Embattled senator representing Ogun East, Senator Buruji Kashamu, on Saturday, boycotted the congress of the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The congress, which lasted more than seven hours amid tight security, was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, the state capital.
It was conducted by the South-West chairman of the party, Dr. Eddy Olafeso.
A source said Kashamu’s absence was due to the fact that he has lost the structure of the state PDP to a National Chairmanship candidate of the party and former governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
Also absent at the congress were former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, and the Ogun PDP governorship candidate in 2015, Prince Gboyega Isiaka.
Former House of Assembly member, Sikirulai Ogundele, was elected as the state chairman by delegates from the 20 local governments.
Ogundele is former Chairman of Ifo Local Government.
To work with him for the next four years are Chief Ibukun Ojosipe, Deputy Chairman; Comrade Bode Bankole, Secretary; Mr Lolu Adenuga, Treasurer; Malik Ibitoye, Publicity Secretary; Waliu Oladipupo, Organising Secretary; Dr Folasade Filani, Women Leader; and Alhaji Maamud Alabi, Youth Leader.
After the exercise, Olafeso urged them to put the challenges of the past behind and forge a common front for 2019 elections.
He saluted the courage and resilience of the party members, urging them to remain focused and avoid distractions.
Olafeso said: “We must not take for granted the journey so far because without the sacrifices of everybody, this wouldn’t have been possible.
“I continue to plead with you; the work has just started. We have gone through too much trauma and all of us must reach out to our brothers and sisters. It is obvious nobody wins alone, we are stronger together.”
Ogundele said his election would bring an end to the crisis in the party.
He said: “I want to thank the Almighty God that has made it possible for us to have a very successful state congress in PDP. My emergence, no doubt, will bring all aggrieved members back to the party and I see this congress putting an end to problems of PDP in Ogun State.
“With my emergence I intend to run an open party administration. We intend to spread hand of fellowship to members that are aggrieved. We intend to extend hand of goodwill to members of other parties and I don’t have any doubt in my mind that we will put an end to the government of penny wise, pounds foolish of APC.
“The entire people of Ogun State should expect a very vibrant, constructive party and we are looking up to having a 2019 election won by PDP.”