Who Owns Ogun PDP Governorship Ticket?


Oladipupo Adebutu

Adejoke Adeleye
A political party indeed belongs to no one, but the members. In the case of Ogun People’s Democratic Party, the party belongs to a caucus.
After so much fights and reconciliations, many believed there is never going to be struggle whatsoever on who is the flagbearer of Ogun governorship candidate, than Dr Oladipupo Adebutu.
The death of Senator Buruji Kashamu in 2020 paved way for Adebutu to have a substantial control of the party, because Kashamu before his death had full control of the party structure.
It is obvious he had bought the state executive to his side.
Both Kashamu and Adebutu had been in fierce battle over who controls the structure of the party leading to Adebutu loosing out the Governorship ticket of the party to Kashamu in the 2019 election.
While the crisis of candidature was on, the battle for who the authentic chairman of the party was also on.
Engr Bayo Adedayo who is known to be with Senator Buruji Kashamu was the chairman of the party then dominating the party secretariat. While Alh Sikirulah Ogundele who was with Hon Oladipupo Adebutu and Buruji were locked in a legal battle over governorship candidate, the duo of Bayo and Sikirulah were also in court over the claim to the chairmanship seat of the party.
Suddenly, some loyalists of Kashamu began to disassociate themselves from the  philanthropist and aligned with Adebutu team -the likes of Alh Semiu Sodipo who was believed to be the secretary to Adedayo was the first to leave Kashamu.
Towards the end of year 2019 to early 2020, the mighty Adedayo whom Buruji had backed left his camp to join Adebutu.
Meanwhile, rumour has it that Adedayo had been allegedly paid over N100million to dump Buruji. But, Adedayo denied the allegation, claiming that he left Kashamu because of the need for Ogun PDP to reunite because the crisis was major reason why the party had lost the election to APC.
Adedayo said, Kashamu was not ready for peace but, he is old and he wanted peace with his maker so the need to unite with Adebutu’s camp because they also wanted peace.
Kashamu realised that Adedayo had betrayed him for Adebutu he installed another chairman, David Bamgbose and team. He gave them cars crested with Omo Ilu Foundation and money.
Kashamu had floated a betting company like that of Premier Lotto which belonged to Sir Kensington Adebutu, the father of Ladi Adebutu.
In Ghana, the Premier Lotto, popularly known as Baba Ijebu was alleged to have refused to pay tax. This came to light when Buruji, for his own to grow, paid two years tax
Year 2020 was indeed a year to remember around the world because of the plague of Corona Virus which befell almost all countries around the world and had shut down many businesses and destroyed economies of many countries. Nigeria was not left out.
Kashamu was part of those who died of COVID-19 in year 2020.
The death of Kashamu, a philanthropist and political leader in his own right threw many people and the PDP into turmoil.
However, the death also gave the Ladi Adebutu faction an upper hand to gain full control of the party in the State.
Here is another election period. Adebutu made his declaration being the first to purchase nomination form from party’s National Secretariat In Abuja. After his declaration, Jim Lawal also revealed his intention to contest for the ticket. Lawal made his declaration at the same venue where Ladi had made his declaration to his supporters.
One would think that was all, but during Ramadan period, Hon Segun Showunmi declared his intention to also contest for the Governorship ticket of the party at a parley he had with men of the pen profession.
The month of May was set for the primaries, for all aspirants vying for one position or the other in the party.
The venue for the Governorship primary election was set at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL).
Before the commencement of the primary set to hold at OOPL, Showunmi had been elected as a factional Governorship candidate at an election that was purportedly monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The factional election that brought in Showunmi was held at the Secretariat of the Ogun State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ).
After the election he polled 554, Ladi Adebutu scored 30, while Jimi Lawal polled 15.
By 5pm same day the party held another election at OOPL which had other aspirants present.
During the process trouble started, Jimi Lawal claimed the party’s list was different from the one summited to INEC.
He became so angry that he left the venue but the election was held and Ladi Adebutu polled 714 votes out of 778 votes cast, while Jimi Lawal and Segun Sowunmi polled zero votes.
Showunmi had approached the State High court sitting in Abeokuta to dismiss the state exco for allegedly being biased, but the court struck out the case.
Jimi Lawal too had filed suit against Ladi Adebutu to be disqualified but it was struck out too.
Not until August when Appeal Court in Abuja in its judgement declared that Showunmi’s suit should be heard.
Showunmi had claimed to be the party candidate in the State.
The question is who exactly is the governorship candidate of Ogun PDP? Is it Segun, who is not in good terms with the State executive or Ladi Adebutu who had bought everyone in the exco to the grassroots level?
When will the court pass its final judgement? Is it a few hours to the governorship election just like the case of the late Buruji Kasamu and Ladi Adebutu? Only time will tell.