The immediate past Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has not defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, his media aide, Mr. Amaize Godwin Ohimai, said yesterday.
He also denied speculations that Obanikoro had concluded plans to defect to another part.
Rumors were rife that the ex-minister was set to defect to the newly resuscitated Chief Olusegun Osoba’s Social Democratic Party (SDP), after he was allegedly approached by the party’s leadership following his defeat at the PDP governorship primary election in Lagos State.
Obanikoro has rejected the outcome of the primaries, which produced Mr. Jimi Agbaje as winner and persistently accused some chieftains of PDP in Lagos of manipulating the exercise to his disadvantage. He also took the party to court – a move seen in some quarters as confrontational and anti-party.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Ohimai maintained that his principal would remain in the PDP to sort out the issues that arose from the primary.
“He is still a bonafide member of the party, he has not defected”, Ohimai said.
On the reconciliation meeting called by party chieftains in the state, Chief Bode George and Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe, who Obanikoro specifically accused of rigging the primary election to favor Mr. Agbaje, Ohimai explained why the ex-minister did not attend the meeting.
“Those who called the meeting are part of the problem. The two individuals are key actors in the issues that require reconciliation. Asking Obanikoro to attend a reconciliation meeting convened by Ogunlewe and Bode George appears to me as one case where they wanted to play the role of a judge in their own case”, the aide said.