A former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, on Tuesday met behind closed doors with President Goodluck Jonathan inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A source close to the meeting said the former governor was begged by the President to support the PDP during the election.
Oyinlola, a former National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, was led to the meeting with the President by the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.
The meeting, which lasted about an hour, was said to have discussed the forthcoming governorship election in Osun State and the disputed position of the PDP National Secretary, currently being occupied by Prof. Wale Oladipo.
At the end of the meeting, Oyinlola told State House correspondents that Mu’azu brought him to meet with the President on how to improve the party’s fortunes.
He also said he remained the party’s National Secretary in the eye of the law, describing “whoever is currently holding the office as a pretender.”
The former governor said, “I was taken to the Villa by the Chairman of the PDP, and we had some discussions on to how to move the fortunes of the party forward. All I am telling you is that Oyinlola in the face of the law remains the authentic secretary of the PDP. Anybody in that office for now is a pretender!”
He left the President’s office before Mu’azu.
Some leaders of the All Progressives Congress had recently visited Oyinlola in his home town, Okuku, with a view to wooing him into their fold.
The former governor was quoted as saying that his continued presence in the PDP would be decided by Jonathan.
The source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said Oyinlola was asked at the meeting to support the candidate of the party, Senator Iyiola Omisore for the governorship election.
He said, “The President pleaded with him to support Omisore and the party and also to help in the campaign of the party.
“The President told him that he would want him (Oyinlola) to be present at the party’s campaign when he would be coming in order to give an assurance that he is with the PDP.”
In response to the demand by Oyinlola that he be reinstated as the National Secretary of the PDP as ordered by the Court of Appeal, the President was said to have said that the issue would be looked into.
It was also gathered that the President did not make any commitment on whether the PDP would be asked to withdraw its appeal on the issue, which is pending at the Supreme Court.
Because of this, it was gathered that the former governor and his supporters were of the opinion that the President and the party wanted to use them to win the election and later abandon them.
“We know the gimmick. We know the politics. We also know what they are up to. They want us to be committed to them and later abandon us. We are wiser,” the source added.
Our correspondent also gathered that the President and the leadership of the party were not ready to trade away the current occupier of the office of the National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, who is the candidate of Omisore and PPP leader in the South-West, Alhaji Buruji Kashamu.