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PDP Expels Adedibu, Adeojo

Posted by From Ademola Adeyemo on 2004/07/23 | Views: 2568 |

PDP Expels Adedibu, Adeojo

The crisis in the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Oyo State branch worsened yesterday with the expulsion of two of the party's leaders, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and Alhaji Yekeen Adeojo, the governorship candidate in the 1999 election.

'It's a huge joke'

The crisis in the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Oyo State branch worsened yesterday with the expulsion of two of the party's leaders, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and Alhaji Yekeen Adeojo, the governorship candidate in the 1999 election.

However, Adedibu, generally known as the strongman of Ibadan politics, said the expulsion was "a huge joke".

The expulsion of the two party leaders was announced yesterday at the enlarged meeting of the state caucus of the party held at the party's secretariat on Elizabeth Road, Ibadan.

The meeting which was summoned by the chairman, Chief Adedokun Adegbite, was attended by over 300 delegates from the 33 local government areas in the state.

Also at the meeting were Governor Rasheed Ladoja, his deputy, Otunba Christopher Alao Akala, former Minister of Power and Steel, Elder Wole Oyelese, Senator Brimmo Yemi Yusuf and other leaders.

Explaining the reasons for yesterday's meeting, Adegbite said since the inception of the PDP government in the state, there had been series of socio-political crisis plaguing both the government and the state branch of the party.

"I have answered several queries from Abuja on the fall of Awo's statue in Government House, on the fight at NUJ centre, on the impeachment bid against our governor, on rumours of uncivilised political outings characterized by thuggery, shooting and looting. It has all the while been a period of joy and sorrow mixed together, joy for having the government and sorrow for not having peace," he said.

Adegbite also listed series of futile intervention aimed at restoring peace in the state by the party headquarters in Abuja.

According to him, "the climax of the crisis was the attack on the governor's official car during which his two drivers were badly injured right in the presence of Chief Audu Ogbeh (PDP National Chairman) and his executives."

He told members "to fashion a way out of the crisis," adding that "two or few individuals cannot be bigger than the party."

"No matter the depth of personal grudges, self -centred expectations and self-seeking psycophancies, the party shall not only move forward but continue to win in the future elections," Adegbite added.

After various contributions on the crisis by the party leaders present, former Minister of Power and Steel, Oyelese, moved the motion for the expulsion of Adedibu while Dr Dejo Raimi, former Secretary to the State Government, moved the motion for Adeojo's expulsion. The two motions were supported by majority of the delegates.

Although Adedibu and Adeojo were absent at the meeting, some party stalwarts said to be supporters of the two men attended the meeting. Addressing the party members after the passing of the expulsion motions, Ladoja explained that if Adedibu and Adeojo were left in the party till 2007, PDP will lose the confidence of the people and consequently lose the state to a rival party.

"We have been tolerating them. We thought they will tread the path of reason. We ignored them because their antics could not stop the government from implementing the welfare programme for the people.

"I want to state here that their cup is now full because they have introduced violence into the crisis even after the intervention of various well-meaning people in and outside Oyo State.

"Now that they are no longer members of our party, if any one of them causes trouble, the full weight of the law shall be visited on them, it will no longer be business as usual," he said.

The governor also promised to notify the national headquarters of the PDP about the decision of the state chapter to expel the two party leaders.

"I accept my position as the party leader in the state, I will communicate your decision to Abuja for the necessary action," he added.

Also commenting on the outcome of the meeting, Senator Brimmo-Yusuf who was the chairman of the communique communication committee said after reviewing the crisis, the party condemned the activities of Adedibu and Adeojo groups.

"We condemned their behaviour and conduct which has brought the party into disrepute in the state. In order to restore sanity, Chief Adedibu and Adeojo have been expelled from the party henceforth.

"The state executive has been mandated to investigate other trouble makers among us and take appropriate action," he said.

But in his reaction Adedibu described the explusion as "a huge joke."

"Nobody can remove me. We owned the party together, they are joking," he said.

Adedibu who spoke through his aide, one Azeem said "Has Baba (Adedibu) been called to any disciplinary committee and he refused to come? Or has he been found guilty of any offence by any committee of the party?

"So it is a huge joke. It is a kangaroo meeting. Have you ever had such a thing? They are like Baba Sala (comedian Moses Olaiya)," he added.

Azeem explained that the central working committee (CWC) of the party which visited Ibadan last week had promised to make a statement concerning the crisis." So the explusion is a pre-empive one," he said.

The crisis between Adedibu and Ladoja came into the open shortly after the PDP government came to power last year.

Adedibu initially complained that the governor was not spreading largesse to all the members of the party who ensured his defeat of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

Last month, the party's headquarters invited the two men to Abuja for reconciliatory talks. The party leadership led by Ogbeh however last Monday paid another visit to Ibadan as a follow up to the reconciliatory efforts.

During the team's visit to Adedibu's Molete, Ibadan residence, the man popularly called the 'strongman of Ibadan politics' pointedly told Ogbeh that the Abuja peace pact had collapsed as he claimed the governor had reneged on the agreements.

He also named one Chief Bayo Bankole from Ogbomoso as the new state chariman.

A perplexed Ogbeh attempted to calm him down as he launched verbal attack on the governor. He said Ladoja should be held responsible for "any breakdown of law and order. It seems the governor is hell-bent in rubbishing me."

"Why must he choose the Secretary to the State Govern-ment (SSG), Commissioner for Finance, and Health from his ward? We are not going to agree with that and we shall fight him and by the grace of God we shall win.

"We have dissolved the party executive and we want you to only pronounce it. Today, he is the governor and we can overrun him in the Government House," he told Ogbeh and the other members of the party's national leadership.

However, the PDP national leadership later in Abuja on Wednesday condemned the previous actions and methods adopted by Adedibu group.

The national publicity secretary, Venatius Ikem told journalists in Abuja that "the party wasn't impressed with the attitude of the Adedibu group."

"Definitely, not impressed. May be, they have their own bottled up frustrations but certainly their method was crude to say the least. I think no civilised political party or organisation will not frown at that. We will definitely frown at the attitude," he said, while acknowledging that "there were some irreconcillable differences between the groups."

Ikem also noted that "apparently some leaders of the party in the state are so disaffected that they are not being involved in the management of governance and all that. They also insist that they must have some input in the party rather than allow the governor take total control of governance and the party. I think basically that is what I can draw as the dividing line."

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