A stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Kamaldeen Olorunoje, has accused a former National Deputy Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, and the state chairman of the party, Tunji Shelle, of causing mass defections from the PDP in the state.
Olorunoje said many strong members of the party had left because of the leadership style of George.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Monday, Olorunoje also asked the acting national chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff, to disregard Shelle as the state chairman of the party.
It will be recalled that Shelle was on May 11, 2015 suspended as chairman of the party by 34 members of the party's state working committee.
Olorunoje was appointed as the acting chairman of the party but Shelle insisted that his removal was unconstitutional and that he remained the chairman of the party in the state.
Olorunoje, while congratulating Sheriff on his appointment, alleged that George imposed several candidates on the party, which ultimately affected the party's chances in the last general elections.
He said, “This briefing is to congratulate Sheriff as the national chairman of the PDP. It is also meant to sensitise the public to how Chief George and Shelle have been causing mass defections from the PDP in the state. No progress is being witnessed as a result of the leadership style of George and Shelle in the state.
“Ahead of the forthcoming congress, we are calling on Sheriff to disregard Shelle as the chairman of the party and also to do something fast before our membership base in Lagos is depleted. George and Shelle should desist from using military approach and become real democrats. We reject the leadership of Chief George in the party.”
Olorunoje said he was not representing a faction of the party but the entire organ of the party since members of the state working committee had given him unanimous support. He, therefore, urged members of the public not to regard Shelle as the chairman of the party.
But speaking with our correspondent in an interview on Monday, Shelle said Olorunoje's allegations were mischievous and absurd.
He alleged that a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, was using Olorunoje to divide the party.
Shelle asked Olorunoje to stop parading himself as the acting chairman of the party in the state, noting that the national leadership of the PDP recognised only him as the chairman of the party in the state.
He said, “Olorunoje should stop blackmailing Chief George and I. The national leadership of the PDP recognises me as the authentic chairman of the party in Lagos State. I don't want to join issues with anybody again. He has rejected the peace moves and I regard him as someone who does not have anything to do.”