Crisis rocks Ekiti, Lagos PDP
THE internal crisis rocking the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) became uncontrollable on Wednesday as a faction of the State Executive Committee (SEC) removed the Chairman, Idowu Faleye from office for alleged “ineptitude and breach of party’s constitution”.
The faction that removed Faleye without Governor Ayodele Fayose’s consent said their action was not targeted at the governor.
Only two weeks ago, some members of the SWC believed to be loyal to Fayose attempted to remove the State Secretary Dr Tope Aluko but party hoodlums disrupted the process.
But the state executive that claimed to have succeeded in removing Faleye said Olatunde Olatunde has been elected as the Acting Chairman pending the time the vacancy will be filled.
Faleye , who hailed from Ido Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government was appointed the Chairman in 2014, following the elevation of Makanjuola Ogundipe, who once occupied the seat , as the National
Vice Chairman, Southwest zone of the party.
Speaking to journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Olatunde disclosed that Faleye resigned voluntarily from office to correct the mistake made in his appointment as the State Chairman, having come from the same ward 1 , Ido Ekiti with the State Youth leader, coupled with his alleged inefficiency in office .
He said the action has been transmitted to the Alhaji Adamu Muazu-led National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja through the Southwest party apparatus, led by Ogundipe.
In his reaction to his removal, Faleye, who addressed the newsmen alongside former Deputy-Governor, Paul Alabi and Senator Clement Awoyelu , said he remains the Chairman of the party, while also dispelling the allegation of inefficiency leveled against him.
He said what the disgruntled executive council members were requesting for was the payment of their six months arrears of their honourarium totaling N11 million, “which I told them I cannot do without getting the approval of the party leader”.
The embattled Chairman added that it was wrong for Olatunde to have described his appointment as illegal, saying the party satisfied all constitutional provisions before appointing him in his present capacity.
But Olatunde said: “We held the State Executive Committee’s meeting at our secretariat in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, where Chief Idowu Faleye was confronted with the fact that we made mistake in his appointment.
“We follow Federal Character in the appointment in our party. We cannot appoint two different principal officers from the same ward. It is against our Constitution. Faleye is from the same Ido Ward 1 where the State Youth Leader comes from.
“Apart from this, the former Chairman never called any meeting since he came on board. We confronted him at the meeting with all these and he willingly stepped down after a prolonged argument and debate.
“Going by the Constitution, when an officer resigned, such position will be filled from his zone. Faleye is from Ido/Osi and I am from
Ilejemeje and it was on the basis of this that the SEC, the highest organ of the party elected me in acting capacity.“
He denied that the removal was fallout of the fight between Governor Fayose and Muazu, who had been embroiled in crisis over the disastrous outing of the party in the last general elections.
Olatunde, who added that the change in the leadership was yet to be communicated to Fayose, said Faleye’s removal was not an attempt to get at the governor, saying the governor remains a respectable leader of the party.
“Though, we have not breached any constitution by not confiding in the governor before taking the action because going by the Constitution of our party, there is a difference between government and the party. The governor holds the government but he is a PDP member under me”, he said.
Olatunde insisted that the change in the leadership will not result in any implosion in the party, saying it was targeted at strengthening the party and reposition it for better outing in future elections.
“We are making a change for the betterment of the party. Those who had abandoned the party had started calling us since Tuesday promising to work with us. So I know that this will make our party to wax stronger”.
But Faleye insisted that “I am the only recognized Chairman and whoever said I have been removed is only deceiving himself. Nobody has the right to suspend me because I am a member of National Executive Council (NEC).”