In­trigues as ex-APC chief­tain emerges Kwara PDP Chair­man

Af­ter about 24 hours of keen con­test, the Kwara State congress of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) came to an end peace­fully with for­mer chief­tain of All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC), Ako­gun Iyi­ola Oyedepo, emerg­ing as the new state chair­man of the party

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, Ilorin

The emer­gence of for­mer law­maker and com­mis­sioner in Kwara State, Ako­gun Iyi­ola Oyedepo, as the new chair­man of the state chap­ter of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) was not de­void of the trap­pings of po­lit­i­cal con­tests.

Amidst the pres­ence of nu­mer­ous po­lit­i­cal gla­di­a­tors lob­by­ing and as schem­ing to have their own “in­stalled,” yes­ter­day’s emer­gence of Oyedepo, one of the most ar­dent crit­ics of the Saraki dy­nasty in Kwara, was seen as very strate­gic and an in­di­ca­tion of the tough bat­tle ahead for the soul of Kwara State in 2015.

On the eve of the congress, it was gath­ered that three main groups, the Kwara South/Kwara North Al­liance, the Gbemi Saraki/ Ab­dul­rah­man Ab­dulrazak group and the Pro­fes­sor Oba/Col. Lawal group emerged.

The Kwara South group has the likes of for­mer deputy gover­nor, Chief Ogun­deji) Chief Sa­muel Ade­dayo, Dea­con John Dara and Se­na­tor Suleiman Makan­juola Ajadi as its ar­row heads. Other in­ter­est groups in­clude the Dele Bel­gore group and the Ha­jia Muina Sha­gaya group.

The groups our cor­re­spon­dent learnt, de­manded for the chair­man­ship to be zoned to the South with the hope of lev­er­ag­ing on it to get the gu­ber­na­to­rial ticket. Af­ter a lot of in­trigues, Oyedepo be­came the chair­man­ship can­di­date for Kwara South.

Prior to the con­duct of the congress con­ducted by a five­mem­ber panel led by Se­na­tor Barn­abas Ge­made un­der a tightly se­cure at­mos­phere, no fewer than eight as­pi­rants had emerged from Kwara North and South Se­na­to­rial districts of the state while there was no as­pi­rant from the Cen­tral Se­na­to­rial District.

There were ini­tial sus­pi­cion that the move might be a sub­tle way to con­cede the party’s gu­ber­na­to­rial ticket to the Cen­tral zone as both the chair­man and the gu­ber flag bearer of the party can­not be from the same zone.

How­ever along the line, a high­pow­ered con­sul­ta­tion among the party’s stake­hold­ers suc­ceeded in ced­ing the po­si­tion to the South thereby re­duc­ing the as­pi­rants to two; Oyedepo and Mr. Bode Ojomu.

Among the as­pi­rants who stepped down ac­cord­ing to Daily Trust in­ves­ti­ga­tions, were Mr.Sun­day Fagbemi, Rev. Bunmi Olu­sona, Mr. Rex Ola­woye, Al­haji Ab­dulka­dir Manko, and Yunusa Ya­haya.

The re­sult de­clared on Wed­nes­day morn­ing by the congress com­mit­tee chair­man, Se­na­tor Ge­made, in­di­cated that three as­pi­rants even­tu­ally con­tested for the num­ber one po­si­tion in­clud­ing Ojomu, Oyedepo and Maryam Al-Has­san who is from the North Se­na­to­rial District as well as the in­terim pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary of the party prior to the elec­tion.

Among the gla­di­a­tors who lob­bied to have their own in­stalled in party po­si­tions in­cluded chair­man of Federal Char­ac­ter Com­mis­sion, Pro­fes­sor Oba Ab­dulra­heem, Se­na­tor Gbe­misola Rukayyat Saraki, for­mer gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date of the de­funct Ac­tion Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Dele Bel­gore, Se­na­tor Simeon Aji­bola rep­re­sent­ing Kwara Cen­tral, spe­cial ad­viser on Na­tional As­sem­bly Mat­ters, Se­na­tor Sal­man Ajadi, and chair­man of Nigeria Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil (NEPC), Al­haji Isa Bio Ibrahim.

Though vir­tu­ally all the stake­hold­ers had in­put in the emer­gence of the new ex­ec­u­tive, Gbemi and Bel­gore ap­peared to have had the up­per hand with the emer­gence of Oyedepo be­lieved to have been backed and put for­ward by the duo. the other as­pi­rant, Oyedepo is a loy­al­ist of Bel­gore. He de­fected to PDP from APC the same day and at the same venue with Bel­gore and Olu­sona who also stepped down ap­par­ently to aid Ako­gun’s emer­gence as chair­man.

Our cor­re­spon­dent was re­li­ably

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