The crisis rocking the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic (PDP), on Saturday, deepened as the congress produced two chairmen even under the watch of the National Working Committee (NWC).
While former Commissioner for Environment, Bisi Kolawole emerged from the group loyal to former Governors Ayodele Fayose and Segun Oni, a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Kehinde Odebunmi was elected from the group loyal to Senator Biodun Olujimi. Fayose and Olujimi had been enmeshed in crisis with the duo battling for the control of the party’s structures in the state.
However, after several years of political enmity, Fayose and Oni had used the congress to reunite with understanding to work hard to ensure victory for the PDP in the 2022 governorship poll in the state.
Fayose declared that with unity and discipline in the PDP, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will be defeated easily in Ekiti. Fayose emphasized that loyalty remains the best ingredient the party members in the opposition must exhibit to be able to triumph over the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led APC, saying Ekiti people have serious resentment for the ruling party.
Speaking in the same vein, Oni appealed to the party to eschew internal rancour, and promised that he would work with Fayose and other likeminds in order to get rid of APC in the state. Speaking at the factional congress held at Petim Hotel, Ado Ekiti, Fayose warned the party members against indiscipline and disloyalty that were common features among politicians, saying : “PDP was robbed in 2018, but 2022 is another day.
“Let me tell our members that loyalty pays over time. Let us continue to be loyal. All delegates, we welcome and salute you. You could all see all that are set here for this congress.
There is no crack in Ekiti PDP. I would have been surprised if Engineer Segun Oni has not been here today.” On his new found harmony with Oni, Fayose stated: “I welcome Engineer Oni to Ekiti PDP. I knew APC would fail him when he left. I congratulate him for becoming born again today.
Whoever comes back, you are welcome. “I have touched those I could; Oni touched those he could, so the ball is in your court to be loyal. We are going to be equitable to all members”. In a veil reference to his tiff with Olujimi, Fayose said: “5,000 Senators or House of Representatives (members) cannot stand any governor or former governor.
There must be respect for each other.” Oni while addressing the crowd said he felt elated to return to the PDP and realign with those he had worked with in the past and those he could trust when it comes to party politics. In his acceptance speech at the parallel congress held at Lotus Hotel in Ado Ekiti, Odebunmi, who was backed by Olujimi, former Deputy Governor, Sikiru Lawal and others, said the task of repositioning Ekiti PDP has begun with his emergence.
Odebunmi flayed Fayose for trying to forcefully take over the party’s structures in flagrant violation of the existing statute and extant laws guiding the PDP. On claims by Fayose that he remains the leader and authentic leader of PDP, Odebunmi said: “I don’t have any serious thing to say about that.
It is the majority that owns the party, not Fayose. Before you can hold a valid congress, INEC must be there. INEC was not present at the ward and local government congresses conducted by Fayose”