A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, Senator Buruji Kashamu, shares with DAUD OLATUNJI on the crisis rocking the party in the state
What is the genesis of the crisis in Ogun State?
There isn’t any crisis per se except that the former PDP Chairman in Ogun State, Mr Adebayo Dayo, tried to exercise the powers that he never had by attempting to trade off the structure of the PDP in Ogun State to the people who publicly declared for the Allied People’s Movement in the state on March 7, 2019 and signed a three-year agreement, which would lapse in March 2022. These are people who have neither repudiated the agreement nor formally returned to the PDP. Suddenly, the man who is the biggest beneficiary of our struggle and who should ensure discipline and cohesion in the party as state chairman decided to debrief the lawyer who sustained him in office for 10 years without recourse to the party leaders and other stakeholders because of a mess of pottage. Prior to this time, he had told many people that he had been offered N150m to do their bidding; N100m for him and N50m for his son, Bola Dayo, who has been working with me since 2011.
There are allegations that you have been frustrating the reconciliation of the two factions in the state, how true is it?
Who are those making the allegation? Where and when was any reconciliation meeting called that I or my representatives did not attend. I have said it before and I will say it again; I am not against the reconciliation of genuinely aggrieved members but the question members of the party continue to ask is how Dayo could claim that he was trying to reconcile people when he did not hold any meeting with any stakeholder or any of the party executive committees at the ward, local government or state level? I was not informed and he did not carry along members of the state executive committee before entering into whatever fraudulent agreement he entered into with his newly found paymasters. That was what led to him sending the letter debriefing the lawyer that he has never paid a dime for 10 years. How could debriefing a lawyer be the first step towards reconciliation if he really meant it and had no ulterior motive? He even told people that he had shared 40 per cent of the party structure to Ladi Adebutu, 30 per cent to the structure that he betrayed and 30 per cent to his own group.
Did your loyalists truly meet with the chairman to bribe him with N10m so that he could do your bidding?
Having sustained him as chairman for eight years, there is no need for anyone to bribe him with any amount to sign any document. His claim of being offered N10m is meant to hype himself before his new paymasters. The ward, local government and state congresses were successfully held and concluded. Dayo himself wrote to INEC confirming that the congresses were successfully held. And there are acknowledged correspondences to that effect. So, what is he talking about? What is N10m to someone that I bought four Sport Utility Vehicles and car for, gave N40m during the 2019 general election and who made over N300m as state chairman. His son in his 30s, who worked with me as a Personal Assistant, built a mansion in Ibadan with a farm worth N20m, among other investments.
It seems almost all the executive members have dumped you for Ladi Adebutu?
That is not correct. It is part of the lies and propaganda of the desperate elements who want to justify their selfish interests. Most of those peddling this lie speak either out of ignorance or mischief because they have not seen or read the PDP Constitution.
How true is the allegations that you are working with the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, to stop Ladi Adebutu from contesting against him on the platform of PDP?
Where did you get that information from? Why would anyone ascribe to me the powers that I do not have? I cannot block anyone from contesting election. Governor Dapo Abiodun has been my friend and brother for over 30 years. Ladi Adebutu was one of my associates until he grew wings and decided to bite the hand that fed him after getting his ticket from this same PDP structure that he desperately seeks to destroy or hijack. However, that would not make me to become a stumbling block to anybody’s aspiration. It is the Almighty Allah that crowns and dethrones kings and he gives power to whoever he wants.
Dayo also said the congresses had not been completed as a result of COVID-19,which one did you say was concluded?
Nothing could be farther from the truth because the ward, local government and state congresses were successfully held. As a matter of fact, Dayo himself presided over the ward and local government congresses and wrote letters to the INEC confirming that they were successfully held. Of course, he could not have participated in the state congress because he had been suspended for anti-party activities. Mr Samson Bamgbose, who was the deputy chairman, emerged as the Acting chairman of party in the state following Dayo’s suspension. He was the one who chaired the state congress as provided for by our great party’s constitution. This is like the same way our National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, then the deputy national chairman of our party, presided over the 2016 National Convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in the absence of the erstwhile National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.