A former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, has formally withdrawnfrom the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ogun East senatorial primary.
Meanwhile, the party leadership in the state has accused a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, of attempting to cut corners in securing the party’s ticket for the 2015 governorship election.
The PDP Chairman in the State, Dayo Bayo, disclosed this on Sunday while speaking with journalists at the secretariat of the party located along Presidential Boulevard, Abeokuta.
Mr. Bayo confirmed that Mr. Daniel had tendered a letter of withdrawal to the chairman’s office but did not disclose the reason behind the former governor’s action.
Mr. Bayo, however, noted that a known financier of the party, Buruji Kashamu, had shown interest in contesting the primary for same slot.
“I can tell you that my leader, the former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has submitted a letter of withdrawal for the Senate race to my office and he is not contesting in the primaries,” Mr. Dayo said
On Mr. Bankole’s rumoured governorship ambition, the party chairman denied any knowledge of it.
He said the party had observed that Mr. Bankole was not ready to follow due process; rather, wished to cut corners.
“I’m still saying that I am not aware that Dimeji Bankole is contesting the governorship in Ogun State,” Mr. Dayo said. “The money we are using to run this party is enormous. Some people have been doing that for years. Somebody cannot just say because he has been to Harvard, Cambridge or Oxford, he’s coming to lead us overnight. It’s not going to happen. So, if you are contesting you must come to the state secretariat and obtain an Expression of Interest form.
“You must follow due process. This young man is not following due process. He’s only looking for a short cut and there is no short cut in politics.
“I can tell you today that whatever arrangement is going to happen, I’m still the chairman of the party, I must know what the arrangement is. Even if it’s coming from our leaders at the national level, I’ll still at least be an observer at whatever meeting where they are going to have a tangible discussion.”
He explained that to the best knowledge of the party leadership in the state, Mr. Bankole did not pick an intent form from them, except he did so in Abuja, where the party national headquarters is located.
The chairman, however, explained that, as at the time of filing this report, the national headquarters of the party was yet to release a list of governorship aspirant but if later released and Mr. Bankole’s name was on it, he was welcome to participate in the primaries.
“But we’ll continue to say it that he did not obtain an Expression of Interest form from Ogun State. Until that is obtained, I wouldn’t know him as one of our aspirants,” Mr. Dayo said.