Leaders and elders of the People’s Democratic Party in Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Kajola and Iwajowa Federal Constituency, Oyo state have distanced themselves from the purported consensus arrangement that produced Mr Oyesina Oyedeji also known as Oshine as the candidate for the House of Representatives ticket ahead of the 2023 election.
The leaders said at no time did they meet to approval or agree on the choice calling on Governor Seyi Makinde not to fall for the gimmicks of mischief makers in the region who are bent on formenting troubles and polarising the party for their selfish interest.
The leaders spoke during a press conference which held in Ibadan on Wednesday.
The leaders who said they have written a protest letter to the Governor said they were not aware of any arrangements or meeting where all the stakeholders and aspirants were called together, addressed before a compromise was reached on the choice, saying the report that Oyedeji had been selected was against their usual arrangement on wide stakeholders consultation.
They said, to the best of their knowledge, Barrister Mukaila Abiola Kazeem has been the only aspirant that the leaders have endorsed for the position in 2023 having been persuaded to step down for other candidates in 2007 and 2019 on the agreement that he would be endorsed in 2023, an arrangement which they said still remains intact with the party leaders and elders.
The leaders in the separate remarks at the meeting said Mukaila Kazeem had been the only aspirants who had expressed his interest with them ahead of the 2023 election and had been endorsed to purchase the Expression of Interest form from the party National Secretariat, only to hear later that someone else had been given the slot.
They said they decided to call the press conference to make their stand public so as not to be seen as bad leaders and elders who are corrupt and not standing by their words.
Some of the leaders and elders across the local governments in the Federal Constituency who were at the press conference include: Alhaji Fatai Oguntade (Kajola), Hon Joseph Olaniyan (Itesiwaju), Alhaja Serifatu Akorede (Iseyin), Mr Kofo Adeagbo (Iwajowa) and Mr Afolabi John (Iwajowa).
Others are: Mr Gbadegesin Adebare (Itesiwaju), Mr Rasheed Morufu Kolowowa (Kajola), Mr Sulamonu Ojuolape (Kajola), Mr Kabiru Akintola (Kajola), Mr Kareem Sulaimonu Ajebode (Kajola) and Mr Mo’s Basiru Adetunji (Kajola) among others.
Reacting, the aspirant for the ticket, Barrister Mukaila Kazeem said he was surprised to hear that someone had been picked through a consensus when there was never a meeting, gathering or even anytime the aspirants were called to a meeting for discussion on who should be picked.
He added that the situation was even more worrisome because all the party leaders and elders in the Federal Constituency were not aware of how someone else emerged.
He said such a move aside from the fact that it was against the Electoral Act 2022 Section 84(9) which states that “A political party that adopts a consensus candidate shall secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the position” could also affect the party if not properly addressed.
Mukaila who confirmed he had obtained his Expression of Interest form for the position however said he was more particular about ensuring fairness, equity and justice in the process that would lead to how the candidate would emerge and not the manner that made him feel like a nobody in the party he had been working for and supporting many years.
He said he had also written a personal complaint letter to the Governor to call his attention to the anormally and ensure it is corrected immediately so as to stem crisis brewing in the constituency on account of the selection.
He expressed confidence in the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde commending him for his good jobs that has made the party stronger and better.
The party leaders however commended Mukaila Kazeem for being civil in his approach at righting the wrong and not seeking to either leave the party or forment trouble, promising to stand by him until fairness and justice is served, particularly in correcting the perceived injustice.