By Samuel Ogundipe
A People’s Democratic Party governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde O. Gbadamosi, has congratulated members of the party across the state on the assumption of office of a new chairman of the chapter.
This follows the sudden dismissal, on Monday, of its former chairman, Mr. Tunji Shelle, by the state executive committee of the party.
Gbadamosi, a mogul of real estate, described the new state chairman, Mr. Kamal Olorunoje, as “a sagacious fellow who has, over the years, shown himself to be a loyal member of the party.”
Gbadamosi said the “PDP will start recording great milestones” because “Mr. Olorunoje is a founding member of the party” in the state, “unlike Shelle and Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe who only joined the party from the Alliance for Democracy in 2003.”
He added that “in making Olorunoje the chairman, Lagos PDP has finally placed a square peg in a square hole.”
On the embattled former chairman of the party, Shelle, Gbadamosi said his dismissal “didn’t come at a moment too soon.”
He explained that in the wake of the just-concluded general elections in the United Kingdom, “the leaders of political parties that recorded failures resigned voluntarily. ”
He said that a political tendency that Shelle belongs to is largely to blame for the poor showing of the PDP in the state during this year’s elections.
“The political tendency to which Shelle belongs to has led to failures after failures for our party.
“The small gains (National and State Assembly seats) that we recorded happened in spite of Shelle and his political tendency not because of them.
“Some of the candidates lost to evil machinations because of the tendency that Shelle belongs to. It’s a shame that Shelle had to be excused in the manner that he was after he failed to offer his resignation in order to avoid turmoil.
“Even more strange to democracy is the idea that he could even be contesting his removal which was done according to the laid down rules of the party considering the severity of the loss.”
He accused Shelle of conducting a primary election that brought the PDP brand into disrepute both in Lagos State and the entire nation.
“PDP was on the verge of a major electoral coup prior to the governorship primary last year. But Shelle and his handlers mismanaged the process so severely that they brought the PDP both in Lagos state and nation slyly into serious disrepute.”
He then used the moment to bid Shelle a farewell, saying: “I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.”
When WESTERN POST’s correspondent visited the Ikeja G.R.A. premises of the Lagos PDP around 11:38 a.m. on Tuesday morning, he was called a “nuisance” and hounded out of the building by the state’s Publicity Secretary, Taofeek Gani, and Deputy Chairman, Ola Apena, on allegations that he’s a Gbadamosi and Musiliu Obanikoro mole, even though he was initially invited to come around for an interview by the state’s deputy chairman himself about an hour earlier.
Gani and Apena said they remain loyal to the embattled former chairman and are working assiduously to return him to office.
Former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, known to be Shelle’s political godfather, has kicked against his removal.
Meanwhile, WP has commenced an investigation into the matter with the aim of establishing if the two men really intended to harass its journalist or the unfortunate occurrence was a case of mistaken identity.