The event that played out at the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State on Saturday has further given credibility to the Ladi Adebutu faction of the party in Ogun State.
Two groups from the state, one led by Ladi Adebutu and the other led by Senator Buruji Kashamu had prepared to attend the convention with each claiming to represent the state.
However, the Adebutu group was recognised by the party’s National Executive Council and the Convention Planning Committee, which made it clear that Adebutu’s group is the one recognised as the authentic executive of the party as Kashamu’s parallel group was not given recognition at the event.
Sources within the party at the convention stated this has put paid to doubts by some events watchers and party members about which group has the right to control the PDP in Ogun State.
A member of the Adebutu Group, who begged for anonymity, said the group would be expecting those in Kashamu’s faction to sheath their swords and embrace peace for the sake of the party.
“We have to come together to move Ogun State forward. We cannot continue to fight ourselves now that our group has been given credibility by the party leaders so that we can take over the state from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019,” he said.
It will be recalled that three factions of the party had existed in the state.
One was led by Adebutu; another one by a former Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole; and the third by Kashamu.
But the Bankole group later merged with Adebutu’s group after the three groups had held their congresses on May 11, 2016 at different venues.
While Bankole’s group reportedly held their congress at the Ake Palace Ground, Abeokuta, Adebutu’s group was said to have held theirs at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta.
Kashamu’s group was said to have held their congress at the PDP secretariat at Kobape Road, opposite NNPC Mega Station, Kuto, Abeokuta.
It was shortly after this that Bankole’s faction decided to merge with that of Adebutu.
The deal between the faction of Bankole and Adebutu was allegedly sealed during the zonal congress of the PDP, which held in Akure, Ondo State on May 14, 2016.
Said a party source: “Dimeji Bankole decided to work with the faction of Ladi Adebutu to tackle Kashamu Buruji’s faction in the state ahead of the 2019 election. He then insisted that his group must be given one of the key zonal positions of the party zoned to Ogun State.
“He was eventually given the post of the Organising Secretary, which went to a former Majority Leader of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Fasiu Bakenne, while the group of Ladi Adebutu got the position of ex-officio, which was given to a former chairman of Ado-Odo Ota Local Government, Abayomi Tella and that of the Women Leader.”
It was reliably gathered that Adebutu group is now set to re-position the party in Ogun State and start preparing the ground for its eventual take over of the state in the coming years.