. Until that is obtained, I wouldn’t know him as one of our aspirants,” Dayo said.
In the same statement, Bayo also disclosed that a former governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel, had stepped down for the controversial financier, Prince Buruji Kashamu, in the battle for Ogun East Senatorial District ticket.
“I can tell you that my leader, the former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has submitted a letter of withdrawal for the Senate race to my office and he is not contesting in the primaries.”