Politics

Ekiti 2022: Can Segun Oni regain PDP structure from Fayose

The Southwest All Progressives Congress (APC) Publicity Secretary and the Former Ekiti State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Chief Karounwi Oladapo contends that former Governor, Segun Oni, who is defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), cannot regain the party structure from former Governor Ayodele Fayose.

Twenty two years ago, Chief Clement Awoyelu was the pioneer Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). That was in 1998 and the chapter produced Professor Tunde Adeniran as the governorship candidate in 1999. Professor Adeniran lost the governorship election to Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

It should be noted that Professor Adeniran was in Control of the PDP Structures in Ekiti State. Chief Segun Oni and Chief Olajide Awe were members of his inner Caucus.

Shortly after the gubernatorial elections, Chief Awoyelu moved to the PDP National Headquarters as the National Treasurer. Hence, the Position of the State Chairmanship became a factional battle between Chief Lawrence Agunbiade Laco group, called Ureje Group and Chief Ade Ademuagun Group, called Ifaki Group.

Chief Lako occupied the State Party Secretariat, ably supported by Chief Dele Falusi and Chief Dayo Okondo. Dr. Bode Olowoporoku and Chief Adebamigbe Akilaya were among those strongly supporting Ade Ademuagun and his Ifaki Group.

Not quite long, a bloody overthrown of Chief Laco as the State Chairman came when a group of hoodlums stormed the Ureje PDP Party Secretariat, killing a number of people. When the raging bloody war subsided, Chief Ade Ademuagun became the State Chairman for a period of about one year before the PDP State Congress of 2002.

Three PDP Gubernatorial aspirants sponsored their State Chairmanship Candidates ; Mr. Ayodele Fayose sponsored Chief Ropo Adesanya, Chief S. K. Babalola Sponsored Chief Ade Ademuagun, While Dr. Bode Olowoporoku Sponsored Dr. Cornelius. A. Ogunmilade.

Chief Ropo Adesanya defeated others at the State Congress conducted at Olujoda Hotel, Ado. This obviously paved the way for the emergence of Mr. Ayodele Fayose as the PDP Gubernatorial Candidate, at the PDP Congress, organised at the Sigma Hotel, Ado, in 2003.

It should be noted that Fayose took over the PDP Structures from Professor Tunde Adeniran at the State Congress of 2002, and that Governor Fayose frustrated Segun Oni and associates out of the PDP before his Government collapsed in 2006.

Chief Segun Oni left PDP for Advance Congress of Democrats, ACD. Chief Jide Awe became the State Chairman of ACD.

The ACD had working political arrangements with the opposition Party, Alliance for Democracy, AD. I, Karounwi Oladapo, was a member of the AD state Executive Committee at the time. (2003 to 2006.)

Chief Ojo Falegan’s house in Ado was the rendezvous of the ACD and other disgruntled PDP members at the time. The two Parties, AD and ACD, formed a movement called *Ekiti Parapo Movement* to mobilize and galvanize support for the removal of Fayose as Governor.

Not quite long, AD, ACD and other opposition Parties merged to form Action Congress, AC, Political Party in 2006. Chief Jide Awe became the State Chairman of the newly formed AC. Chief Segun Oni was one of the leading members.

In 2006, Fayose was impeached and lost control of the PDP Structures. PDP was shopping for a Gubernatorial Candidate for 2007 gubernatorial elections. Chief Segun Oni returned to PDP.

When Fayose left, Otunba Yinka AKerele inherited the PDP Structures that produced him the PDP Gubernatorial Candidate in 2007 Gubernatorial Primaries, until the unfortunate reversal of his fortunes 2 days after his glorious emergence! The PDP hierarchy handed over the PDP Gubernatorial ticket and PDP Structures to Chief Segun Oni that came third in the Primaries. He became Governor in 2007.

Chief Segun Oni removed Chief Ropo Adesanya, who was installed by Governor Fayose and put Chief Bola Olu Ojo as state chairman in 2008.

Even though, the court removed Chief Segun Oni as governor in 2010, he was still in control of the Party Structures till 2012 when Fayose took the Party Structures away from him in a State Congress that Produced Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, who defeated Hon. Akinbowale Omole sponsored by Chief Segun Oni.

Chief Segun Oni equally lost his position as the PDP South West leader, through a court case instituted by Chief Buruji Kasamu, who claimed Chief Segun Oni was imposed by Chief Obasanjo and that Chief Segun Oni’s leadership wasn’t a product of Zonal Congress. Chief Isola Filani was installed instead!

The combine effects of these defeats made Chief Segun Oni to defect to APC where he was elevated to the position of Deputy National Chairman, South, in June 2014. The position he held until he voluntarily resigned to contest APC Gubernatorial Primaries in 2018. He lost!

Governor Fayose’s success in the PDP State Congress of 2012 made his emergence as the PDP Gubernatorial Candidate in 2014 easy. Fayose became the Governor the second time and consolidated his hold on the Party Structures by installing Barr. Gboyega Oguntuase as the State Chairman in the PDP State Congress of 2016.

Those who are not comfortable with Fayose’s leadership style and control of Party Structures attempted to wrestle the party from him in 2020 PDP State Congress which is a few weeks away.

The PDP in Ekiti State became factionalised into Fayose and Olujimi camps. Each camp with their own state Chairmanship aspirant. Bisi Kolawole for Fayose camp and Kehinde Odebunmi for Olujimi camp.

Chief Segun Oni, while in APC was in support of the Olujimi’s Camp in the believe that he can retrieve the PDP Structures from Fayose, through the Olujimis, preparatory to the 2022 PDP Gubernatorial Candidacy.

As it stands today, judging from the just concluded controversial Ward Congress, Fayose is coasting home to Victory and to wrestle the PDP Structures from him seems unrealistic! With Chief Segun Oni returning to PDP, he surely must bow to the Command, Control and Leadership of Fayose. This was why i titled my earlier write up as *”Oga ni Master, Twale Fayose”*

Gba fun o ga e!*

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Ilesanmi Adekanbi

Ilesanmi Adekanbi is a Journalist by profession. He has been working in the Nigeria media industry for the past 6 years. He holds several professional certificates. contact me on email: [email protected]

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