By Rotimi Ojomoyela
ADO-EKITI—NATIONAL Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus and the former Senate President, Senator David Mark, yesterday, visited Ekiti State to resolve the crisis rocking the party in the state.
The PDP leaders urged the state governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, who is backing his deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola in his succession plan and other aspirants, like the former Minister of State for Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye and the Senator representing Ekiti South, Mrs Biodun Olujimi to bury the acrimony and work together in the interest of the party.
The meeting, held at AB Foundation hall located in Adebayo area, was attended by PDP supporters, particularly those loyal to all the aggrieved aspirants.
Addressing the party members, Secondus said the party will conduct a free, fair and credible primary to stabilize the PDP to enable it to retain the state.
Secondus said: “I assure you once again, there will be transparency and the process would not cheat anybody. I urge you to join the leaders to work together to ensure a free and fair transparent primary, eminent Nigerian are conducting the primary.
“We urge you to remain calm. We also urge INEC and security agents not to be partial but to defend democracy. From here, we are moving to other parts of the country for sensitization.”
In his remarks, Senator Mark said the Ekiti primary will be used to convince Nigerians and the global community that internal democracy has improved in the PDP.
Mark said: “Let me assure you that nobody will be allowed to unilaterally write the names of the delegates, you will go to the wards to elect your own delegate that is the PDP constitution.
“We are going to meet with all relevant stakeholders before conducting the primary because we don’t want it to generate any crisis.
“I am confident that the PDP will win the election in Ekiti state. If an election is held in Ekiti 20 times, PDP will win because I can see that you are on the ground.”
I won’t undermine the party — Fayose
Fayose, in his comment, said: “When I contested in 2014, I won in 158 wards. No matter how mad a dog is, anytime it sees its owner, it will wag its tail. I am the landlord to APC in Ekiti. I am their master and I will defeat them any time, any day.
“Though I am for Olusola in the primary, I want the other aspirants to be comfortable, the ultimate is to defeat APC in Ekiti and Nigeria any party operating that cannot.
“I will not do anything that would undermine this process, the party, and aspirants. In a matter like this, there will be many interests. I am for Olusola but whosoever that wins the primary I will stand by that person.
“I won’t behave like the mother of the biblical twins who killed her own child. If the other aspirants are not comfortable with my coming to the primaries I won’t come. If you lose and the process is transparent you should support the party.”
We want free primary —Adeyeye
One of the aspirants, Prince Adeyeye said: “I believe this meeting is to assure all of us in Ekiti that there will be free and fair primary.
We want it to be free. If there is anybody who has written names of delegates, they should tear it off.”
“The party has also assured to publish all names of delegates and that by May 8, everyone will vote in the secret ballot, and no one will be intimidated or suspended or harassed. If this is done, I am assured that PDP will coast home with a victory. This is the first time I have sent PDP being very well organized in the primaries.
“I appeal to all us that we should maintain our peace. Don’t feel harassed or intimidated, the leaders at the national level have assured us and I believe governor Fayose has supported it.”
Let the right thing be done—Olujimi
Also speaking, Olujimi said: “This is a good beginning because before now most of us could not come home to do anything but your comments as leaders would change the tide of things.
“There is much work to do, we need to set up another committee to do another reconciliation the right thing has to be done. If the right thing is done I am sure we won’t have problems even at the national level.
I’m committed to free primary—Olusola
On his part, the Deputy Governor, Professor Olusola said: “As an aspirant, I am committed to a free, fair primary and by the grace of the almighty God I remain loyal to this noble party and ready to abide by the rules and regulations of this party we are PDP in Ekiti and we are in ground and we will ensure that we work together for victory.”