The crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of Labour Party took a turn for the worse on Tuesday as a faction led by Olabode Simeon alleged that the Otunba Gbenga Daniel faction offered it a bribe of N16.3m to take over the party structure.
The crack in the party reappeared exactly 17 days after both factions seemed to bury their differences as they hosted the national leadership of the party, which included the National Chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu and Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State in Abeokuta during the inauguration of the state party secretariat.
In a meeting with loyalists at the state secretariat in Adatan, Abeokuta, the state factional chairman, Bode Simeon, alleged that the other faction loyal to ex-Gov. Daniel had made several overtures in its bid to hijack the party from them.
He said the other faction had offered him an all expense paid trip to either Canada or Dubai, and a bribe of N16.3 million, in foreign currency and naira, which were to be shared by him, the state secretary, Oginni Olaposi and financial secretary, Arabambi Abayomi.
His words: “They offered me a trip to either Dubai or Canada for two days and they promised to to fill my account.
“They offered three of us N2m each just for us to agree to a meeting and also offered us $62,500. They did this through a third party who communicated this to one of us through a text message.
“We asked them – what are we selling that they are offering us money?
“Though they went on air saying we want settlement, it is all lies. We are not selling our party. Nobody is taking over Labour Party from us, no matter how highly placed he is in the society”.
The faction in a communique read by the Financial Secretary of the party, faulted the statement credited to Daniel that the party has been handed over to him by the national leadership.
The statement read in part: “Governor Olusegun Mimiko, Labour Party national Chairman and Secretary never commissioned the parallel secretariat.
“They did not inaugurate any parallel executive arm of the party in Ogun State other than the Federal High Court Lagos declared status quo executive led by Olabode Simeon; Sunday Oginni and Abayomi Arabambi”.
In a counter statement, the state publicity secretary of the LP faction loyal to Daniel, Deji Kalejaiye, described the allegation of bribery as “alien, baseless and illogical to the ideals of the Labour Party”.
Kalejaiye said the trio of Bode Simeon, Oginni Olaposi and Arabambi Abayomi, could not be higher than the national leadership of the party, “which severally affirmed the leadership of OGD at the inauguration of the party secretariat on May 17”.