Youths in the Ogun State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) under the aegis of Progressive Youth Agenda (PYA) have told Reno Omokri, a former social media aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, to stay clear of politics and affairs of the Ogun state chapter of the party.
Rather, they urged him to advise his people in Delta state. Omokri hails from Delta state
The group in a statement issued in Abeokuta on Sunday by Asiwaju Lekan Ashimi took a swipe at Omokri “for dabbling into the politics of Ogun state and state’s chapter of the PDP that he knows little or nothing about.”
The statement reads in part, “We are particularly surprised that Omokri would be holed up somewhere abroad and launch verbal attacks and unsubstantiated accusations against one of the finest and illustrious sons of Ogun State in the person of Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal (JAL) all because he took the bold step to join the PDP.
“It is inconceivable that a time when well-meaning leaders and elders of the PDP are going out of their way and doing everything possible to woo credible people and members of the other party into the PDP, a certain Omokri would want to disparage and discourage them from joining our party. No other disservice can be more than this. This is akin to a situation where some are labouring and gathering, and the like of Omokri are scattering.
“Contrary to Omokri’s outlandish claims, Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal (JAL) is his own man, an accomplished lawyer and banker who became the chief executive officer of a bank in his 20s. He brings to the table several decades of experience in both private and public sectors garnered since the 80s.
“He served with the current Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai when the latter was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the PDP administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo between 2003 and 2007; after which he returned to his private businesses.
“When the politics of 2015 began which had to do with the re-election bid of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, many PDP chieftains and stakeholders who disagreed with the re-election bid of Jonathan left the PDP to join forces with other like-minds who floated the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Many of those who did so have since retraced their steps and returned to PDP, including Omokri’s former paymaster. If Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal (JAL) has now decided to toe the same step and return to PDP where he started his public service from, we do not know why that should be a headache for Omokri and his sponsors. After all, is it not said that ‘in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies but permanent interests?’
“If Reno Omokri sees Jimi Lawal and El-Rufai as some of those who were responsible for the loss of his meal ticket in the PDP government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, then it speaks volumes about the quality of these men. He should no longer rue the loss but brace up, roll up his sleeves and join other well-meaning leaders and elders of our party to get more people to come into the party so as to send the APC packing in 2023. There is no better way to do it than to have those who have tasted both sides tell of their experiences.
“For us in Ogun State and particularly in the PDP, we think that there must be something invaluable about Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal (JAL) for the sharp-minded Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to have kept him all through his years as Minister of the FCT and Governor of Kaduna State. Indeed, he not only appointed him as a Senior Special Adviser on Investment Promotion, he made him the Chairman of Kaduna State Economic Development Council; thereby being in charge of the State’s Economic and Investment activities.
“We are happy to have him return home, not just to Ogun State but into the PDP – the party that will form the next government in Ogun State, by the grace of God”.
“If Reno Omokri and his sponsors are scared because Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal (JAL) is interested in joining the governorship race under the platform of the PDP, then it calls to question their so-called popularity. Instead of throwing tantrums and inadvertently making Otunba Jimi Adebisi Lawal (JAL) the issue in PDP and the state, they should work on testing their popularity at the primary election.”