By Rotimi Ojomoyela
ADO-EKITI—CRISIS, yesterday, rocked the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State as some aggrieved aspirants and a serving Senator decamped to the Social Democratic party, SDP.
This was as the Advance People Democratic Party, APDA, in the state said it has merged with the SDP.
In a similar vein, Governor Fayose has appointed a serving Commissioner, Mr. Bisi Kolawole as the Director-General of the Kolapo Olusola-Eleka Campaign Council ahead of the July 14 governorship poll.
Aspirants dump PDP
The aggrieved aspirants, who dumped the PDP, have been at loggerheads with Governor Ayodele Fayose over the imposition of the Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola as the sole candidate.
The aggrieved aspirants, who stormed the stakeholders’ meeting of the SDP held at the party’s headquarters in Ado Ekiti, include the former deputy Governor to Ayodele Fayose, Mr Bisi Omoyeni; a former Ambassador to Canada, Mr Dare Bejide who was represented by Mr. Yemi Arokodare; while Senator Raji Rasaki was represented at the forum by Chief Titi Oluwatuyi who announced her desire to join the party.
Omoyeni, a former Managing Director of the Wema Bank told the SDP stakeholders not to express fear saying nobody can intimidate them.
Omoyeni said: “SDP was established by divine creation and it has become the Third Force, be rest assured that our people are coming en masse to this party. Any support the party needs to occupy Oke Ayoba Government House, we will render it.
“Most of the aspirants, who are still slugging it out in other parties, are coming here. In fact, 70 percent of the members of PDP in Ekiti are moving to SDP.”
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the meeting, the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yemi Akinbode who led other National Working Committee of the SDP to the meeting, said that the meeting was called because of the Ekiti election which, he said, was strategic to the party.
Akinbode said: “This is the first meeting after the inauguration of the interim state working committee of SDP because the election is fast approaching and we have little or no time on our hands. The leadership of the party at the national level mandated me and others, including Prof Tunde Adeniran, to come to Ekiti state to quickly put together the stakeholders meeting to explain to them the vision, programmes as well as the structure of the party and our expectation in the coming Governorship election in Ekiti.
“You can see that this is the first meeting and the attendance was good. People are already coming out who ordinarily will not have shown their faces. This is an indication that this is the party to beat.
“It is instructive that those sending representatives are already here. Bisi Omoyeni is here by himself. That is to show that he is here with us. Ambassador Dare Bejide and Hon. Arokodare are here and that is to show that more members are still coming and that is an indication that the house divided against itself can’t stand and that is to show that the PDP is in trouble.
“Our doors are still open to members of other parties who are willing to join the moving train. Our goal and objective are to win the governorship election in Ekiti come July 14.”
The SDP, however, constituted six standing committees for the purpose of galvanizing support for the party ahead of the July 14 election. They are the Contact and Mobilization, Youth, Women, Communication and strategy, Result and Funding and Elders Committees.
APDA merges with SDP
Meanwhile, the APDA leader in the state, Chief S. O Elebute, who led some members of the party to the SDP stakeholders meeting, said the party has merged with SDP.
Fayose appoints campaign DG for deputy
Relatedly, a statement by the Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communication and New Media, Lere Olayinka said Kolawole would coordinate the campaign activities of the deputy governor.
The statement did not specify names of other members of the campaign council.
Until his new appointment, Kolawle, a former member of the Ekiti House of Assembly was the state Commissioner for Environment.