Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State Saturday disclosed that it had suspended seven of its members in the state House of Assembly for alleged anti-party activities.
However, over 100 loyalists of former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose and PDP members in Igbemo Ekiti, Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency dumped the PDP for the All Progressive Congress (APC).
In a statement Saturday, the PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr. Jackson Adebayo listed the suspended lawmakers as the Deputy Speaker, Posi Omodara; Deputy Leader of Government Business, Fajana Ojo-Ade; Segun Adewumi; Badejo Anifowose; Olayode Omotoso; Cecelia Dada and Olanrewaju Olayanju.
Adebayo alleged that the lawmakers collaborated with APC to punish PDP members, partook in suspension of local government chairman and councilors who are PDP members and that they maintained silence when the House purportedly endorsed the APC presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Adebayo said the PDP State Working Committee had also set up a panel “to further investigate the extent of the damage the affected members have done to the party.”
He added that part of the committee’s mandate “is also to find out other collaborators who are members of the party and recommend appropriate sanction.”
In a reaction, however, the deputy speaker said the PDP SWC lacked such power, saying the party’s constitution Section 59 (3) stipulated that only the National Executive Council could discipline them.
Omodara, who dismissed the allegations leveled against the lawmakers, said, “Due process should be followed in any circumstance. We only saw this purported suspension on the social media.
“There is no official communication, there was no time we were accused of committing any infraction. They are only trying to satisfy their paymasters. We remain committed members of the PDP.
“There is a PDP candidate here. How can he endorse APC candidate? There is no way any decision can be taken against us based on the decision of the House of Assembly,” he queried.
At Igbemo Ekiti yesterday, over 100 PDP members led by Fayose’s ardent supporter, Chief Bolawole Ojo, defected to the APC. The defection took place during a ward meeting held in Igbemo Ekiti.
An APC House of Assembly candidate in the constituency, Mr Hakeem Jamiu and other Party stalwarts in the local government received the defectors, urging them members to be dedicated to the party’s principles and ideals.
Jamiu assured that nobody would discriminate against them and that they should make sacrifices for the party to overcome the challenges ahead of the 2019 elections.