Tunde Olanrewaju, Abeokuta
The Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, of coercing civil servants to register as members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the on-going party’s registration exercise.
But Chairman, Ogun State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Hakeem Ambali, debunked the allegation, explaining that nothing of such has been brought to the notice of the NLC. Interim Publicity Secretary of the APC in Ogun State, Alhaji Sola Lawal, also spoke in the same vein as he described the PDP allegation as idle talk and total falsehood.
Ogun State PDP chairman, Engr. Adebayo Dayo, who made the allegation while addressing members of the party,during an emergency meeting at the Ijebu Igbo country home of the South West chairman, Organisation and Mobilisation Committee of the party, Prince Buruji Kashamu, said the action of the governor negates the laws of the land, describing PDP as Nigeria’s political “elephant” that would never succumbed to any “small political animals like APC.”
Dayo said, “It is against the law to force civil servants to go and register by force for a particular party. You can only force people to go and register for your party , you cannot force them to vote for you. I can tell you what is happening now has happened in the early 60’s, when people are forced to go and vote for a particular party, where they did not belong and wanted them to have membership cards. They did the same in 1955, but, it did not help them to win any election. So, the same thing is what Ibikunle Amosun is doing now, and I can tell you that at the end of the he is going to lose.”
Asked whether PDP is being intimidated by the turn out of people registering for APC, Dayo described the APC as a “mushroom” party, that would be defeated in the coming elections, despite the number of people defecting into the party.
“Can an elephant be scared of a rat? All these mushroom parties put together is like gathering about 200 rats to fight an elephant. PDP is Nigeria’s political elephant and putting all other parties together, PDP cannot crash and by all means we are going to win the elections,” Dayo added.
He also said that the party’s membership registration would start soon in all the 236 wards across the state. The chairman advised party faithful to troop out en mass and register their names.
He said, ” We have started our own registration since 1998. The APC is only running up and down to register their members because they does not have register. But we’ll continue to up grade the register because of new members who joins the party. People around have been asking, PDP when are you starting your registration? We are going to start, its a continuous exercise because this is what we’ve been doing time to time.”
In the words of the Ogun State NLC chairman, ” There is nothing like that, because we have not received any report about such a thing. I know our members are not cowards, they cannot be intimidated. If anything like that has happened, our members would have cried out by telling us. So far, we don’t have a single report about anything like that.”
Lawal, in his response, said,”It is a trite civil service law that public servants do not carry party cards. We have respected this to the latter in Ogun State. The process of our registration is so transparent. They should come up with evidence of civil servants participating in the exercise. So, where is the evidence. They only engaged in idle talk.”