The return of a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, has further polarised the party in Lagos State.
Investigations by our correspondent in Lagos on Tuesday showed that some PDP stalwarts and aspirants, who lost to the party’s governorship candidate, Dr. Ade Dosunmu, were not comfortable with his closeness to George.
It was learnt that the fresh crisis in the PDP in the state was also caused by the former Chairman of Nigeria Port Authority’s stronghold on the party.
Our correspondent learnt that before the primaries, the PDP in the state had been divided into three major groups, namely Network, headed by George; Harmony, led by an elder of the party, Dr. Abayomi Finnih and Lagos Solidarity Forum, led by Mrs. Modupe Sasore, among others.
However, Dosunmu, who belongs to George’s group, emerged as the governorship candidate of the party because most members of the state executive were loyalists of the former NPA chairman.
Investigations also revealed that while in prison, George was in firm control of the structure of the party in the state.
A member of the party executive in the state said, “It is an open secret that George controls the party structure. While he was in prison, he was dictating to the executive. Everybody knows that Ade Dosunmu is his anointed child.”
After his emergence as the party’s governorship candidate in December, Dosunmu had promised to reconcile with aspirants that lost the primaries.
Those, who contested with Dosunmu were a former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Demola Seriki; former deputy governor of Lagos State, Mr. Femi Pedro; Mr. Tokunbo Kamson, Mr. Owolabi Salis, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi and Mr. Qudus Folami.
Investigations showed that the PDP governorship candidate put the reconciliatory move on hold after a directive from his godfather, who was calling the shot from prison.
It was learnt that because of the failure of Dosunmu to reach out to them, many of the aspirants had vowed not to work for his success in the governorship poll.
One of the aspirants for instance, said since the primaries, neither Dosunmu nor leaders of the party had called him.
Folami said he had not been participating in the party activities because Dosunmu had not reached him. He expressed hope that the difference would be resolved before the elections.
The crisis in the party came to the fore penultimate Friday (February 19) when the party started its governorship campaign. The aspirants and members of the party’s Elders’ Council led by Dr. Abayomi Finnih, were absent from the campaign held at the National Stadium.
Other absentees, who are staunch members of the party, include Dr. Wahab Dosunmu, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, among others.
A source, who pleaded anonymity said, “George is the singular reason why there was no unity and there is none in existence at present. Dosunmu had actually after the election thought of reconciling with other aspirants and their followers, it was George that told him not to do so. George told him that he did not need the other aspirants to win the April poll.
“That is why one of the top contenders in the governorship primaries instituted a case against him (George) in court.”
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Bode George’s return: Lagos PDP in fresh crisis