By Olamide Talub
Aggrieved members of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP’), including a party chieftain in Ondo North Senatorial District, Mr Tunde Obaude have berated the party leadership for not respecting the party constitution.
Obaude faulted the conduct of the party primaries that mostly resulted in court cases.
Speaking on the Ondo North East constituency primary, he lamented that the outcome of the election was indeed an eyesore.
His words “The Ondo North primary wasn’t fair enough. It wasn’t done in accordance with the laid down rules of the party. It was unfair to me and other aspirants that participated. In fact that was what led to court cases in the senatorial district. Presently, we have four cases in court.
“The issue of National delegate in PDP is mainly the responsibility of the leaders. It is the leaders forum of a party that elects the party’s delegates. Fortunately for me, I am a member of this forum in Akoko North. The leaders forum in Akoko North East is made up of 20 persons, including me.
“So, on April 20, following the guidelines directly from the party secretariat that the leaders should go and present candidates for who will represent each local government in the national forthcoming election then, out of the 20 leaders, 15 chose me as a national delegate.
“Now, the laid down procedure is that the leader will elect and the state will give the elected candidate a form, the individual will fill it and then the national delegate, but in my case, on that very day, I was asked to pay N50,000 for the form.”
According to him, the letter was signed for him and the money was sent through the party chairman as directed by the state. Unfortunately, the much needed results were not visible because the party chairman deprived him of his right to get a form.
“To me, he played me by obeying some people’s instruction that I should not be given the form because according to them, they have their own candidate; note this, their candidate never participated in the procedure.
“The directive is, if a local government cannot resolve, on a candidate, they will need to go for a congress. He said the person that came first, assuming we are two in Akoko North East, I came first, the other guy had five and I had 15. The first in line will pay N50,000, the person that came second, who is now forcing the local government to go to congress will pay N100,000 but when it reached my turn, because I wasn’t their chosen one.
“On April 25, I was asked to pay N100,000 in addition to the N50,000 because to them now, I was the one forcing the party to go to congress. I couldn’t take it anymore, I felt pained and threatened to take the party to court on the ground that they defrauded me, so at the end I received the form, filled it right there and submitted.”
“The congress was meant to commence on May 10 which happened. In the party directive on the electoral act, the chairman of the party has the power to call for congress in the secretariat.
In a bid to encourage a sense of fair play and coordination, Obaude narrated how he managed to “mobilize people from all the 13 wards in Akoko North East. I spent money, I also mobilized over 1,235 people to be specific and asked them to come along to the party secretariat with their voters card.
Furthermore, he also revealed that several attempts to correct the injustice proved abortive since the leaders refused to show their grievances.
“You see, every political issue comes with political solution. Challenges posed during elections can be addressed but first we need to work in accordance with the laid down rules or procedures given to us by our respective political parties. In my case, I believe what happened during the recent Ondo North East constituency primary can be corrected. If it means to go through other lengths, my fellow colleagues and I are willing to correct this injustice.”
According to Obaude, other aggrieved members of the party are, Mr Abdul Olabomi Afolami, Mr Lekan Bada and Mr Foluso Mayowa Adeyemi.