Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The crisis emanating from who is the leader of Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between former Governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, and the Senate Minority Leader, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, may cause colossal damage to the party ahead of 2019 elections as many party members are prepared to dump the party in the state.
While a faction of the party had recently endorsed Olujimi as the leader, being the most senior political office holder in the state, some are insisting that Fayose’s leadership was incontestable and remain unchallenged in the state.
A reliable source revealed that thousands of PDP members have concluded arrangements to follow the Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti South district, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, to his new party.
Adeyeye, former Minister of Works, whose political organisation,
Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM), has a solid political structures and enjoy a large following in the state, ditched the PDP after the last governorship primary.
Adeyeye contested against Fayose-backed former Deputy Governor, Prof
Kolapo Olusola, who emerged the governorship candidate of the party and eventually lost to Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The source, who spoke under anonymity, revealed to journalists in Ado Ekiti that the PDP members would defect en masse by November 28.
“The PDP members are not happy that the party is sharply divided after losing out. They believe they have a bleak future staying in a party that is crisis-ridden despite being in the opposition in Ekiti State and Nigeria.
“They want to follow Adeyeye whom they supported in the primary to APC. They are comfortable staying with him.
“You could remember that Adeyeye’s defection to the APC was listed as one of the reasons, the former ruling party in the state lost the election. The APC has a lot of respect for him at the state and national levels, so whoever defects with him won’t regret.
“Adeyeye’s loyalists and those not comfortable with the present crisis in PDP are planning to join him in his campaign for the senatorial seat. With his structures and charisma, the astute politician’s victory in next year’s election is guaranteed.
“At the moment, the party has broken up into two factions in the struggle over the leadership of the party in the state,” the source said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last Sunday gave the go-ahead for National Assembly and Presidential campaigns, and the supporters of the former minister are said to want to leverage on this by defecting to the rival party.
However, even with the crisis, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Jackson Adebayo,
said the party is united and that the 2019 presidential poll will be won by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in Ekiti State.