2022 guber: Tension in Ekiti PDP over election of statutory delegate
• Oni, Olujimi, Three Other Aspirants Fault Exercise
It was a tense atmosphere, yesterday, in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), began the process of electing statutory delegates that would vote at the party’s primary slated for January 26.
The leadership of the PDP had constituted a committee led by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, to oversee the congress.
Other members of the committee include the party’s immediate past publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, (secretary), Michael Mku; Chief Mrs. Modinat Abosede Adedibu, and Alhaji. Zanna G. Mustapha.
The atmosphere was tensed at the Koltotel Hotel, located inside the GRA in Ado Ekiti, where the committee members from Abuja resided, as scores of party supporters besieged the facility to raise observations regarding the conduct of the exercise, which they claimed was allegedly manipulated in favour of an aspirant backed by a former governor, Ayodele Fayose.
Despite the presence of several armed security men drawn from the Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the hotel, which was also the venue for the distribution of electoral materials was very rowdy.
But rising from a meeting, after the distribution of electoral materials to wards, five aspirants including, former governor Segun Oni, Senator Representing Ekiti South, Biodun Olujimi, Prof Kolapo Olusola, Lateef Ajijola, Wale Aribisala, and their supporters decried the conduct of the exercise, which they said was unacceptable to them.
They also accused the Udom-led committee of alleged compromise in favour of Fayose’s candidate and urged the leadership of the party to look at their grievances and take their complaints seriously, just as they warned that if the situation was not revisited, it adversely affect the party in the coming election.
Oni said: “What you have seen today is laughable. And this is the standard we still are as a country. It is very unfortunate. There is nothing we can do other than to complain formally. We went upstairs and met with the acting chairman of the ward congress panel. I believe we cannot have democracy by hijack. If anybody is a muscle man, he should apply the muscle to win people for the party. We believe that the party will take a look at what has happened…”
Olujimi, who regretted that the scenario was a repeat of what transpired during last year’s congress said: “This is what we have been fighting against it happening in PDP. Everything has been compromised. …”
But Ologbondiyan denied all the allegations and stressed that the committee did not bend the rules to favour any of the factions. He added that the accreditation and distribution of materials were done in the presence of all the aspirants.