…accuses Adebutu of plans to impose Durodola
SEGUN AYINDE, ABEOKUTA
The Chief Executive Officer of Macdan Construction Company, Hon. Daniel Makanjuola, has declared that he’s the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seat for the Ewekoro Constituency seat in the Ogun State House of Assembly in the 2023 elections.
Makanjuola, who polled 21 votes to defeat his closest rival, Azeez Durodola, at the primary conducted and monitored by the officials of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) at Hallmark Hall, Itori, in Ewekoro Local Government Area, insisted that he remained the authentic candidate for the Ewekoro State Constituency seat.
He spoke in Abeokuta following an alleged plot by the state leadership of the PDP loyal to Hon. Ladi Adebutu, to deny him his mandate by imposing his main opponent, Durodola, as the candidate of the party in Ewekoro constituency.
The entrepreneur, who frowned on the move, alleged that the party members decided to replace him with Durodola as the candidate of the constituency because of his loyalty to Jimi Lawal, who contested governorship ticket with Adebutu, a former House of representatives member, in the just concluded PDP governoship primary in the state.
He noted that the ploy to deny him his mandate was allegedly orchestrated by Adebutu due to his plan to make Durodola the candidate for Ewekoro constituency, adding that the development forced him to switch loyaltyto Lawal to enable him to contest the primary.
Makajuola said, “When I came into PDP politics I was loyal to Ladi Adebutu, he was my governor to be. The poster I did was for both of us; everywhere I went to campaign, I spoke about him to people. But along the line, every of my effort proved abortive. My leader Adejoke took me to him and we spoke but it was not a pleasant meeting because I was not happy with the outcome.
“Since that day, he never requested for my presence and never called me. I later learnt that he has another person(Durodola) that he wanted to use; so I sped up with my work and my campaign processes. Along the line, I met Jimi Lawal. I saw a gentle man in him, I listened to his manifesto and it is so catchy and I think we share the same manifesto. So, I became loyal to Jimi Lawal because he gave me the attention I needed.”
Makanjuola asked Durodola to stop parading himself as the candidate of the party for Ewekoro constituency, stressing that he had all the evidence of the election process, including his declaration as the authentic candidate.
He urged the national leadership of the party to endorse his candidacy for justice to reign.
Makanjuola, while stating that he won’t give up his mandate for anyone, also threatened to go to court if denied his mandate by the national leadership of the party.
He insisted that Adebutu’s faction can’t force Durodola, who polled zero vote at the primary on Ewekoro delegates.
He, however, petitioned the national leadership of the party through PDP Chairman in Ewekoro LG, Mrs Titilayo Adejoke Salau, asking the party’s National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu, to disregard the candidacy of Durodola and declare him the authentic candidate for Ewekoro Constituency in Ogun State.
In the letter dated May, 26, 2022, Makanjuola, explained that the primary election held on Sunday, May 22, 2022 at the designated venue, Hallmark Hotel, in Itori, Ewekoro, and it was witnessed by INEC officials as well as security personnel.
He stated that the primary was conducted with a delegates’ list from the party’s national body in Abuja.
He explained further that the electoral committee of the party sent from the national office decided to reject the results of the election where he emerged the winner, to favour Durodola, a preferred candidate of Adebutu, to contest the seat of Ewekoro State Constituency on the platform of PDP
The CEO of Macdan, urged Ayu to rescue him by disregarding Durodola’s candidacy, who he claimed was present at the venue of the primary, but decided to boycott the election and went ahead to conducted another primary on May 23, 2022, at the party’s secretariat with the support of the members loyal to Adebutu.
The letter partly reads, “I Mrs Titilayo Ajoke Olaleye Salau, the Peoples Democratic Party, Ewekoro Local Government Party Chairman, write this petition on behalf of and on the instruction of Hounorable Makanjuola Daniel Kazeem( here in after referred to as ” the candidate.”
“The candidate contested in the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)(here in after referred to as ” the party) to produce a candidate to represent the party for Ewekoro State Constituency in Ogun State House of Assembly election. The exercise took place on the 22nd day of May 2022 at the Hallmark Hotel and Suit Hall Opposite Police Station, Itori, for ward 1 to 10.”
“The delegates for ward 1to 10 Ewekoro State Constituency whose election was supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) at the congress held on 30the of April, 2022, participated in that election to produce the candidate who had 21 votes. The election which produced the candidate was duly witnessed by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the appropriate security personnel. The result of the primary election, where in the candidate emerged the winner is hereby attached”
“To the surprise of the candidate and the delegates, officials of the party from the National body refused to recognise the election but rather preferred to recognise another person in the person of Mr. Durodola Eniola Azeez( here in after referred as “the person), the person now being claimed to have been elected to represent the party in the forthcoming Ogun State House of Assembly election for Ewekoro State Constituency. The purported election took place at the party secretariat in Abeokuta on the 23rd of May, 2023, the location of which was radically different from the scheduled place and the time communicated to the Independent Electoral Commission and other stakeholders inclusive of the security agencies. Hallmark Hotel and Suit Hall was the venue so communicated”
“It should be noted that the said election day, that person and the his followers came to Hall mark Hotel and Suit Hall, opposite police station Itori, but had to leave when they realised that the results would not be favourable to them.
“It should also be noted that the said election that produced another person other than the candidate was conducted at a venue not designated for such election, more so the person, the officials of the party from the headquarters had decided to recognise had not been produced by the recognised delegates.
