From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The gale of defection which has turned the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to a shadow of their former selves is causing disquiet, distrust and cries among the remaining leaders and members of the two political parties.
Since last February, many of the notable leaders and members of the two parties have been moving in droves to join the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to support the ambition of the party’s governorship candidate in the June 18 election, Asiwaju Segun Oni.
Findings by the Ekiti Build Back Better (EBBB), a pro-Segun Oni Campaign Organisation group, revealed panic measures being put in place, at least to impress their leaders in Abuja that they are still in existence to contest the forthcoming poll in the state.
According to a press statement issued by Idowu Adelusi, the spokesman of the group in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, at the weekend, “at the strategic meetings of the eggheads in APC and in PDP held recently, the two parties struggled to avoid, but inevitably admitted that they have lost the June election to the SDP already, even before the date of election.
“It was at this point that they concluded that they would not go down without fighting and they drew action plans.
“The first plan in the battle line of action drawn is to open cans of threat to defectors to serve as a deterrent to other would-be defectors. This is because more defectors are known to be waiting for the most auspicious time before taking a bow.
“Another suggestion is to lure the defectors and disenchanted members with tickets to elective positions in the state and national assemblies. Their greatest fear is with the looming success of Segun Oni and in Ekiti, a development they think might have a bandwagon effect on others and the national politics; such defections, they think, might be the beginning of the end of their political parties.
“The APC is planning to use party agents and INEC adhoc staff from neighbouring states like Osun, Ondo, Kogi, and Kwara which incidentally are all APC states and would be massively funded to serve their best interests.
“These, they hope, will be with the connivance of INEC, security officials, the military, money-bags, police, and paramilitary agencies, which they boast were under their influence.
“They plan using violence during voting, votes buying, and rigging. The APC also agreed to use the courts up to the Supreme Court as the last weapon, if other things failed.
“The APC candidate’s group has also targeted four local government areas with large supporters of Oni and the SDP, such as Ado, Ikole, Ikere and Ijero, planning to give each voter N10,000 to vote for the APC candidate. There was a hot argument over this, leading almost to a fight.
“The PDP is yet to know where and how to start their campaign, due to a protracted internal crisis generated by the rejection of Mrs. Funmilayo Oguns, the anointed candidate for the post of deputy governor, which is yet to be resolved.
“A confirmed source told the EBBB that the former governor who heads and controls the party in the state was yet to accept Mr. Kola Kolade as a replacement, notwithstanding the alleged firm loyalty of Kolade to him. The Bisi Kolawole Campaign Organisation has been starved for fund.
“These and many other things have reduced the PDP to a mere spectator in the coming election.”