By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—SOME governorship aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State have accused Governor Ayodele Fayose of violating the party’s constitution by planning to impose his deputy as the flag bearer of the party for the governorship election in the state.
They appealed to the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus to conduct free, fair and credible primary election in the state that would produce a popularly acceptable candidate if the party is desirous of retaining power in the state.
The aspirants, including Senator representing Ekiti South, Mrs Biodun Olujimi; a former Minister of Works, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye; former Ambassador to Canada, Amb. Dare Bejide and immediate past Commissioner for Justice, Mr Owoseeni Ajayi.
But in a swift reaction, Fayose’s Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi told newsmen that the governor has not violated any section of any constitution, whether that of the PDP or the 1999 Constitution.
Adelusi said: “What the Governor did was an exercise of his own right as a member of the party and as a Nigerian.”
However, the aggrieved aspirants called for the dissolution of the state Working Committee, SWC, led by Gboyega Oguntuase and set up a caretaker committee to conduct the primary for a credible primary to be attainable.
At a press conference jointly addressed by the aspirants in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the aspirants rejected “without reservation the adoption of Prof Olusola as the sole candidate for the July 14 governorship election.”
The text of the speech read by Adeyeye called on the party’s National Chairman to exclude Fayose and the State Chairman of the party, Oguntuase from participating in the conduct of the primary, saying the “duo have already compromised and have taken positions and cannot be fair to all the aspirants.”
They alleged that: “The State Working Committee, SWC, having betrayed its expected neutrality role, should be disqualified in the process leading to the governorship primary in April. We demand for a caretaker committee to replace them for the state.”
“Governor Fayose has pitched his tent with Prof Olusola and he should be disqualified from playing any role. The relevant provisions of the Electoral Act and the PDP constitution should be followed strictly and arbitrary and illegal use of state apparatus like radio and television stations to subvert the truth must stop,” they said.
Adeyeye advised Secondus to checkmate Fayose to prevent the calamity that befell PDP in Ondo state from playing out in Ekiti.
In her remarks, Olujimi, who represents Ekiti South at the Senate said: “Whoever says we are politicians that can be wished away will blame themselves, the result will be grievous. We don’t want to lose Ekiti but Governor Fayose is messing up the whole process. It was because people like us worked hard in 2014 that made the 16-0 possible for PDP.”
“Prof Olusola was only a beneficiary of our sweat, he didn’t contribute anything and now he wants to be adopted against the party’s constitution, this we will not accept”, she said.
Fayose has not violated any Constitution — Aide
Reacting to the accusation leveled against his boss, Adelusi maintained that Governor Fayose has not violated any section of any constitution, whether that of the PDP or the 1999 Constitution.
“He has exercised his fundamental rights which he is entitled to. I want to assure other aspirants that his support for Professor Olusola has not precluded them from the primary nor foreclosed the conduct of the primary. The primary will still hold and it is the delegates that will pick any of the aspirants.”
“The governor has said that there will be level playing field. So, they have nothing to fear. Let them go and begin Campaign. They should not dissipate energy on condemning the governor”, he said.