â€¢ SDP, APDA fuse for July 14 poll
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
With three months to the governorship election in Ekiti State, the rank of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has depleted the more, as a former Deputy Governor, Mr Bisi Omoyeni and the senator representing Ekiti Central in the National Assembly,Â Mrs. Fatimat Raji Rasaki, have defected to Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Other PDP bigwigs who dumped the party for SDP are former Nigeriaâ€™s Ambassador to Canada, Dare Bejide.
Rasaki, who is representing Ekiti Central senatorial district, is the Chairman Senate Committee on Trade and Investment.
Bejide, Rasaki and former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who is yet to defect,Â haveÂ been at loggerheads with Fayose in the last three years for undisclosed reasons over alleged plot to impose his deputy governor, Kolapo Olusola on the party as the PDP governorship candidate for the July 14 poll.
At the SDP stakeholdersâ€™ meeting,Â BejideÂ was represented by Hon. Yemi Arokodare, while Rasaki was represented by Chief Titi Oluwatuyi.
Omoyeni, a former Managing Director of the Wema Bank, told the stakeholders of the SDP not to be afraid because nobody can intimidate them.
He said: â€œThis party was established by divine creation and it has become the third force. Be rest assured that our people are coming en masse to this party. Any support the party needs to occupy Oke Ayoba (government house) we will render it.
â€œMost of the aspirants who are still slugging it out in other parties are coming here. In fact, 70 per cent of the members of PDP in Ekiti are moving to SDP.â€
Speaking with journalists afterÂ the stakeholdersâ€™ meeting yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yemi Akinbode, who led other National Working Committee of the SDP to the meeting, said the meeting was called because of the Ekiti election which he said was strategic to the party.
â€œThis is the first meeting after the inauguration of the interim state working committee of SDP, because the election is fast approaching and we have little or no time on our hands, the leadership of the party at the national level mandated me and others including Prof. Tunde Adeniran to come to Ekiti State to quickly put together the stakeholdersâ€™ meeting to explain to them the vision, programmes as well as the structure of the party and our expectation in the coming governorship election in Ekiti.
â€œYou can see that this is the first meeting and the attendance was good. People are already coming out who ordinarily will not have shown their faces. This is an indication that this is the party to beat.â€
The SDP however constituted six standing committees for the purpose of galvanising support for the party ahead of the July 14 election.
Meanwhile, the Advance People Democratic Party (APDA) in Ekiti State yesterday said it had merged with the SDP.
The leader of the party in the state, Chief S. O Elebute, who led some members of the party to the SDP stakeholders meeting, made the declaration.