The crises rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo state over conduct of primary for the governorship aspirants in the state, deepened on Wednesday as the intervention by the Senate President, Senator David Mark, failed to offer a concrete solution.
Mark has summoned the 10 governorship aspirants in the state for a meeting in Abuja as part of measures aimed at resolving the impasse over the governorship primary, while the meeting which held in his private residence at Apo Legislators Quarters lasted several hours.
In attendance at the meeting were, Senator Folarin, Chief Adebayo Alao Akala, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, Professor Adejumo, Femi Babalola, Seyi Makinde, Alhaji Azeez Gbolarumi, Senator Ayo Adeseun,Chief Isaac Owolabi and Prof Adigun.
It was learnt that the Senate President had appealed to the aspirants to consider the interest of the party by stepping down for one of them, with expectation that the remaining ones would work in harmony to ensure that PDP wins the governorship in 2015.
But all the aspirants declined to accept the advice offered by David Mark, as none agreed to step down for the other, according to reports.
The aspirants had blamed two of the contestants, Senator Folarin and the former governor of Oyo State as the root of the crises in Oyo state PDP and the reason the governorship primary has been inconclusive.
The aspirants, according to reports, told the Senate President that efforts by the PDP to conduct the governorship primary in Oyo state had always been fraught with manipulations, a reason each of them felt there was no need to step down for those they suspected as the masterminds of the fraud.
The former governor of the state had threatened to quit the PDP in the event that he got schemed out of the electoral process.
Meanwhile the governorship primaries of the PDP holds across the nation next Monday
With the turn of event now in Oyo State PDP, the governorship aspirants and members of the party are awaiting the decision of the National Working Committee of the party on the crises before the day of the governorship primary.
Political analysts are however, of the opinion that the crisis in Oyo PDP is similar to what is happening in other states where the Hawks in Abuja have been anointing candidates for the party members in the states to adopt for elections.
It was gathered that the presidency and the Senate president are the worst culprits as they insist that their anointed candidates must be given the nod as the preferred candidates of the president that should not be opposed under a consensus arrangement. .
While the Senate president appears to favour all aspirants that were at one time or the other Senators, president Jonathan and the first lady, Street Journal learnt, also give absolute support to any aspirant that was once in his cabinet over and above other aspirants irrespective of the popularity and acceptability of such aspirants.
Further investigation revealed that it was part of the big agenda of the president to ensure that he has as many loyal party members as possible in the two legislative chambers and as Governors in the states to ensure a smooth administration devoid of much rancour and antagonism in the next dispensation in 2015.
In Oyo State, it was learnt that the transparent support that David Mark has given to Senator Tesilim Folarin was the major cause of rancour and crisis in the party. A top official of the party in the state confided in the Street Journal that it would have been easy for the aspirants to step down for one of them if the Senate President had not anointed Folarin; and only working towards how to persuade other aspirants to step down for him.
It was however, gathered that the National Working Committee of the party would between now and Saturday come out with its decision on the debacle that has become the lot of picking the Oyo State flag bearer for the party at the February polls.
It was learnt that the NWC is now in a dilemma as it was jolted by the threat of Alao-Akala to defect to APC if the process of picking the party flag bearer was manipulated to favour Folarin. it was gathered that the party leadership in Abuja was scared that Akala’s exit would foreclose the party’s resolve to reclaim the state back from APC in 2015 given the huge support base he enjoys in Oyo North Senatorial district, which comprises Ogbomosho and Oke-Ogun.
The calculation amongst the party leaders is that the Ibadan votes would be fragmented among the three major parties namely, APC, PDP and Accord with almost equal quantum of influence and acceptability in the ancient city. It was however, gathered that both Oyo North and Oyo Central Senatorial districts would be the deciders where PDP is believed to command a large followership. The gubernatorial election may have been won and lost before going to the polls depending on the outcome of the PDP NWC’s final decision on the resolution of the logjam in picking the party’s flag bearer in the state.