Ondo 2020: Endorsement of Confusion in PDP and Akeredolu’s Throne

By: Oluwatosin Adesola

There has been a confusion in Ilaje local government chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last few days as political activities gear up momentum ahead the Ondo State governorship election slated for October 10, 2020.

SUNSHINETRUTH can authoritatively report that the confusion and internal wrangling are occasioned by the alleged endorsement of one of the PDP gubernatorial aspirants from Ilaje area, Mr Banji Okunomo by the party’s local government chapter and wards executives in the area.

Mr. Banji Okunomo is amongst the three aspirants from Ilaje Local Government with A federal lawmaker, Hon Kolade Akinjo and former Commissioner for environment, Hon Sola Ebiseni.

Okunomo who has indicated interest in contesting the July primaries and campaigning to unseat the incumbent Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Pix: Akeredolu, Ebiseni, Akinjo & Okunomo.

The purported endorsement of Okunomo has however been attracting shakeups and brewing crisis among political stakeholders in the party at the local government in the last three days when the action was carried out.

A former Publicity Secretary of PDP in Ondo State, Banji Okunomo had revealed a document showing a consensus endorsement of his gubernatorial aspiration by Ilaje Chapter of the party but such claim has been countered by the local government executives of the party as untrue, noting that no aspirant had been endorsed by them.

The Ilaje PDP Executives said, “the document showed that we all signed to have Okunomo as our consensus candidate from Ilaje LG PDP. That is not true. I did not sign that document. I only signed attendance,”

“The entire public and all PDP leaders and delegates should disregard the purported barbaric and evil endorsement being circulated on social media.

“I AM NOT PART OF YOUR KANGAROO AND MYOPIC ENDORSEMENT: Mr. EREJUWA OMOTERE, the chairman of Mahin ward 1 under the umbrella of PDP hereby disapprove the above subject matter.

“I can never and never endorse your myopic gubernatorial aspiration. We (Ilaje) have almost four gubernatorial aspirants while Banji Okunomo is surely out of race

“The entire public and all PDP leaders and delegates should disregard the purported barbaric and evil endorsement being circulated on social media. Banji Okunomo myopic endorsement is null and void,” Erejuwa Omotere said in a statement posted on social media.

Also another Ward Chairman also denied the controversial endorsement.

“REFUTAL OF PURPORTED ENDORSEMENT OF BANJI OKUNOMO: I, Mr. OGUNGBURE MOSES the chairman of Mahin ward 11 under the umbrella of PDP hereby refute the above subject matter.

“Truly, I was invited for a meeting at Domfav Hotel on 6th May, 2020 at the instance of Banji Okunomo. He used the opportunity to lobby the attendees on his gubernatorial aspiration.

“For the purpose of clarity, we never endorse his gubernatorial aspiration.
The participants in the meeting only signed the attendant sheet.

“The question is, how on earth should I endorse Mr. Banji Okunomo. Whereas, Chief (Barr). OLUSOLA NEHEMIAH EBISENI, A vibrant, competent, and the most experienced gubernatorial aspirant on the banner of PDP hailed from Mahin Ward 11, Ilaje Local Government, Ondo State.

“My loyalty and support for the Governorship ambition of Chief Sola Ebiseni (ONE) remain intact and sacrosanct.

“The entire public and all PDP leaders and delegates should disregard the purported evil and satanic endorsement being circulated on social media. It’s null and void, and it’s of no effect whatsoever,” Ogungbure Moses opined.

Another ward chairman also disapproved the alleged endorsement of Okunomo thus;

“DISAPPROVED OF PURPORTED ENDORSEMENT OF BANJI OKUNOMO: I, Mr. ELUMALERO HOPE HELP the chairman of Ugbo ward V under the umbrella of PDP hereby disapprove the above subject matter.

“Truly, I was invited for a meeting at Domfav Hotel, Okitipupa on 6th May, 2020 at the instance of Banji Okunomo.

“For the purpose of clarity, we never endorse his gubernatorial aspiration.
The participants in the meeting only signed the attendant sheet.

“I can never and never endorse Mr. Banji Okunomo. Whereas, We (Ilaje) have almost four gubernatorial aspirants and Banji Okunomo is least in all.

