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Abuja PDP hands off Obasanjo, Daniel’s feud

Abuja PDP hands off Obasanjo, Daniel’s feud

*Ex-president, party chair meet

By Henry Umoru

Amid the insinuation that the apology by Governor Gbenga Daniel to former President Olusegun Obasanjo may have failed to resolve the Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) impasse, the national leadership of the PDP says it has mandated the state chapter of the party to handle it.

Signs that the truce between Obasanjo and Daniel did not finally resolve the crisis emerged when the group led by the governor defected from the PDP.

The  PDP acting national chairman, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed,  met with Obasanjo,  yesterday, on the impasse.  Sources close to the meeting quoted the president as telling the party chair  that there was no problem. Mohammed, who confirmed the meeting,  stressed that there is a party structure on ground in the state  looking at the problem.

The PDP  boss  noted that the national  leadership of the party would not interfere in the internal affairs of the state chapter  since there is a  structure  on ground. “There is a  structure  on ground, let us go through the structure  in Ogun State. Ogun State PDP is looking at the matter”, he stated.

The feud has raised the fear that the PDP may lose the state to the rival Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), especially if not resolved before the April polls. The polls are just weeks away.

The pronouncement of the PDP acting national chairman that the party structure in the state would finally resolve the logjam also raises a fundamental question as to which structure he was referring to.

Indeed, there are two factions of the PDP in Ogun identified with the governor and the former president respectively.

Daniel and Obasanjo

Daniel’s faction had the backing of the national leadership but the court ruled in favour of the Obasanjo’s group’s primaries, leading to the result being upheld by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It would be recalled that following the parallel primaries of the PDP, held in Ogun State where the Daniel’s camp produced the former managing director of Gateway Holdings, Gboyega Isiaka,  as the gubernatorial candidate  and Obasanjo’s camp having the former ECOMOG commander, General Tunji Olurin, the centre could no longer hold in the state PDP.

To further widen the  logjam, Obasanjo’s camp emerged victorious in the legal battles initiated on the state PDP gubernatorial candidacy  just as  Isiaka, Daniel group’s gubernatorial  candidate and his supporters dumped the PDP for the Peoples Party of Nigeria, PPN.

As the rift, which had polarized  Ogun PDP, continued, the governor,  on Friday, March 11, 2011, visited  the residence of former president and chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, to beg him for forgiveness.
The truce  was facilitated by Obasanjo’s classmate, the Olubara of Ibara, Abeokuta, Oba Jacob Omolade; Chief Afe Babalola, SAN; Chief Kessington Adebutu, among others.

Said Daniel after the truce parley: “Let me say this to you.  I am a Yorubaman and, in Yoruba land, it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, it is the younger person that will beg the older person. I have begged Baba and I will continue to beg Baba.’’

But, barely a week after the peace move and the apology  by the governor, there were reports  of  fresh crisis with the defection of the governor’s supporters from the PDP. Daniel, however, said he was not part of the defection.

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