The two warring factions in the Ogun state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have resolved their differences and have decided to work together ahead of the 2023 elections.
Leaders and members of the two factions, who met with the national leadership of the party in Abuja on Wednesday, regretted that the crisis, which lasted for 12 years, destroyed the PDP in the state.
Addressing the national party leaders, a former House of Representatives member, Mr. Ladi Adebutu, blamed the party’s loss in Ogun in the 2019 election on the protracted crisis.
Adebutu, who was one of the party’s factional governorship candidates for the election, said the PDP presently has only one elective position out of 40.
A former senator, Buruji Kashamu, who was the leader of the other faction, was cleared by the courts as the authentic governorship candidate of the PDP for the 2019 election. Kashamu did not attend the meeting.
Adebutu said, “At the end of the day, unfortunately, we lost the election woefully. But today, it is my pleasure to present to you the state working committee of the other faction.
“Our own faction, we have been at peace and we have been recognised by the National Working Committee of the party.
“And to the glory of God today, am happy to present to you the Secretary of the Ogun faction of the PDP, by name Honourable Semiu Sodipo.
“What this means is that out of 14, we have 10 led by the factional secretary returning fully to the mainstream and totally aligning to the dictates of the party at the national level”.
Also speaking at the meeting, Sodipo said, “I want to join our leader (Adebutu) in informing you that the crisis in Ogun state has really come to an end.
“I was part of the problem, I have been acting secretary, I was acting secretary 2009 to 2010. I was the one who conducted one of the congresses for the 2011 election.
“The problem started with the government. Some of us were making some inaudible noise here and there. Later, we started raising our voice and it became audible and some of our leaders bought into it.
“And the crisis started, gaining momentum until Senator Buruji Kashamu came in and said we could force what we wanted on the national secretariat. And we started it.
“But we have realised that controlling the structure does not mean controlling the people. And it does not really translate to victory.
“We conducted elections three times; in 2011, 2014 and 2019 but nothing came out of it. I now look at the whole thing; what can we do? Except we do what is necessary, without the national headquarters working with us, we will not make any progress”.
Expressing delight over reconciliation, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus commended the two factions for burying their differences.
“This shows clearly, that PDP has an internal conflict resolution mechanism to settle issues that have been lingering for a long time.
“By your statement and your submission today, it means that all ramblings in Ogun state have been put to rest, including the legal issues.
“We are glad that you have come and we assure you that you will receive all attention from the party headquarters and in accordance with the constitution of our party.
“It is also very clear that only the national body, in conjunction with the state, can conduct all congresses, primaries and can submit list of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” Secondus said.
The party chairman enjoined them to jealously guard their new found unity and to work together as a united team ahead of the 2023 general elections.