The choice of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate in Osun-west for the 2019 general elections has resulted in a conflict of interests among contenders.
The contest is between a former PDP governorship aspirant, Akin Ogunbiyi, and the director of the PDP governorship candidate’s campaign organisation, Lere Oyewumi.
Mr Ogunbiyi lost to Ademola Adeleke in the Osun State governorship primaries. Mr Adeleke eventually came second in the governorship poll held in September while Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressive Congress (APC) was declared the winner. The PDP candidate has vowed to challenge the result in court.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Messrs Adeleke and Ogunbiyi, in a meeting facilitated by Senate President Bukola Saraki, signed a peace agreement to put an end to the rivalry between the duo so as to combine forces to defeat the APC candidate in the Osun State gubernatorial election.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, the press secretary to Mr Ogunbiyi, Ismail Afolabi, stated that the PDP national executive council had given his principal an automatic senatorial ticket following a deal struck to work with Mr Adeleke in the last election.
“The state and national leadership of the party steered clear of the exercise on the premises that the ticket has been conceded to Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, the second runner up in the party governorship primaries.
“In a Memorandum of Understanding, the national leadership of the party had ceded the senatorial ticket to Ogunbiyi after his fallout with Senator Ademola Adeleke, the governorship candidate of the party at the just concluded election in Osun. We were just waiting for the affirmation on Wednesday,” he told our correspondent.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that hoodlums, armed with guns, machetes and charms, disrupted the senatorial primaries scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday before the arrival of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC).
The faction that sponsored the hoodlums is yet unknown as both parties (Messrs Lere and Ogunbiyi) are pointing accusing fingers at each other.
Meanwhile, Mr Lere, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, said Mr Ogunbiyi is afraid to slug it out at the primaries because he is unpopular.
“Let us see who has more delegates. He is afraid because he knew he would not win in the primaries. That is why Ogunbiyi is seeking an automatic ticket,” he claimed.