A fresh crisis has hit the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), following the disputes among party members on last Saturday’s ward congress.
Some party chieftains are accusing Governor Ayo Fayose of violating the party’s guidelines and constitution by allegedly compiling the names of his stooges and imposing them as “elected delegates”.
They claimed that the development had angered majority of party members, who expected a free, fair and credible congress to elect the delegates who will vote at the December 9 National Convention in Abuja.
The aggrieved Ekiti PDP stakeholders have petitioned the State Ward Appeal Panel, urging its members to disregard the list of national delegates from the local government congress held on November 21.
The petition was signed by a Board of Trustees (BoT) member, Chief Clement Awoyelu; the senator representing Ekiti Central, Mrs. Fatimat Raji Rasaki and House of Representatives member representing Ekiti Central Federal Constituency II, Mr. Olamide Oni.
Others who endorsed the petition are: former House of Representatives members, Mrs. Titilayo Akindahunsi and Mr. Olufemi Adeyemi as well as Mrs. Titilayo Oluwatuyi, Dr. Kunle Folayan, Chief Williams Ajayi and Mr. Fatai Ibraheem.
The petition reads: “We, members of PDP in Ekiti State, hereby wish to bring to the notice of the chairman and members of the above-named panel that there was no ward congress in Ekiti State on Saturday, November 18, or anytime directed by the national headquarters of our great party.
“What actually happened in Ekiti State was the usual practices of Governor Ayo Fayose to single-handedly compile the names of his stooges as delegates without following the stipulated guidelines of the party.
“What this means is that Governor Fayose’s choice, rather than the people’s choice, emerged as candidates. This singular action has disappointed and provoked majority of members of the PDP in Ekiti State.
“The essence of this is for the governor to enable him select those delegates who will vote for candidates of his choice, rather than the popular choice of Ekiti people, at the national convention on December 9.
“We hereby appeal to your panel to void and disregard the list of delegates submitted by the governor and, by intention, disregard the list of national delegates that may emerge from the local government congress scheduled for November 21 (yesterday).”
But the PDP Publicity Secretary in Ekiti State, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, described the petition of the aggrieved party chieftains as a ruse and a mischief.
Adebayo, who spoke on the phone with our reporter, maintained that a valid ward congress was held.
He added: “The action of disgruntled elements against an organised house will not stand.
“The petition is a ruse and a mischief of the highest order. The dates for the congresses were held and everybody knows the venues and they were held according to the constitution of the party.
“The Electoral Committee supervised the (ward) congress, except they are trying to cover up their inadequacies and unless they did not go to the venue of the congress.
“That is why they sit down in the corners of their rooms to write rubbish in their petition. To us as a party, a valid ward congress was held on November 18 and delegates emerged.”
When asked if the petition against the alleged imposition of delegates by Fayose did not portray a division in the party, Adebayo said: “There is no division in the party. If some people are not acting according to the rules of the party, maybe it is because of their ulterior motives. They are writing petition against the congress conducted in 177 wards in the state.
“There was no imposition at the congress. We want to urge our well-meaning party members to ignore the action of a disgruntled elements against an organised house.”