The crisis of paucity of fund rocking the Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a new dimension during the week as calls were rife for resignation of the present executive.
According to a group, ‘Revival’, the state executives cannot account for the numerous resources made available for the party towards the success of the party at the last general elections.
In this regard, the group, allegedly loyal to a former deputy gubernatorial aspirant of the party during the last general elections, Yinka Aluko, is demanding for the resignation of the entire state executive to give room for reforms in the party and a proper probe of the party’s activities since the inception of current executives.
It would be recalled that the PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, reportedly gave the state chapter of the party the sum of Two Hundred and Eighty Five Million Naira (N285,000,000) after the party’s guber primaries, which produced Senator Simeon Ajibola.
The said sum was alleged to have been handed over to the party’s state chairman, Chief Iyiola Oyedepo Akogun, in Ilorin, when the party chieftain came to reconcile the warring party faithful, who were on war path due to the outcome of the party’s primaries.
Though the leader of the group spoke with National Pilot over the issue on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter for now, he however revealed that Revival comprised of 10 members that includes four of the party’s House of Assembly candidates during the last general election, two coordinators of youth groups affiliated to the party and two House of Representatives candidates, amongst others.
It described the party’s executives of lacking the moral standing to champion the rebuilding of the party in the state.
The leader of the group said it is sad at the state of things in the state chapter of the party, adding that the party needs a complete overhaul.
“This is the same executive, who starved the party of funds during the last general election, they abandoned all candidates to their fate, instead of making available to the candidates, the money given to them through the executive. They were rather requesting money for logistics to participate in our various campaign tours.
“Chief Tony Anenih handed over N285 million cash to Chief Akogun immediately after the party primaries. The money was meant for the prosecution of the general election. Sadly, till date, nobody has given account of how the money was disbursed or utilised”.
Speaking on the issue, another source and a member of an online platform of aggrieved members, “Kwara Hope Move, said they are calling for restructuring of the leadership of the party as it is presently constituted.
“There was an audit by the leadership of the party but Oyedepo ensued it did not not see the light of the day. With the way the party is presently constituted, we don’t have mechanism on ground yet that is strong enough to challenge the ruling party now that local government election is fast approaching.
“Presently, our major problem in the state is fund and you can see that the present leadership has been going about calling for members to pay a monthly fee of N50”.
A House of Assembly candidate in the last election said the squabble for money, which led to starving aspirants of campaign funds by the state executive, contributed immensely to the party’s poor showing in the last general elections.
“We are presently compiling evidences and in a couple of weeks, we will come out with incriminating documents against the party’s executives. It is disheartening knowing that people from your party frustrated your ambition due to greediness.
“The only thing that can make PDP rise again in Kwara is the resignation and prosecution of Oyedepo and all those who contributed to the party’s failure by diverting money meant for campaigns.”
“This finding has shown that we had no chance of winning the last election, ab-initio, they had it all planned, we were just pun in the chess board. Now that we are preparing for local government elections, we cannot allow the same set of people to be at the helms of affairs going into the LG elections”.
When contacted last night, Yinka Aluko denied sponsoring any group, adding that he is out of the state presently and will get back to our reporter when he gets back.
However, efforts by National Pilot to get reaction of the chairman of the party, Iyiola Oyedepo, proved abortive.
Although he answered his phone and promised to get back to our reporter, he never did. Repeated calls later put across to him were unanswered up till the time of filing this report.
The Publicity Secretary, Rex Olawoye, however described the allegation as fallacious, adding that to the best of his knowledge, the party did not get a kobo and “that was one of the reasons we failed”.
He said “Nobody gave us (PDP) a kobo. if they gave the party money, we would not have lost the last general elections the way we did. I am not disputing that some people may have been given money; nothing however came in through the party.
“The N80million Chief Tony Anenih brought was for the Presidential campaign and it was handed over to Dele Belgore, the party was not carried along, apart from that no other money was given to us for campaign.
“In a party system, any money coming to the State Chapter of the party should come through the party structure, which is the state executive and not a situation where some people are called and given money without the knowledge of the party executive.
“If such money was given to the party executive has been alleged, it would have been in cheque and paid into the party’s account, I am categorically telling you no such money was paid into the party’s account before, during or after the election” he added.