Lagos PDP Crisis: Faction takes over party secretariat

As the leadership crisis rocking the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) becomes intense, the anti-Shelle group headed by Mr Kamar Olorunoje, who on Monday was named the acting chairman, stormed the party secretariat in Ikeja on Thursday, insisting that the chairman’s impeachment still stands.

A group of 34 members of State Working Committee of the party had gathered at the party office under Olorunoje to announce the sack of Captain Tunji Shelle as the chairman and replacing him with Olorunoje, in an acting capacity.

At an expanded executive meeting comprising members of the Central Working Committee (CWC), State Working Committee (SWC) and the local government chairmen of the party called by the group, it was resolved that the chairman’s removal would pave way for the restructuring of the party.

Olorunoje, who addressed the gathering, noted that the group had gotten additional signatures to the ones that effected the removal of Shelle on Monday, adding that the group now had 37 executive members in its fold as three more members had joined in calling for removal of Shelle.

There was drama before the meeting started as members were locked out of the party secretariat by a combined team of armed policemen.

Olorunoje was prevented from entering. He was later allowed in after some arguments, but was not allowed to take his car inside.

He later persuaded the policemen to allow members in, while urging that everybody should be screened to ensure that nobody brought in weapon.

Speaking to the gathering, Olorunoje urged Shelle to respect the will of the majority in the party who believed his kind of leadership could no longer benefit them.
"We did not expel Shelle. We are only saying he cannot lead us again. We gave him 48 hours to pack out of the secretariat and it has lapsed," he said.
Olorunoje, who disclosed that Shelle had since contacted him on the current saga, pointed out that he was not prepared to sit down and watch him (Shelle) destroy the party.
"How can he (shelle) tell me, a founding member of the PDP, that I am here to destroy a party that I have built? He didn’t know when we were being flogged by the Alliance for Democracy (AD) thugs in Lagos for being PDP members," he said.
Credit: Bola Badmus/Tribune