Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Following the political crisis ravaging the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), which is threatening its chances to win the next governorship election, the partyâ€™s National Chairman , Chief Uche Secondus and the former Senate President, Senator David Mark, last Monday visited the state and resolved the crisis.
The PDP leaders urged the gladiators, including the state Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who is backing his deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola, in his succession plan and other aspirants, like the former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, and the Senator representing Ekiti South, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, to bury the hachet and work together in the interest of the party.
Senator Mark had earlier been appointed as the chairman of the reconciliation committee saddled with the task of midwifing a trouble-shooting efforts for the PDP.
Crisis started brewing in the party sequel to Olusolaâ€™s adoption as the PDP sole candidate for the July 14 election, the move Adeyeye and Olujimi had resisted.
The meeting held at AB Foundation hall located in Adebayo area, was attended by large crowd of party supporters, particularly those loyal to all the contending gladiators.
Addressing the party members, Secondus said the party would conduct free, fair and credible poll to stabilise the PDP in order to retain the state.
Secondus, said: â€œI assure you once again that there will be transparency and the process would not cheat anybody.
â€œI urge you to join the leaders to work together to ensure a free and fair transparent primaries, eminent Nigerian are conducting the primaries.
â€œWe urge you to remain calm. We also urge INEC and security agents not to be partial but to defend democracy so that the people would be served effectively. From here we are moving to other parts of the country for sensitisation.â€
Mark said the state primaries will be used to convince Nigerians and the global community that internal democracy has improved in the PDP.
â€œLet me assure you that nobody will be allowed to unilaterally write the names of the delegates, you will go to the wards to elect your own delegates, and that is the PDP constitution.
â€œWe are going to meet with all relevant stakeholders before conducting the primary because we donâ€™t want it to generate any crisis.
â€œI am confident that the PDP will win the election in Ekiti State. If election is held in Ekiti 20 times, PDP will win because I can see that you are on groundâ€, he said.
Fayose in his comment said he wonâ€™t do anything that will undermine the party to conduct a free, fair primary in Ekiti, describing the
three aspirants on the partyâ€™s platform as eminent members, who are qualified to fly the flag.
The governor boasted that the party will concede defeat to All Progressives Congress(APC), if the opposition party wins 10 wards out
of the 177 wards in the state.
â€œWhen I contested in 2014, I won in 158 wards. No matter how mad a dog is, anytime it sees its owner, it will wag it tails. I am the landlord to APC in Ekiti. I am their master and I will defeat them any time, any day.
â€œI defeated the grandfather of APC in Ekiti. Otunba Niyi Adebayo in 2003. I defeated his godson, Dr Kayode Fayemi in 2014 and this time around, I will defeat their great grandson.
â€œThough, I am for Olusola in the primary, but I want the other aspirants to be comfortable, the ultimate is to defeat APC in Ekiti and Nigeria any party operating that cannot .
â€œI will not do anything that would undermine this process , the party and aspirants. In a matter like this there will be many interest. I am for Olusola but whosoever that wins the primaries I will stand by that person.
â€œThe worst PDP man is worst that the best of APC. I wonâ€™t behave like the mother of the biblical twins who killed her own child. If the other aspirants are not comfortable with my coming to the primaries I wonâ€™t come. If you lose and the process is transparent you should support the party, â€œ.
The aspirants were also allowed to give their words of commitment and while speaking , Adeyeye said: â€œI believe this meeting is to assure all of us in Ekiti that there will be free and fair primaries. We want free. If there is anybody who has written names of delegates, they should tear it off.
â€œThe party has also assured to publish all names of delegates and that by May 8 everyone will be vote in secret ballot, and no one will be intimidated or suspended or harassed. If this is done, I am assured that PDP will coast home with victory. This is the first time I have sent PDP being very well organized in the primaries.
â€œI appeal to all us that we should maintain our peace. Donâ€™t feel harassed or intimidated, the leaders at the national level have assured us and I believe governor Fayose has supported it.â€
Also speaking, Olujimi said: â€œThis is a good beginning because before now most of us could not come home to do anything but your comments as leaders would change the tide of things.
â€œThere is very much work to do, we need to set up another committee to do another reconciliation the right thing has to be done. If the right thing is done I am sure we wonâ€™t have problems even at the national level.
Also speaking his mind, Olusola said:â€As an aspirant, I am committed to a free fair primaries and by the grace of the almighty God I remain loyal to this noble party and ready to abide by the rules and regulations of this party we are PDP in Ekiti State and we are in ground and we will ensure that we work together for victory.â€