AHEAD of the 2015 general elections, the Forum of Local Government Chairmen in the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned aspirants and their sponsors against name-dropping.
The forum spoke against the backdrop of the outbursts of Chief Alani Bankole, the father of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, who stormed a recent meeting of the forum where he boasted that President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Chairman of PDP, Adamu Mu’azu asked his son to join the governorship race, adding that they have promised to give him an automatic ticket.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Chairman of PDP in Abeokuta South Local Council and Chairman of the Forum, Kehinde Sofenwa, the group said, “The elder Bankole’s conduct is unbecoming of an elder and a democrat. We urge him and his son to follow the due process and not seek to usurp constituted authority.”
The statement reads in part: “We know that the decision to drop the name of the President and the National Chairman is one of the many lies that the Bankoles are telling in order to hoodwink unsuspecting members of the party. But we remain undeterred and urge our members across the state to remain firm.
“We recall that some months back, they were going about to say that the President and the National Chairman had assured them that the authentic and legally constituted State Exco would be dissolved. But till date, nothing of such has happened. Rather, the party, under the leadership of our Chairman, Engr. Adebayo Dayo is waxing stronger.
“Much as we shudder to think if it is the younger Bankole that is in the race or the father, we wish to state without mincing words that all these lies are unfounded. They have no basis in fact and in reality. If anything, his comments showed clearly that he has not been in touch with the party in the state. Otherwise, he would have known that the party has been restructured from the ward, local government and state levels, such that its structures are in the firm control of the respective leaders and elders. The days when one powerful man sits in the comfort of his bedroom to determine what happens elsewhere, are gone for good. That was what was ably demonstrated with the primary election in Ekiti State.
“On the purported assurances they claimed to have gotten from Abuja, our simple reaction is that we are not deceived. We do not need anyone to tell us that our amiable President and the cool-headed National Chairman are sticklers for due process and respecters of the Rule of Law. They have shown time and again that they would never lend themselves to lawlessness and illegalities. Having seen the gains of a free and transparent primary, as exemplified in the Ekiti election, they cannot afford to reverse the gains. We wager that a thousand Bankoles cannot change that.
“We advise Bankole to come down from the high horse of living in the past and face the reality on ground. This is even more so that his four-year-reign as Speaker had no positive bearing on the lives of the people of Ogun State. If they are intent on salvaging whatever is left of their political careers, they should join hands with other leaders, elders and members of the party and work for it.”