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
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