By John Alechenu, Abuja
Ahead of an official report of the Governor Seyi Makinde-led 80 member Peoples Democratic Party Ekiti Governorship Election Campaign Council, fresh facts have emerged on why the party not only lost the election but came a distant third.
SUNDAY VANGUARD gathered in Abuja, on Friday, that a combination of a battle of egos among party leaders at the state and national levels, the fallout of the party’s governorship and presidential primaries and alleged vote-buying by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were responsible for PDP’s disastrous outing.
A party insider, who spoke in confidence in order not to preempt the council’s report , said, “From the outset we knew we had problems in Ekiti.
“The protracted fight for the control of the party structure between former Governor Ayo Fayose on the one hand and Senator Biodun Olujimi , and our other leaders on the other hand was not properly resolved before the election”, he stated.
“Fayose has refused to accept the leadership of our only governor in the South-West, Seyi Makinde, who we gave the responsibility of leading the campaign.
“Members of the campaign council were also left to their own devices because it was brought to our notice that the Chairman was not even within the country when the election took place.
“When you add that to the brazen electoral fraud which the APC rigging machine put on display, there was little we could do.”
In a viral video, one of the party’s leaders, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, who is a member of the campaign council, Chief Tom Ikimi, had heaped the blame for the electoral defeat on Fayose.
Ikimi said: “Our problem in Ekiti today has been caused by the past Governor Fayose. He ruined the place before he left office. The build up to the choice of a candidate in Ekiti was a big struggle.
“All kinds of meetings were held until they had to push Segun Oni who went to SDP that was not known there. There was no campaign council for Ekiti, no rallies there. Nothing happened there.”
“The party at the national level must address this matter… if people should misbehave, there should be disciplinary actions. If that is not done, then it is a waste of time, we have a big battle ahead.”
Fayose, in a response, didn’t spare the former Minister. He accused the party leader of seeking to curry favour from the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The former governor took to his Twitter handle to reply Ikimi. In a series of tweets, he said: “Age they say comes with decorum and maturity not only grey hairs.
“It appears that reverse is the case with Chief Tom Ikimi, who is ranting on matters of Ekiti. Apart from being Chairman of NRC, a party he led to electoral defeat in 1993, has he ever contested or won a state election?
“If this latest vituperation of Ikimi is a fallout of my support for Gov Wike during the PDP presidential primary, then he should match his age with numbers and recall that this same Fayose gave PDP 16/0 over APC in 2014 and defeated Niyi Adebayo, an incumbent governor in 2003.
“He should also be reasonable enough to understand that the same PDP that lost election in Ekiti on Saturday to various factors, had in the past, won elections and will still win elections in future.
“To this end, if Ikimi is seeking relevance with Atiku, he should do same more decently. He should allow the sleeping dog to lie and save the PDP from unnecessary shootouts and fireworks at this time as we approach the general elections.”
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, on his part, expressed sadness that despite several claims of electoral reforms, the APC-led regime encouraged and facilitated the buying of votes in Ekiti.
He said, “What happened during the last Ekiti Governorship election is a sad reminder of the fact that there is still a lot more work to be done for the survival of our democracy.
“The APC having realized that it has failed in all indices of governance brazenly offered the same people they impoverished money in exchange for votes. This cannot be allowed to continue, we must take back our country for the sake of our unborn generations.”
The National Working Committee of the PDP had, on June 9, 2022, constituted an 80-member campaign council for the Ekiti election.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State was named as Chairman. Other members include Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu Deputy Chairman, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal Member, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike Member, Udom Emmanuel Member and Amb. Taofeek Arapaja also a member.
Other were Sen. Samuel N. Anyanwu , Arch. Setonji Kosheodo, Olasoji Adagunodo, Chief Dr. Ali Obasi Odefa, Chief Dan Osi Orbih , Hon. Debo Ologunagba, Prof. Stella Effa-Attoe and Dr. Ayo Fayose, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and Eyitayo Jegede, SAN.
Also in the council were Chief Olabode George, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, Sen. Biodun Olujimi Hon. Ladi Adebutu, Hon. Adekoya Adesegun Abdul-Majeed, Chief Jimi Agbaje, Sen. Ayo Akinyelure, Sen. Nicholas Tofowomo Member, Sen. Adenigba Fadahunsi and Mazi Samuel Ifeanyi Ohuabunwa.