…says arrangement on ticket in party’s best interest
The resignation of the Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Dr. Kola Balogun, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been described as an act of ingratitude and self-conceitedness.
A sociopolitical group, which worked for his election and that of Governor Seyi Makinde, in 2019, the Oyo Kajola Group (OKG), on Monday, stated that the senator’s attack on Makinde over the Oyo South PDP Senatorial ticket for the 2023 election was unfair, baseless and self-serving.
The group, in a statement by its Media Coordinator, Comrade Adebayo Ayandele, particularly expressed its disappointment in Senator Balogun for dragging the name of the Olubadan of Ibadanland into the arena with a view to causing bad blood between Ibadan people and Governor Makinde.
According to the group, Senator Balogun’s vituperations and conduct were unconscionable and condemnable and amounted to poisoning the same river he drank from in 2019, wondering how his alleged failure to secure the PDP ticket has got to do with the Olubadan.
The group said the claim that Governor Makinde denied him the second term ticket because he would not be able to control the Balogun family, with one as the Olubadan and the other as senator, is not only childish but also farcical.
“We have read a report containing the vituperations of the senator representing Oyo South, Senator Kola Balogun against Governor Seyi Makinde for allegedly denying him [Balogun] a second term ticket.
“We also read the news of Senator Balogun’s purported resignation from the PDP and waited to read a rebuttal from the senator, whether he would describe the two reports as fake news. But no rebuttal has come.
“Senator Balogun, to all intent and purpose, was wrong to have publicly attacked Makinde and heap the blame on the governor for denying him a second term as if the ticket were his right.
“His words and subsequent resignation from the PDP, which chose to trust him with its senatorial ticket in 2019 at a time he had been roundly rejected and ignored in the All Progressives Congress (APC), have shown that he is not a democrat.
“As expected of this period when political parties decide on its standard-bearers for the next general election, politicians say and do unexpected things. But in the end, democrats come around to support their parties after standard-bearers have been decided. But that is not the case with Senator Balogun.
“To set the records straight, the Oyo South PDP senatorial ticket, over which Senator Balogun attacked the governor and tried to set Ibadan people against his government by dragging the Olubadan of Ibadanland into the political arena, has not been given to anyone.
“Though Governor Makinde has encouraged the PDP in Oyo State to pick its candidates by consensus in order to avoid the rancour and heavy financial resources that will be expended on primaries, he has also insisted that any area where the consensus option fails will go ahead with primaries.
“The Electoral Act is also clear on this, as it permits that any aspirant who has purchased forms and refuses to sign off on consensus can participate in primaries. So, he [Balogun] still reserves the right to contest in the PDP primary if he so wishes.
“But rather than explore that democratic means, we are surprised that he has chosen pettiness, trying to start an unwarranted war between the throne and the government and mouthing how much he has given to party leaders and all sorts.
“Senator Balogun, in his fiendish plan to bully the PDP into giving him the senatorial ticket willy-nilly like he enjoyed in 2019, said the governor is afraid that he would not be able to control the Olubadan and himself, the question is in what ways can a governor control a monarch of Olubadan’s standing or even a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
“Governor Makinde has made it clear that the Olubadan Traditional System must operate without external control and he would never seek to meddle in the affairs of the Olubadan.
So we urge Senator Balogun to find another excuse for his planned dalliance with the APC.
“Sadly, this senator was accused of unholy fraternisation with the APC presidential aspirant, Senator Bola Tinubu, when the latter visited the palace of Olubadan and he [Senator Balogun] had been quick to issue a rebuttal. But his actions now appear to put a lie to that rebuttal.”
The group added that whatever arrangement has been made on the Oyo South senatorial ticket of the PDP was in the interest of the party, noting that any effort to strengthen the hands of the ruling party in the state should be supported by all well-meaning party members.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the choice of Chief Olasunkanmi Tegbe as a consensus candidate was not forced by Governor Makinde and whatever arrangement PDP had with Tegbe is not strange. It had the same arrangement with Dr. Kola Balogun in 2019, which resulted in his picking the PDP ticket without a fight, though he did not participate in the PDP primaries.
“He, Senator Balogun, is the basis for Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi’s grievances with the PDP hierarchy till date. So, if the arrangement worked well and it favoured Balogun in 2019, why should he think that arrangement is now anathema?
“Shall we say that because the winner of the PDP primaries in 2019, Chief Bayo Lawal, is not from a royal family, then he could be treated anyhow and now that the same equation appears not to favour Kola Balogun, then it is an assault against the Olubadan? That is unthinkable and fiendish.
“As an organisation, which laboured hard for the success of the PDP in the 2019 National Assembly election that produced Balogun, and the governorship election that followed two weeks after, we encourage Senator Balogun to rethink his ways by not poisoning the river he drank from.
“While he is also free to join up with any party he so wishes, he should stop labelling Governor Makinde or trying to cause division between the governor and the royal throne due to selfish interests.”