72-year-old Engineer Adebayo Dayo is the Chairman of one of the Ogun PDP factions. The grassroots politician has insisted that his faction is the only one recognized by Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee. Last week, Engineer Adebayo Dayo was sighted at Senator Buruji Kashamu’s Event Centre where he came to celebrate with him for the Ileya Festival.
He had an exclusive interview with City People Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE during which he spoke about how APC has failed in Ogun, how they plan to take over power and the fight between Kashamu and OGD. Below are excerpts of the interview.
How long have you known Senator Buruji Kashamu?
I have known him for a while and he can best be described as a philantropist. He has extended his hand of fellowship beyond his town and within Ogun State as a whole. He has single handedly been financing Ogun PDP and he has not relented in his service to humanity.
He has been sponsoring over 100 students in their education both in Nigeria and abroad. You don’t have to be related to Buruji for him to shower his kindness on you. That is why you see the large turnout of guests at his party.
You have two factions of PDP in Ogun State, what is going to happen to the other faction?
Well, I am not aware of any other Chairman since we had our conference in last year May 10th, I have been the Chairman of PDP in Ogun State. But recently, the National Chairman Committee because they are new and don’t know what is on ground said our executives are dissolved whereas, we have been to court. The court has said that our executive will be there till 2020.
Are you saying it authoritatively that Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele led faction is not genuine?
Yes, and this is because immediately the National Executive anounced the dissolution of the house, they formed their own group. So he can not be the Chairman. They are not the legally constituted committee. They were charged to court yesterday for criminal contempt of court. This is because there is an existing judgement retaining us in office.
How do you intend to settle all the aggrieved parties in PDP so as to become victorious in 2019 election?
All these people you are calling PDP members still belong to other political parties. For instance, there is one Hon. Adegbesan who is a member of the illegally constituted caretaker committee. Hon. Adegbesan contested under the platform of Labour Party in 2015 and uptill today, he has not joined PDP fully. How can such person be a member of any committee in PDP. But Makarfi being a new man in the realms of affairs did not know all this, so we will prove it to him. So what we have on ground now is between caretaker committee inAbuja and the rule of law.
So are you saying now that Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele is not a member of your party PDP
Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele is a member of our party, so also are his followers. I can tell you, they have no choice but to come to the party and let us work together if trully they want us to be at the helms of power in 2019 in Ogun State.
How does PDP intend to win 2019 election in Ogun State?
All the electorates are ready to vote for PDP come 2019, it is now left for PDP. APC has disappointed the Ogun indigenes. APC is going nowhere in 2019. In Ogun, I can tell you that PDP is the party to beat in 2019. Governor Amosun should be packing his things already as there is no place for APC in Ogun State to put their house in order. Look at Amosun for instance, he has not done anything to better the lives of Ogun indigines.
For how long have you been the Chairman?
I have been the Chairman since 2012 and we were allowed to serve for two terms and I am serving my second term in office and after this, no more contesting for this position.
Let us talk about the many contenders in PDP gubernatorial election of 2019, we have close to five contestants, would you say PDP will be fair enough?
Well, as far as I am concerned as the Chairman of Ogun PDP, we will be fair in whatever we do. We will have a fair, transparent primaries. I can assure all contestants that there will be no cheating or Godfatherism whatsoever. I will make sure we have a transparent primaries, and it will be one that can be shown throughout the world. I have no doubt in my mind. It will be transparent. What have I got to lose?
I am the umpire that they will be proud of. Because of my age, I am no longer contesting for any position and I won’t be the one to determine who will be the candidate of our party. All the delegates will vote to make their choice.
For how long have you been in politics?
I have been in politics for close to 30 years. I contested 30 years as a Councilor in my Ward 3 in Ijebu North. That was the first time there will be an unopposed councilor. I was returned unoppose as it was a zero party election. Then we didn’t have any party. The community just wanted me to be a councilor and I was made the councilor unopposed. Nobody contestant against me. Thereafter, I was made the Chairman of Council. I have been a member of PDP right from inception and I have held various offices.
Let us talk about OGD and Senator Buruji Kashamu rift, how do you intend to settle it, as the Chairman?
Let me tell you you, when Otunba Gbenga Daniel joined in 2002, I was one of the state officers who took him into the party. He enjoyed the benefit of the members by winning the election in 2003. After serving for 8 years, he left PDP and had his party called PPN from PPN, he joined Labour Party (LP). I was also the one who received him back into the party in 2014 as the Chairman of the party. He wanted to contest with Ladi Adebutu and I wrote letter of recommendation to Abuja. So for them now to be talking about PDP, they are supposed to be new members and they are going to be on queue and wait for their turn.
Gbenga Daniel is no more a leader in PDP because he knows he has just joined the party over two years ago. He used to be our leader when he was the Governor but the opportunity is gone. He is now a new member and must be on queue.
With this, how will you now settle the power rift between OGD and Buruji Kashamu?
Gbenga Daniel will have to take Buruji Kashamu as the leader whether he likes it or not.
As the umpire, how do you intend to bring about peace?
We have a reconciliation committee who will unite all the aggrieved members. As the Umpire, in Unity I Stand. I believe with Unity, we will go a long way.
Do you think Senator Buruji is after the life of Otunba Gbenga Daniel?
I don’t know how OGD can say that. Buruji has never been violent throughout his political life but we have seen what OGD is capable of doing in the past. What I want to do is to unite both of them.