Senator Buruji Kashamu on Sunday explained why his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, lost the Saturday’s Ondo State governorship election to the All Progressives Congress.
The senator also criticized the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party over the statement credited to its spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, where he threatened to sanction those in the camp of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
Kashamu, in a statement signed by him, said that no one should mistake the pronouncements of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court over the Ondo State PDP governorship ticket as their judgments on the party’s national leadership crisis.
He said that the refusal of the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, to listen to advice on where his successor should come from worked against him and the PDP during the election.
Kashamu said, “We told Governor Mimiko that after eight years in office, the good people of Ondo State would resist the injustice of producing a successor from the same senatorial district where he hails from.
“It is not that Jegede is not a good material. He is urbane, intelligent and smart. He would have probably won had he come from any other senatorial zone than Mimiko’s.
“We told Mimiko that the people would not take anything that would look like a third term for him and his senatorial district. He would not listen.
“ Mimiko turned deaf ears to wise counsel, just like he turned his back on all those who helped him to power.
“Despite being the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Mimiko turned himself into Fayose’s puppet, allowing Fayose to lead him by the nose.”
On the claim by the spokesman for the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, that the party would impose severe sanction on Sheriff and members of his faction, Kashamu said such action would fail.
But he said that neither he nor any member of the faction was afraid of such impending sacrifice since, he said, they were fighting for the interest of their people.
He said, “”No one is afraid of any sanction so long as we know that we are fighting to protect the interest of our people.
“A political party is a congregation of people with a common goal yet with various interests. In every political setting, people align and realign with the bloc or group where they feel their interest is better protected and guaranteed.
“If your bloc or group wins, it does not mean you should seek to emasculate the other because you never can tell what would happen tomorrow.
“I wish to advise that no one should mistake the verdicts of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court over the Ondo State PDP governorship ticket as their pronouncements on the national leadership crisis.
“They are two separate issues that I hope we can still resolve amicably. Anyone talking of sanctioning any member of the party for fighting to protect his interest does not wish the party well.”
He said that the gale of sanctions in Osun, Ogun and Kwara states would further exacerbate the crisis in the party, adding, “the truth is, such a move that will further undermine the party and its leadership.
“Is anyone saying that if tomorrow the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court rule in favour of any of the national leaders, he should send all those in support of the other out of the party when all the 36 states are polarised along the lines of Senators Sheriff and Makarfi? No. That is not the spirit of party politics and participatory democracy.”