“The entire public and all PDP leaders and delegates should disregard the purported barbaric and satanic endorsement being circulated on social media. So, His inappropriate endorsement is null and void,” said Elumalero Hope Help

Mr Olumide Akinrilola, one of the loyalists of Okunomo, posited that, “that was how you people cloned a statement for the chairman of the party yesterday in desperation to discredit a democratic process.

“This man is from Ebiseni Ward. His signature was duly appended and documented on a document. Tell him to sign the statement on a documented paper for us to believe you,” he said.

SUNSHINETRUTH however, quotes Mr Banjo Ikuenogbon, the Chief Scribe of the Party in Ilaje local government to have said, “21 Executive members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have reaffirmed their early endorsement of Banji Ben Okunomo as their sole governorship aspirant of the Party from Ilaje Local Government Council.

They said their reaffirmation of Okunomo as Ilaje PDP sole governorship aspirant becomes necessary in order to put the record straight after their attentions were drawn to a fake statement allegedly credited to Pastor Omotehinse Oladipupo, the chairman of the party in Ilaje where he purportedly said our signatures were forged.

NO CRISIS IN ILAJE PDP

Evg. Ikunogbon Banjo, Local Government Secretary of PDP, in Ilaje LGA insisted that “our attention has been drawn to the rumour making the round on social media that there are crisis and confusion in the camp of the people’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State over the endorsement of Banji Ben Okunomo by the executive’s members of the party across the 12 wards.

“It was stated in the false report being circulated online that some members of the local government executives have denied the endorsement of Banji Okunomo as sole governorship aspirant of our party in the local government.

“For the record, there was no place the excos denied such an endorsement. We challenge anyone to provide to the public a joint denial paper signed by the 21 of us to substantiate this claim.

“There was no one that pulled out from this arrangement put in place to have one governorship aspirant from the local government.

“For the record, when Okunomo was endorsed, 21 of us came together to endorse him. 21 out of 30 local government excos resolved for Okunomo and we signed a joint paper and appended our signatures and designations on the same joint paper.

“Again, yesterday, we reaffirmed our earlier decision in a separate statement and we even put our direct phone numbers in the joint statement for onward verification by anyone.

“Consequently, barely 24 hours we endorsed Okunomo, 35 wards executive members of the party out of 48 across the 12 wards of Ilaje local government further concurred with the endorsement of Okunomo done by the 21 of us being the majority members of the local government excos in Ilaje LGA.

“They did not only concur to the endorsement, they also appended their signatures on a joint document to reinforce our resolution for Banji Okunomo as the adopted sole governorship aspirant of PDP in Ilaje local government of Ondo State.

“The public should disregard any individual statement flying on social media which were not officially and jointly signed by all the Exocs with their signatures on a paper. We knew that an aspirant who is sufficiently aggrieved that Okunomo was preferred as our choice was behind those concocted, an unauthorised, unofficial and unsigned individual statement credited to three of our members.”

“The statement of individual denial on social media is a ruse fabricated by the said aspirant to misinform members of the public, create confusion, and to create the impression to the unsuspecting public as if our party, the PDP, in Ilaje government is in crisis.”

He explained further that, “however, we wish to clear by saying that the endorsement of Banji Okunomo by us does not stop any aspirant in our local government from contesting at the primaries.

“We only exercised our constitutional rights of freedom of expression as to who we think could win the ticket of the party and eventually defeat Akeredolu in the upcoming governorship election in Ondo State.

“Our endorsement is not an embargo that can stop any of the aspirants from buying the nomination form of the party to participate in the upcoming PDP primaries.

“Politics is a game of number. Simple Majority will always prevail and that’s the beauty of democracy.

“While we set up a reconciliation committee, we enjoin all the aspirants not happy with our decision to sheath their swords by allowing the interest of the local government to be paramount in their hearts instead of their personal political interests. Ilaje PDP is one, free of crisis or rancour,” said Evg. Ikunogbon Banjo in a Press Statement.

The entire political situation in Ilaje PDP and purported endorsement of Okunomo is largely clothed with controversy and confusion as well as a clear indication that all is not well with the chapter of the opposition party.

Surely the confusion will attract more pro and anti reactions in days to come before the party’s governorship primaries will be conducted in July this year.

If not well managed by state and national stakeholders of the PDP, Ilaje council area as one of the party’s stronghold will be teared apart and contrives to political battlefield ahead of the state 2020 gubernatorial election.

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