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Ondo 2020 Matters Arising – A Terminal Civil War or Peaceful Restructure
Greetings to you all, I hope this message finds you well.
As a dedicated party man and a key stakeholder, I must, as a matter of urgency, write the first chapter of the long-overdue discourse on the need for an immediate change in the leadership, direction, and the general body polity of the Ondo state PDP.
The 2020 gubernatorial election result is a direct reflection of the real problems that have turned the Ondo PDP, a once feared and prominent political powerhouse, to a laughingstock and a caricature of its old self. The party’s woeful performance in the 2020 gubernatorial election results from the combined destructive effects of the impotent Tayo Jegede’s campaign, the incompetent, delusional, and divisive Fata Adams’s SEC, and the feckless leadership council led by Dr. Dairo. This flailing tripod is the bane of the PDP in Ondo state, all of which must, without further delays, leave voluntarily or face a forced exit.
Sadly enough, the Ondo state PDP as a party has gone from winning two senatorial districts and nearly capturing the third one twenty months ago to a party that won only three out of 18 local government councils in the just concluded gubernatorial elections. Here are a few of the missteps and the issues that doomed the party in the 2020 gubernatorial elections.
1. Unresolved Issues from the 2019 National Assembly Elections – it is no news that Jegede’s team and political formation in Ondo North sabotaged the party in Ondo North in the year 2019 National Assembly Elections. Sadly, these saboteurs were rewarded with plum party positions at the state and local levels. For instance, Fatai Adams became the State Party Chair at the behest of Eyitayo Jegede. The consensus among the followers and supporters of the 2019 National Assembly Candidates in Ondo North and elsewhere in the state was that counter sabotage and revolt against Jegede, the assumed mastermind of the 2019 sabotage in Ondo North, was a just and righteous response to the party’s insensitivity and lack of attention to their plight.
2. A Lone Wolf on Suicide Mission Approach – it is on record that the Jegede’s campaign did not engage the key stakeholders and well-respected leaders in the vote solicitation and electioneering process. Instead, his campaign was run by his handpicked sycophants and self-appointed political overlords. Most of whom are questionable characters who have no moral standing in their communities, the people in whom most party members and the public have no iota of trust or faith.
3. A Timid and Purposeless Campaign – while the incumbent was very vulnerable and ripe for a landslide loss, Jegede’s campaign was somewhat too morbid and too scared to dare a bold and audacious take over the state. Perhaps, the people running the get out the vote effort for the campaign don’t know any better because there was no visible vote scoring drive. The candidate himself approached all issues and concerns elevated to him lackadaisically as if he is an apparent heir to the throne waiting to be crowned. We cannot be surprised that a campaign planned and executed by failures and the political bed hoppers and owned by an apathetic candidate cannot produce the Governor of Ondo State.
4. High Handedness – Tayo Jegede’s winner takes all approach during the state executive and deputy governor selection processes do not help the matters. The party fractured severely with irreconcilable differences right afterward. Tayo’s way or no way approach to the issues terminated all hopes of reconciliation. The fragmentations eroded the party’s strength in all the eighteen local government councils of Ondo State.
5. Deliberate Systemic Purge of Dissenter – diversity breed dissent. The highly parochial state chair fractured the party even further. Fatai and Jegede’s perceived political enemies were systematically excluded from participating in party functions, including ward and state meetings. From his inception as the state chair and up to the October 10, 2020, gubernatorial election, Fatai unleashed an exclusionist agenda against his perceived political adversaries. His loyalists at the local level moved quickly to choke or push those with contrary ideas out of the party. Undoubtedly, the 2020 gubernatorial election in Ondo North promptly became an open referendum on Fatai Adams’ leadership and personal standing in hometown, Local Government, and Senatorial District. The PDP lost severely in Irun Akoko, Akoko Northwest, and his senatorial district, Ondo North.
6. An Enabling Leadership Council –it is mind bungling and bewildering that a man of Dr. Dairo’s standing led a body of the nobles that enabled this calamity and subjected the party to an unnecessary humiliation at the polls despite the numerous ominous signs and the warnings from the party faithful. The state leadership council failed to pursue reconciliations with the seriousness it deserved and seemed to have adopted a dissenter must depart attitude that ended the party’s chances of winning the gubernatorial elections. I could not find any reasons why vital stakeholders (including my humble self) were excluded from the campaign and electioneering process other than to enforce the notion that Ondo PDP is now a Jegede party and forced a voluntary departure of their perceived enemies from the PDP.
You will agree that there is no need to continue to burden the Ondo state PDP with hapless political deadweights. Fatai Adams and his divisive cronies must now exit the stage, or we may allow the situation to sort itself out through an intra-party civil war. A war of attrition that is certain to obliterate the PDP in Ondo State.
Once again, thank you for the time taken to read my opinion, deeply appreciated.
Olusegun K. Phillips-Alonge, PhD, CCM, PMP. PE