PDP is a victim of judicial politicking —Adebutu

Honourable Oladipupo Adebutu, representing  Ikenne/ Sagamu/Remo North  Federal Constituency, is the chairman, House committee on  Rural Development. In this interaction with journalists, he sheds light on the wrangling in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), attempt by some individuals to hijack the party structure, among others. WOLE EFUNNUGA brings the excerpts:


How would you describe the recent botched convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Port Harcourt?

I will describe the scenario as one with the unseen hands of the third columnists. I wish to state that the disruptions of the National Convention of    our  party  in  May  and   August  2016 respectively were  as  a result  of  certain desperate  party    members of Ogun State extraction who desired to lord it over everyone through  the manipulation of judicial process and other institutions. I appeal to all fellow    party members and our supporters to remain resolute and stand united as we relentlessly pursue justice, fairness and equity.  In the end, the PDP, Ogun State and Nigeria  will be better  for  it if   we  all  do  that   which   is  noble,   honourable,    reasonable and patriotic. I cannot but mention the dastardly physical assault on my person during the just-concluded convention in Port-Harcourt. It is interesting to note that as a ranking member of the National Assembly (NASS) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who had the privilege to  serve for the first time in the Third NASS, and now presently serving in the Eighth  NASS  was attacked by a Senator.  I wish to use this forum to rededicate myself to the challenges, struggles and victories ahead. My supporters and I will continue to remain firm and unflinching in our loyalty and support for the national leadership of the Party under His Excellency,   Senator   Ahmed   Makarfi-led National   Caretaker  Committee   of   the    Peoples Democratic Party; the Ogun State Executive Committee of the PDP under  the leadership of Honourable Sikirulai Ogundele, and all party institutions, organs and    leadership at the national, state and other levels.    I remain firmly committed to the ideals and visions of the founding fathers of the    Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Ogun State in particular.


Your party  has been going through difficult times since the loss of the 2015 general election without any solution in sight. Why is this so?

This is due largely to factors within the Party on the one hand, as well as needless and desperate orchestration   and   manipulation   of internal   frictions    within the PDP by the ruling party, and also the active connivance and complicity    by   certain   overzealous   Judges   of

the   Federal  High  Court  and   some   officious    police officers.


Could you shed light on this?

The   crisis   in   the   national   body   of   the   PDP   has   a lot   to   do   with   the    mismanagement   of   internal   crisis   in the   Ogun   State   Chapter   and   needless    introduction of ‘Judicial Politicking’ to outsmart fellow party members in Ogun    State by a self-styled politician, now a Senator from Ogun State. This process    resulted in judicial bondage of the party. The   Senator   joined   PDP   in   the   year   2010   on   the pretext   of humanitarian    assistance, through a foundation. He would routinely tell party members that he was   not   interested   in contesting   any   elective   position; not   even   the   post   of councillorship, as (according to him), he had no paper qualification to contest    election. Dissatisfied political actors and leaders in Ogun State PDP were coerced to embrace him and the rest is history. The party broke into three or four political    parties, namely: Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), PDP, Labour Party and some    defected to ACN and others. This disintegration gave the Senator the latitude to    hijack the party (PDP) structure in the State by appointing his puppets into the    Executive committee, thus making it impossible for true reconciliation even after  dissatisfied members were prevailed upon to return to the party (PDP). Subsequently, party nominations became highly ‘commercialised’ by the



Your party has a chain of cases at various courts. How healthy is this for the party that is supposed to be a vibrant opposition?

Yes, that is true but one also keeps wondering why almost all cases involving Ogun State PDP that were filed by the law firm working exclusively for   the Senator are done in Lagos (and sometimes Abuja) and always assigned to  particular judges  despite the fact that the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court have held (times  without number) that Federal High Court has no jurisdiction in political matters;  and despite the fact there is a Federal High Court in Abeokuta (assuming Federal    High Court has jurisdiction). Even in the Abia case, decided few days ago, the Court of Appeal reiterated the fact that the Federal High Court lacks jurisdiction.  It needs to be pointed out that, most times, (if not all the times), the controversial    rulings and judgments of these questionable Judges are upturned on appeal (if the adverse party demonstrates enough courage- if exigencies of times permits, to    test the ruling or judgment on appeal.

The recent Abia case is a classic example.  The Court of Appeal in Ibadan had also reversed the removal of former national secretary   of the   PDP, Prince   Olagunsoye   Oyinlola,  who was   removed in a controversial ruling procured by the maverick Senator.

However, Prince Oyinlola has since moved on.


Can’t the party find a way of resolving most of these issues out of court?

No matter the dialogue you have with people, there can’t be amicable solution when people have all manner of injunctions in their pockets, they become impossible to talk to. When there is a compelling order that cannot be

wished away by goodwill, you have no option that to let the process go through. That is part of what we are managing. The truth of the matter is that we are now going through this but I can assure you that after one year, we will be better for it. Power is power. It is not easily given. That is the reality of it.


 Is the status quo going to remain like this for the next one year when elections into Edo and Ondo States would have been conducted?

As true democrats, we remain committed to the task of democracy which thrives on effective and efficient opposition politicking. We have been at the receiving    end   of   injustice   perpetrated   by some powers that

  1. While we   remain   resolute,   we   wish   to   state   emphatically that   we’ll   do   all reasonably possible to pursue and continue to pursue justice and rule of law in    Nigeria no matter the inconvenience of doing so.  We seek to provide the people    of   Ogun   State   with

credible   alternatives.   We   aspire   to instill confidence   in governance and alleviate the sufferings of the good people of Ogun State.   We   undertake   to    continue in hot pursuit of fairness, justice, rule of law and  enthronement  of  democratic values.


What does Ladi Adebutu want in politics, considering his background and the comfort zone where he comes from?

That is a very good question that people had asked me times without number. The truth is that if good people run away from politics, bad people will take over the governance of the nation and the consequences will be disastrous. Some are into politics to amass wealth, some are there because they do not have any other job while some are there to bring joy and happiness to the

people. My mission in politics is to bring smiles to the faces of my people.