…accuses Fayose of causing disunity in Southwest
By: Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Adebayo Dayo, has rejected the purported dissolution of the state executive council by the Senator Ahmed Markafi-led National Caretaker Committee.
He spoke at a press conference held at the party’s secretariat in Abeokuta, the State capital.
It would be recalled that the Ogun and Osun states executives were dissolved at the recently-held non-elective National Convention in Abuja.
The factional Chairman described the dissolution as selective injustice, urging the Markafi Committee not to be used by anti-democratic and desperate elements seeking to have the party’s control in the state and the Southwest through the backdoor.
Dayo argued that the state executives was the creation of the party’s extant processes and also of the law as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The PDP chieftain said his executives were also validated by a Federal High Court judgement.
He disclosed that the 71st National Executive Committee that predated the May 2016 Port Harcourt Convention ratified the congresses of 31 states, including Ogun and the Markarfi National Caretaker Committee had taken cognizance of it in their public utterances. He wondered why it (Markarfi Committee) would not revert to the NEC’s decision then.
Dayo said the Markarfi’s Committee in a letter dated 17th July, 2016 also authenticated their Exco and also listed them among delegates for the aborted second Port Harcourt Convention.
His words: “We were therefore shocked and dumbfounded at what could be the premise and basis which Ogun and Osun State Executives will be so dissolved at the recently-held special non-elective National Convention, whereas, the same convention ratified other 29 states that had been cleared alongside our state.
“This is selective injustice and we again urge the Makarfi committee not to be used by anti-democratic and desperate elements seeking to have party control in Ogun State and Southwest through the back door”.
While quoting Article 1, subsection 2 of the PDP’s constitution, he affirmed: ” We strongly posit that the National Convention cannot repudiate a validly-constituted state executives, which has been further legitimised by the judgment of a Federal High Court that is un-appealed as at now and cannot even be appealed again due to the constitutional lapse of time allowed to do so”.
He said the Makarfi Committee could not appropriate to itself the powers of the Court of Appeal by “unilaterally and arbitrarily vitiating the judgement of a Federal High Court”, saying Makarfi Committee should have approached the Appeal Court ” if it all want our executives disbanded.
“And of course should the Appellate court sustain or disregard the Federal High Court verdict recognising us, either of us will then approach the Supreme Court for a final interpretation, just as it happened in the Markarfi Committee versus Ali Modu Sheriff’s National Working Committee scenario”.
Dayo said the state executives approached the Federal High Court, Abuja for protection when it heard that the Makarfi Committee was planning to prevent it (Exco) and delegates from attending the convention and they were granted interim injunction, restraining the National Committee from preventing them from attending the convention.
He said it was surprising that despite being served the fresh order, the National Caretaker Committee being a product of the rule of law itself “could contemplate illegality and impunity”.
Dayo insisted, “The fact that they acted in deviance of two new subsisting court orders and judgments make all the decisions they took at the National Convention ‘ultra vires and illegal’
He disclosed that there would be no fresh congresses in the state until 2020 when their tenure would expire.
His words: ” For us in Ogun State PDP, there cannot be fresh congresses until 2020, neither can any caretaker committee be set up for same purpose. Attempting to do so will amount to illegality, impunity and contempt of court. Just like the National Committee did till it got its own victory, we are going to fully test this case to the highest judicial intervention. In our own thinking, it is the Sikirulai Ogundele Impostor group that was dissolved, not us”.
There are two factions of the PDP in the State. The Dayo-led faction and Sikirulai Ogundele-led faction.
He insisted that he was the validly elected, constitutionally-backed, INEC-backed and court-backed Chairman of the state PDP.
On Ogundele, he said “Ogundele was never the chairman of the party because he never emerged from any valid congress and the fact that he and his collaborators supported Senator Ahmed Makarfi while his tussle with Sheriff lasted cannot confer legitimacy on them in Ogun State, especially in the aftermath of the Supreme court judgement”.
He denied reports that he was slapped at the National Secretariat of the PDP during the National Executives meeting, saying “I was not slapped but I was assaulted by Ogundele and Hon. Ladi Adebutu’s thugs”.
He said that Ogundele was sent out of the meeting.
On zoning of tickets, he stated “at the appropriate time, we will zone it”.
The PDP Chieftain who admitted that there was crisis in the party believed the party would resolved their differences and would defeated the ruling All Progress
Dayo disclosed that the major problem of the party was the Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, stressing that Fayose was not the party’s leader in South-west.
On on-going PDP South-west Stakeholders and Reconciliation meeting held at the Government House, Akure, Ekiti State, the PDP chieftain said “Fayose is part of the problem of PDP in the South-west, how can they be holding a meeting in his house?
“The party is beyond the Governor, if Fayose is holding a meeting, let him do whatever he likes in his house, he cannot decide for PDP in the South-west”.