By Olayinka Oladimeji Segelu
I have been inundated with deluge of calls from my political associates and friends, home and abroad, requesting for my reaction to the unfolding events in my local government, Lagelu, where I had vied to represent the people at the National Assembly in 2015, on the platform of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
I want to remind my constituents that we are still nursing the wounds of my father’s gruesome murder at his constituency office in Ejioku, Lagelu Local Government Area on September 14, 2007, when he was serving as a member of the House of Representatives. We should not also forget that it’s exactly two years today, March 9, 2019, that one of us, then member of House of Representatives, late Hon. Olatoye Temitope, aka, Sugar was also attacked and gunned down by yet to be identified gunmen for political reasons, the same way my dad was assassinated.
The PDP is on the edge of producing a candidate to represent our party at the forthcoming local government election, slated for May 15, 2021, in Oyo State. All well-meaning members of the PDP in Lagelu must rise up against any action by some barbarians, capable of causing needless crisis in the area.
The primary election, which was slated for Monday 8th of March 2021, was reportedly disrupted by some miscreants and hoodlums at the Health Centre, Open Field, Alegongo, venue that was later announced for the exercise in Lagelu Local Government Area of Oyo State.
One of the party chairmanship aspirants, Chief Olufemi Ajibade, the Agbaakin of Igbo Elerin, was seriously injured and currently receiving treatment.
I was told that Mr. Kazeem Gbadamosi, who is one of the aspirants for the Lagelu chairmanship contest, allegedly mobilized members of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, to disrupt and hijack the process in the local government.
The hoodlums, numbering over 200 in about 40 vehicles, were allegedly led by the chairmanship aspirant. According to eyewitnesses, Mr. Gbadamosi and his hired hoodlums already took strategic positions, even before the arrival of supervisors, party delegates, party members, and other critical stakeholders from our local government, who were expected to be on ground before the commencement of the exercise.
Earlier, the Oyo State PDP had scheduled the party primaries to hold at the local government headquarters, where Police and other security men were already stationed to monitor the primaries, only for a new venue to be announced, while party faithful were already at Iyana Offa, the local government headquarters.
Some unscrupulous members changed the venue on very short notice. Out of 9 contestants, eight were at Iyana Offa, while Mr. Gbadamosi was at Alegongo, and immediately he sighted others coming to the venue, he unleashed terror on one of the aspirants, and declared himself winner of the election, yet to hold.
The exercise was a total negation of the principle of internal democracy and what our highly respected and beloved governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde stands for, as well as what PDP in the state represents. Violence should never be accommodated at this critical period. The Lagelu primary poll of the PDP was marred by violence and gross irregularities, that resulted in one of the aspirants, Chief Ajibade, being seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention.
I hereby call for calm, while I ask that the proper thing should be done. We must not forget what our forefathers fought and stood for. In the interest of peace, the PDP primary election in Lagelu Local Government should be rescheduled with the full monitoring team of the Nigeria Police Force, Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, OYSIEC, and other approved election monitoring organizations.
No primary election has taken place in Lagelu for PDP. What happened was a complete façade and charade that the leadership of the party must not allow to stand, if we are indeed interested in growing and advancing democracy in Oyo State and Nigeria at large.
The result being bandied around by supporters of the man parading himself as the winner of the Lagelu primary poll was cooked up, and should therefore never be accepted, as it would amount to a complete mockery of democracy
•Segelu, a Germany-based chieftain of the PDP, is the MD/CEO of YSEG Hotels and Suites in Ibadan, Oyo State