From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
fresh crisis is brewing in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State following the decision of former governor Ayodele Fayose to endorse Bisi Kolawole as governorship candidate for 2022 election.
Fayose’s insistence on the choice of Kolawole, who is PDP factional chairman, loyal to the former governor, is causing tension among party members who are looking forward to a transparent primary election to elect a standard bearer.
Many of Fayose’s loyalists were surprised on why he is rooting for Kolawole after he had earlier directed them to work for former deputy governorship candidate, Deji Ogunsakin.
The former governor reportedly communicated the choice of Kolawole to members of his group, Osoko Political Assembly (OPA), few days ago at a meeting in his Afao Ekiti residence.
Kolawole, who represented Efon constituency in the House of Assembly between 2007 and 2011, also served as commissioner for Environment under Fayose between 2015 and 2018.
Fayose had earlier directed that a bank account, in the name of OPA, be opened for every governorship aspirant to make a payment of N2 million before they could declare their ambition.
Some aspirants, who were said to have complied by paying the sum included the PDP candidate for the 2018 governorship election, Olusola Eleka; two former House of Representatives members, Segun Adekola and Ayodele Oladimeji, and former deputy governorship candidate, Deji Ogunsakin.
While some party members hailed Fayose’s anointment of Kolawole as the preferred PDP standard bearer, others vowed to resist the choice which they described as another attempt to impose a candidate on the party ahead of the 2022 governorship election.
Daily Sun, which monitored various posts on Facebook and WhatsApp, said debate on the propriety or the otherwise of Fayose’s choice still continued at the time of filing this report, yesterday.
Pictures of Fayose’s visit to Kolawole’s residence in Efon where he further gave reasons he anointed him as the next PDP candidate were later circulated on the social media on Saturday.
Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka, reacting to a question by a social media user on why Fayose abandoned Eleka, said: “Abeg carry your Oyinbo giramatika go sleep.
“I respect Eleka so much and I won’t say anything against him here.
“But on this one, we that chose Eleka in 2018 have chosen Kolawole for 2022.
“In 2018, Eleka was not the most brilliant, he got the ticket.”
Reacting to Kolawole’s choice in another WhatsApp post, Ogunsakin said the action has ended his ambition to run for the governorship seat in the 2022 poll.
He said: “I just spoke with my darling egbon and the chairman of our great party PDP, Bisi Kolowale, to congratulate him as the news of his emergence reached me through sources I have utmost respect for.
“I’m not available for any negative discussions. Thank you. God bless OPA. God bless PDP.”
Meanwhile, the PDP in Efon Local Government, Kolawole’s council of origin hailed his choice by Fayose describing it as “the best decision.”
According to a statement by the Efon PDP council Chairman, Oluyemi Ajanaku, Kolawole is the man needed for the transformation of Ekiti State.
“We, the entire good people of Efon appreciate God almighty for giving us the chance and season the privilege as our indigenous and illustrious son is been considered as a preferred and anointed candidate by former governor Fayose,” he said.