There is tension in the Osun chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party over the decision of its factional governorship candidate Prince Dotun Babayemi to proceed to the Supreme Court to ensure he is declared the rightful candidate of the party for the July 16 governorship poll.
An Appeal Court in Akure had last week dismissed Babayemi’s case where he sought to neutralize the election of the candidate of the party, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
The Adeleke had seen the case as a further boost to the victory over incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola and candidate of the All Progressive Congress.
Adeleke had defeated Oyetola in the election as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
But in a twist, Babayemi is seeking the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of the Appeal Court and declare the emergence of Adeleke as the candidate of the PDP as illegal.
The PDP had held two primaries where both Babayemi and Adeleke emerged respectively.
Babayemi had however said the primary that produced him was the authentic one saying those who elected Adeleke were not real delegates of the party.
NPO Reports gathered that some bigwigs of the PDP within and outside Osun had appealed to Babayemi to let Adeleke’s victory be.
Babayemi is being accused of pursuing the case in the interest of the APC.
His campaign organization, in a statement said the “blackmail” would not deter him from seeking justice.
The statement seen by NPO said the decision is not to truncate the victory of the PDP at the recently concluded governorship election in Osun State but to ensure it translates to good governance.
The campaign organization in a statement, insisted that Babayemi was out for justice with a view to claiming his mandate.
Reacting to a statement credited to the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the party in the state, Dr. Adekunle Akindele, the organization noted that having explored all internal mechanisms of the party to no avail, the option left as spelt by the party’s constitution is to seek justice through the judiciary.
“Our symbol, Omooba Dotun Babayemi is not seeking to truncate PDP’s victory but he’s out for justice, seeking to claim his mandate at the law court. Is such lawful trajectory out of place? For all those who are now crying wolf, what genuine efforts did they make to ensure the PDP is not exposed to litigation?
“Why would Akindele and those in his mould choose to approbate and reprobate at the same time. Just recently, the Dr. Adekunle Akindele-led Caretaker Committee was removed by the National Working Committee (NWC) of our great party, PDP, but went to the law court to stop the party from replacing them with a more non-factional Caretaker Committee for Osun State PDP. This Committee headed by Akindele is the one serving as a tool now being used to subvert the legitimate wheels of justice”
According to the campaign outfit, subtle blackmail by the party’s Caretaker Committee Chairman that Babayemi had become a tool of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won’t deter him from pursuing a legitimate cause.
“We would like to inform the whole world that Omooba Dotun Babayemi has continued to pursue the good of the PDP at every level of engagements; he has continued to invest his time and money for its success and the good of the people of Osun” the organization explained
The outfit further noted that all concessions made by the Babayemi’s group to achieve the desired peace before the governorship election were rebuffed by the Ademola Adeleke group.
“In any democratic setting, winner-takes-all syndrome has always been harmful in the long run. When the Eyitayo Jegede SAN led Reconciliation Committee came, we laid our cards bare open. At a point, Babayemi offered to forego his governorship ambition if the other group was willing to come to the table with genuine intent to partner with both sides. The efforts at reconciliation was rebuffed and rejected. As a matter of fact, no one begs to be enrolled for servitude.
Continuing, it lamented that “even the national delegates which we shared on the ratio of ten local governments to us and twenty to them with agreements signed by both sides to concretize it, fell flat as they reneged immediately after the judgment of Federal High Court, Osogbo. They took all the 30 local governments. Or if one may ask: What role did Akindele and those now making noise and grandstanding play when this happened?
The organization said it has done everything within its reach to ensure that the situation the party currently finds itself did not get to this dangerous curve. “But unfortunately, at every given opportunity, they have always arrogantly told us they would not concede anything. Since we can not take laws into our hands, hence our recourse to seeking redress at the court of law. This we feel, should not amount to name-calling since we have such latitude as guaranteed by the laws of the land”
The organization added that at the height of it, efforts by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the Vice Presidential candidate of our great party and other related stakeholders, was also truncated by the Adeleke group.
“Thank God that all those involved in the reconciliatory efforts at one stage or other, are still alive and can tell the world those who have selfishly driven us as a people into this avoidable mess” it added
Meanwhile, the campaign organization has appealed to members of PDP across the state to remain calm, assuring that the victory of the party has come to stay, urging equally, the people of the state to disregard the campaign of calumny being spread by those afraid of justice.
“At this point we want to assure everyone that Omooba Dotun Babayemi is a genuine and bonafide member of the PDP who will not ,for any price, submerge the wishes of the people. He has never pretended on his resolve to always be with and for them”
A source within the party said on Sunday that Babayemi’s case, if pursued to its logical conclusion, might truncate Adeleke’s win last week.
“That is why no one is taking any chances. You know the Nigerian judiciary. I think Prince Babayemi has a responsibility to ensure that he does not bring down the house,” said the source who pleaded anonymity.
It was also gathered that the APC camp of Governor Oyetola is waiting patiently for the outcome of the case as it might also benefit the party depending on the final decision of the country.
“There are indications that what happened in Zamfara can indeed happen here,” said an APC member.