Our attention has been drawn to the recent attacks on the person of Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Chairman and members of the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party by the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial district, Buruji Kasamu. We noticed that in the last two weeks alone, about three or four of such repulsive press releases/statements have been issued from the stable of Prince Kasamu, alleging incompetence and impunity on the National Caretaker Committee chairman and we found this in bad taste, unfair and a clear misrepresentation of facts.
While we sympathise with Senator Kashamu over his loss of prominence and, vicious control over the PDP especially in the South West, we feel it is important that we set certain records straight so that the lies being peddled by him do not assumed the toga of truth and to put paid to the mischief surrounding his unwarranted attacks on the NCC.
It is on record, contrary to Kasamu’s insinuation, that the PDP has suffered various electoral misfortunes since Buruji Kasamu joined the PDP in 2008 and assumed measured leadership through procured judicial take over in 2010. This became worse during the ignoble era when Senator Ali Modu Sherrif, in cohort with Kasamu superintended over the affairs of our great Party. It needs to be emphasised that Buruji Kasamu with Sheriff introduced the franchise system to the Peoples Democratic Party in the South West and this did a great damage to Politics of Inclusiveness because several party leaders and members were deliberately excluded from the affairs of the political party.
For instance, post 2015 elections, Sheriff as the National Chairman of our great Party franchised the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party to Segun Adewale (Aeroland) by giving out only a set of Nomination Forms to him for the Congress and in process, excluded other top leaders like Chief Olabode George, a former National Vice Chairman, South West and Deputy National Chairman; Jimi Agbaje, the party’s flagbearer in the 2015 elections; Senator Ogunlewe, former Minister of the Federal Republic.
This impunity was repeated in Ogun State, where Buruji himself superintended over the franchise by excluding other leaders like Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Governor of the state; Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, former Speaker of the House of Representatives; Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, the party’s governorship Candidate in the 2015 elections; Hon. Sarafa ‘Tunji Isola, former Minister of the Federal Republic; Senator Lekan Mustapha, former Senator, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu, serving members of the House of Representatives and a host of others.
The case in Oyo State was no different from others as Senator Teslim Folarin assumed the responsibility as the franchisee excluding other party leaders like Jumoke Akinjide, former Minister; Senator Adeseun and others.
While in Osun State, Wale Oladipo, erstwhile National Secretary of the Party served as the Sole Administrator of the PDP by excluding the likes of Senator Iyiola Omisore, a former Deputy Governor of the State; Jelili Adesiyan, a former Minister of the Federal Republic and others.
It should also be understood that while their relationship lasted, Ekiti State became the political fiefdom of Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose on franchise by denying others like Professor Tunde Adeniran (who incidentally has now become the political ally of Buruji Kasamu worthy of becoming the National Chairman of our great Party); Senator Clement Awoyelu; Ambassador Bejide; Dayo Adeyeye and others.
Ondo State was similarly franchised to the then Governor Olusegun Mimiko while Dr. Dairo, Professor Agbi and several others were excluded.
With this lopsided arrangement, it needs no one telling that a very dangerous and precarious foundation for cohabitation has been laid; a landmine was set for any efforts at reconciliation of all the various tendencies and interest lines threatening all genuine interests to bring parties to the table and to work together.
This is the state in which Senator Ahmed Makarfi met the party, and the great challenge to undo and remove all the landmines. Senator Makarfi met a PDP that is already dismembered with a herculean task of bringing all the pieces together and bridge relationship; he was faced with the the onerous responsibility of bringing back all those who felt isolated and removed from relevance. Makarfi’s charge was to return Inclusiveness into the running of the affairs of the Party and close all parallel structures which ran for about fifteen (15) months, and this he had to do within the three months of his mandate as National Caretaker chairman.
We think National Caretaker Committee has fulfilled on this mandate creditably well given the available time frame within which it has to work, the process of Inclusiveness is a continuous one and it is expected to be taken further and hopefully completed by a substantive National Chairman to be elected on the 9th of December, 2017.
We feel it will be mortally wrong, unjust and unfair to lay any problem and challenges of the PDP at the doorstep of Senator Makarfi who is a foundation member of the party, who equally served as Governor of Kaduna State, the political capital of Northern Nigeria for eight (8) good years and as Senator who represented Kaduna Central for another 8 years all on the tickets of the Peoples Democratic Party. On the contrary, Senator Makarfi and members of his NCC will live on the good side of history as men of courage and good conscience who restored Order and Discipline to the troubled and balkanised PDP.
Even if there is any need to assess or review the efforts and performances of Senator Makarfi, definitely not from Sheriff or anyone who associated with him like Buruji Kasamu. Our memories are not so short to remember that Sheriff served as Governor of Borno State for 8 years under the All Progressive Party (APP) and a Senator for four years under the All Nigeria Progressive Party (ANPP) and also served as Chairman of the ANPP for another four years, he lacks the moral capacity to do so in respect of Senator Makarfi.
It is equally preposterous and a miscarriage that Sheriffs South West PDP protégé like Kasamu who came into PDP through Court Orders and has destroyed the Party will lay any claim to such moral rectitude to advise on any moral course of actions.
We would rather that Kasamu spend his precious time and resources to go and face his extradition matter at the Court of Appeal which has just been reopened since the 17th day of November and allow those who have the genuine interest of the Party to run it’s affairs.
PDP Democrats, Ogun State