The crisis in Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, took a new dimension yesterday as the three governorship aspirants of the Bamanga Tukur led faction of the party ignored the 24 hours ultimatum given to them to dissociate themselves from the new PDP, nPDP.
It would be recalled that on Monday the state chairman of PDP, Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa gave three out of the four PDP gubernatorial aspirants in the state were given 24 hours within which which to dissociate themselves from a statement made on their behalf that they are in support of the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led faction of PDP or face sanctions.
Instead, one of the aspirants, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade had earlier accused Alhaji Olaoluwa of lacking the leadership quality to run the party in the state.
Toeing the same line, another one of the aspirants, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi described the threat as an empty one, saying his loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan is absolute and does not require intimidation from any quarters to be publicly stated.
Reacting to the ultimatum by the state PDP, Senator Olasunkanmi, a former Minister of Youth Development from 2007-2011, in a statement by the director, media and strategy of his campaign organsation, Ayo Aluko-Olokun, said: “It is rather sad and painful that whilst all well meaning members and elders of the PDP across the country are seeking a solution to the contrived crisis, some others are stoking the fire of discord and further pulling the Party apart.”
“Senator Olasunkanmi needs no prompting, threat or intimidation from any quarters to restate his unequivocal loyalty to the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, with whom he served in the FEC for four years and his commitment to the legitimate PDP that provided the platform for him to be elected as a Senator and appointed as a Minister.
“It is therefore, absolutely illogical, uncalled for and preposterous asking him to dissociate himself from a statement that never emanated from him or his Campaign Organisation in the first instance.
“The times we are in call for caution and restraint in the words and actions of all our Party members, followers and leaders alike. Since the crisis broke out August 31, 2013, Senator Olasunkanmi has been in the vanguard of those seeking amicable settlement. As a bridge-builder, he had at several times brokered peaceful settlement of all intra-party differences.”