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Ekiti PDP crisis deepens; Fayose loyalists oppose imposition of candidate

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There is more trouble for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State as the number of those opposing the adoption of the Deputy Governor, Kolapo Olusola, as the party’s sole candidate for the next year’s governorship race is on the increase.

The party stakeholders had last week declared Mr. Olusola as the sole candidate of the party for the coming election.

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Governor Ayo Fayose had also openly declared Mr. Olusola as his likely successor.

Leading aspirants of the party such as Dayo Adeyeye and Olujinmi, had earlier opposed the endorsement, which was considered by them as a ploy by the governor to deny other aspirants a level playing field.

The government, however, said the endorsement does nor mean there would be no party primaries.

A group of persons within the party had on Wednesday petitioned the national secretariat in Abuja, rejecting the adoption of Mr. Olusola.

The petition, which was signed by Seun Adebayo and Gbenga Babawibe, was titled
“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

The group described Mr. Fayose as “a harbinger of chaos and disunity,” adding that his recent action was his desire to perpetrate division within the party.

The aggrieved members called on the national chairman of the party, Ahmed Makarfi, to act speedily to save the party in the state from chaos.

Also, three persons known to be loyal to Governor Fayose: a former Commissioner for Public Utilities, Deji Adesua; former factional House of Assembly Speaker, Dele Olugbemi and a Special Assistant, Musa Kanga, have backed Mr. Adeyeye to become the candidate of the party.

The trio joined a horde of supporters of Mr. Adeyeye, who is the National Publicity Secretary of the party, to welcome him at his campaign office in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday.

Mr. Kanga led scores of fellow Hausa PDP members to the rally and pledged his support for Mr. Adeyeye’s governorship ambition.

Mr. Adeyeye, while addressing the supporters, described the September 6 adoption of Mr. Olusola as “a huge joke and comedy staged to entertain the people ofEkiti State.”

He also described Mr. Olusola’s adoption masterminded by Mr. Fayose as “irresponsible impunity that has no force of the law.”

He expressed confidence that the national leadership of the party would conduct a free, fair, transparent and credible primary to produce the flag bearer for the 2018 poll.

“What happened last week at the Government House was a huge joke and a comedy in which somebody just decided to entertain the people,” he said.

“That was an irresponsible step to take because if you are a leader, you should be the first person to obey the law and not the first person to break the law and you should not do something that will ‎break the party.”

However, Mr. Fayose said he could not be threatened or blackmailed by anybody over the recent adoption of Mr. Olusola as the candidate of the party.

According to him, he has no apology to offer anybody or group over the matter since he has not done anything that has breached any rule or law of the party or the country.

Mr. Fayose spoke on Thursday in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi. He admitted that some interest groups in the party had forwarded a petition to the PDP national secretariat on
Mr. Olusola’s adoption.

“To start with, as a party member and a citizen of Nigeria, I reserve the rights to support any candidate for any elective post and even vote same in an election,” he said.

“Those who are crying over spilled milk should put their enemies in the position of a governor when they have such opportunity.

“I have no apology for my action because I have only exercised my rights and I have not breached any rule or law of the party or that of the country.

“If the petitioners are the major stakeholders and we are the minority, time will tell. However, we reiterate that anyone who feels disappointed by the action should wait for the party’s primary because it is their rights.

“Above all, since they have written to Senator Ahmed Makarfi, they should equally copy Sheriff. All the complainants got to their current positions by God’s grace and my humble self that God used for them.

“If they complain about of imposition and endorsement, let them face the electorate too and adopt their own standard that is different from the one we used.

“At least, am the man to be succeeded and I am entitled to support who I like. Let them know that I am not the type to be threatened.

“If anybody has anything against me, let them go to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”

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