“The candidate is duly elected candidate to represent the party at the forthcoming Ogun State House of Assembly Election for Ewekoro State Constituency and has been so elected by the duly elected delegates to perform the exercise.
“It is also necessary to bring to your notice that the Electoral Committee sent from the National Office of the party has also refused to accept the result of the election conducted at the Hallmark Hotel and Suit Hall opposite Police Station, Itori, which was designated and communicated venue for the election.
“It will be in the interest of the party to present the name Hon. Makanjuola Daniel Kazeem as the flag bearer to represent the party as the candidate for Ewekoro State Constituency. The interest of the party should supersede any personal interest.
“In the circumstances, I have the instruction of the candidate to prevail on the party to act civil by recognising the candidature of Hon. Makanjuola Daniel Kazeem to represent the party for Ewekoro State Constituency in the forthcoming election in the interest of justice, consequence of which necessary legal action may be considered appropriate in the circumstances and the party may at the end be affected.”
Makanjuola, who narrated how Durodola and his thugs came to the venue of the primary and tried to disrupt the election, said that they came with fake list of delegates which resulted in a scuffle between one of his boys identified as Oscar and the party’s chairman, Mrs Adejoke.
He explained further that when they came, they also attempted to chase away the certified delegates and let their own delegates enter the venue with their fake list; in the process, the chairman forcefully collected the list from Oscar before handing it over to police. This infuriated Durodola and he left the venue with his thugs.
He said, “The people of Ladi Adebutu’s faction brought another list because I am of Jimi Lawal’s faction. We are the people that follow the structure of the party. On the day of the primary election for Assembly, the hall that was approved by the state secretariat was Hallmark Hall at Itori. So, on the day of the election, I was at the venue waiting for INEC and the voting materials to arrive and somebody called and said my opponent in person of Azeez Durodola is in the secretariat lobbying with the secretary in person of Solarin that they were moving around, whispering into each others ears and I said it’s constitutional that an aspirant of a party on the day of election should be at the secretariat instead of being at the designated venue
“So, I asked some of my supporters to go with me but I didn’t enter. I stayed outside but I asked them to help me see what was going on at the secretariat, and he was seen talking to the those people that were supposed to come and conduct election for us. And we are supposed to see an INEC person; nobody came, only the boys of Adebutu in the secretariat whom they ask to conduct our own election and my opponent has been seen romancing with them and talking to each other in secret places.
“The moment Ewokoro was called to get the voting materials, the chairperson of Ewokoro in person of Titilayo Ajoke, requested to see the list from INEC before they could proceed to the venue and they said nobody should be allowed to see the list. Let us go to the venue, we went closely with INEC official till we got to the venue so that the list won’t be doctored. When we got to the venue, I saw thugs numbering about 100 in front of Hallmark brought by my opponent and I said what’s happening, so I went into the hall.
“One guy called Oscar working for my opponent came down and said all the delegates should go out of the gate where as the thugs outside have been throwing stones at the delegates inside already and I said you can’t jeopardy the lives of the people because of election. And I asked one of the guys from secretariat to bring out their own list and let us see if it corresponded with the that of INEC that was sent from Abuja, they refused to release the list, they said everybody should go out first. And I knew that once the people go out, they will lock the gate and they will call their own people in. My chairperson in Ewokoro, Titilayo Ajoke, said ‘look if you can’t show us the list then the election will not hold, so they still refuse to release it. The chairperson hijack the list from him and in the process he manhandled the woman and in the long run the police collected the list and when they saw that the list had been collected they dropped their cars and left.
“But we went ahead with the election because we were in the right venue and we have the right list of INEC from Abuja. So, I had 21 votes of delegates and my opponent had none and I was declared winner. The numbers of accredited voters was 21 out of 30 delegates. I was declared winner because we used the right document list from INEC and we used the right venue stipulated by the secretariat, my opponent was there and he decided to boycott it. And we went ahead and I won the election. Later, we heard they went to a small dark room inside the PDP secretariat and used the light of their smart phones to conduct their own election and declared himself winner.
“Since the national body brought the certified list of delegates and the state decided the venue to be used and I followed the procedures, I don’t think anybody should compete my mandate with me. I am the authentic candidate, I am the rightful elected candidate for House of Assembly, Ewekore Constituency. I am appealing to them to disregard whoever is parading himself as the winner because he is an illegal person and did not follow the legal procedure of the party and did not follow the delegates and his venue was wrong venue. If I am being denied my mandate, the law will address it and all document will be provided”
The entrepreneur stated that his victory at the primary was a reflection of peoples’ choice from Ewekoro, and if elected he won’t fail the people of his constituency, describing himself as a light to his constituents while assuring them of being reliable, transparency, accountable and trustworthy.
Makanjuola promised to bring micro finance bank to his constituents for market women to get loan at a very low profit rate for their businesses and encourage industries in the area to employ 45% youth yearly and also ask companies to perform their Corporate Social Responsibility regarding infrastructure in his constituency.
“I have seen the level of under development in Ewekoro. Ewekoro is one of the richest LG in Ogun State yet the life of the people has never changed. It is still like we are in the olden days. But i promise them, especially the market, women to bring into Ewekoro micro finance bank, where they can get loan to finance their businesses at a very low profit rate.
“We also want to speak with the likes of big industries in Ewekoro on the possibility of giving Ewekoro youth at least 45% of their employment every year so that our people can get employed. On the issue of infrastructure, we will also speak with big companies around and also bring those outside on the possibility of improving roads around, lighting, and water in Ewekoro,” he added.