Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
The immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, who is representing Ekiti South senatorial district, on Monday began trading words over the constitution of the Atiku/Obi campaign council in Ekiti State.
While Olujimi is asking for a dissolution of the council on the allegation that ex-governor Fayose had injected his cronies into the council to allegedly sideline other members, Fayose, who replied through his media aide and director of media of the campaign council in the state, Lere Olayinka, said that she (Olujimi) lacked the moral right to challenge the constitution of the council, alleging that the senator had been involved in anti-party activities in the state in the past six months.
In a petition written to the national body of the party, Olujimi accused Fayose of hijacking the council and injecting his cronies in all strategic positions with the sinister intention of preventing other members of the party from participating in mobilising for the PDP presidential candidate during the election.
The senator told the PDP national Chairman, Uche Secondus, to compel Fayose to adhere strictly to the resolution reached by stakeholders on how the council should be composed at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Ado Ekiti on December 28, 2018, to forestall cracks and crisis in the party ahead of the much awaited polls.
According to her: “The original composition had Prof Olusola Kolapo as chairman, Otunba Yinka Akerele as Director General, and Chief Sanya Atofarati as spokesperson/Director of Media among others while the position of secretary did not exist in the original composition by the national directorate.”
“The list which Olujimi is rejecting, has Prof Olusola as chairman, Chief Dipo Anisulowo as DG, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase as Secretary: Jackson Adebayo as spokesperson, and Lere Olayinka as Director, Media and Publicity.”
Olujimi warned that the PDP might lose the state to APC despite people’s resolve to vote against the ruling party in the presidential poll if urgent remedial action was not taken to rectify the perceived injustice.
But reacting to Olujimi’s claims, the Director of Media for the Council, Lere Olayinka, said: “The question to ask Senator Olujomi on her call for the dissolution of the Atiku/Obi Campaign Council in Ekiti is ‘in what capacity is she asking for such? What is her status?’
“The Secretary, South West, Atiku/Obi Campaign Council is Chief Eddy Olafeso; the Chairman of the council in Ekiti is former deputy governor Olusola Kolapo; the South West Coordinator is former governor Fayose while the Director General of the campaign at the national level is Senator Bukola Saraki. So what is the status of Senator Biodun Olujimi in this arrangement?
“The truth of the matter is that the PDP in Ekiti State will no longer accommodate dissidents.
If she likes, she can be accommodating the dissidents in her own right. She can be accommodating the supposed PDP members of the state House of Assembly who served in the House to sack the elected 16 local government council chairmen, 16 vice chairmen, 16 secretaries of the local government and supervisors, 32 advisers and 132 councilors in the state who are PDP members and the foot soldiers of party in the state, and these lawmakers in their selfishness suspended them, and Senator Olujimi is financing these lawmakers, giving them moral and financial support. That is not how a responsible PDP leader should behave. I tell you, that woman, Senator Olujimi has not behaved responsibly in the last six months.
“The campaign council of the state for Atiku and Obi will be inaugurated tomorrow at 2pm and the South West coordinator, Former governor Fayose will come to the state alongside the South West zonal chairman of the party to inaugurate the council in the state,” he said.
Speaking further, Olujimi said in the spirit of equity, justice, fairness and general acceptability in Ekiti PDP, the majority demanded that “Mr Fayose should be mandated to comply immediately with the earlier resolution of the party by adhering to the earlier membership and composition of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Council as previously agreed by the State Working Committee led by the party Chairman, Mr. Oguntuase, Senator Biodun Olujimi, Senator Duro Faseyi, Prof. Olubunmi Olusola and federal lawmakers.
“That if he (Mr Ayo Fayose) fails to comply with the above, we shall be left with no other option than to take appropriate actions that will reflect the wish of the people as agreed at the meeting of the campaign council at the PDP state secretariat and chaired by Prof. Olusola Kolapo, the campaign council chairman on December 28, 2018,” she said.