The campaign team of the Osun State governor-elect, Ademola Adeleke, is worried over a lawsuit filed by a factional governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Dotun Babayemi, at the Court of Appeal, Akure, Ondo State.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Sunday announced Adeleke as the winner of Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.
According to the electoral umpire, Adeleke polled a total of 403,371 votes ahead of the incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who polled 375,027 votes.
It could be recalled that the party had on March 8, 2021, conducted two governorship primaries featuring Adeleke and Babayemi in Osun State ahead of the governorship election.
Babayemi was declared the winner of the primary election held at the Children and Women Development Center in Osogbo, while the primary held at the Osogbo City Stadium under the supervision of Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, produced Adeleke.
In order to be recognized as the PDP’s lawful governorship candidate, Babayemi subsequently made his way to the Federal High Court in Osogbo.
But in a ruling by Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, the court upheld Adeleke as the Osun State PDP’s duly elected governorship candidate.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Babayemi filed a suit at the Court of Appeal, Akure, challenging the judgment of the lower court and seeking to be declared as the PDP governorship candidate.
Speaking on the development, some members of Adeleke’s camp have said the suit might constitute a danger to the victory of PDP at last Saturday’s election, adding that no opportunity would be given to external forces to exploit the situation.
Expressing fear of losing the party’s victory, the Director of Media of the Osun State PDP, Oladele Oluwabamiji in an interview with the Punch noted that there is a need for everyone to come on board in order to have a seamless administration as well as deliver their promises to the people of Osun State.
Oluwabamiji, however, expressed optimism that Babayemi would succumb to the plea, adding that attempts are being made to pacify the rival governorship candidate.
He said, “My take is that any member of our party that is aggrieved is constituting some kind of danger, not to mention court cases.
“Grievance of major gladiators is enough as an admittance of danger. I am aware that our leaders are not sleeping over it. They are still talking to Prince Dotun Babayemi and others in the party, not minding our victory at the polls. We are always better together. We are not taking anyone for granted.
“We believe everyone should come on board now so we can have a seamless administration; so that we can deliver our promises to the good people of Osun State. You know we cannot do that on the platform of the rancorous relationship as a political party.”
“Dotun Babayemi is a prince and I’m sure that the blue blood in him will speak to his veins. We need a bit of fresh air which the good people of Osun State have put in place via the verdict during the gubernatorial election.
“We are still trying to talk to him and manage the situation. Differences cannot help anyone. We have seen the worst of what internal rancour can do to a political party. We won’t do anything that will leave us open to some other forces trying to creep in.”
The Osun acting PDP Chairman, Akindele, expressed optimism that the case would be withdrawn and the matter resolved amicably.
“In the first place, it is a mere academic exercise but since he is a member of our party and he is aggrieved, we have been meeting to find a political solution to it. We are optimistic that it will be resolved amicably and he will withdraw the case before Wednesday,” Akindele assured.
Meanwhile, the Director-General Adeleke Campaign Organisation, Sunday Bisi, in another interview debunked the existence of a factional governorship candidate in the party.
He noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission published the names of candidates of every political party and they didn’t have two governorship candidates.
Bisi said that it would be wrong and unlawful of anyone to say someone is factional, adding that Adeleke is their only candidate.
He said: “We do not have any factional candidates. INEC had published the names of candidates of every political party. There was nowhere in the publication that we had two governorship candidates.
“So, it will be wrong and unlawful of you to say someone is factional; we do not have it again. There is one candidate and that is Ademola Adeleke. The party is one indivisible element. We do not have a faction in the PDP. For now, I know that PDP is one. And if anybody has approached any law court, let the court decide.”