Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Crisis is now brewing in the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as party members have been expressing discordant tunes whether to participate or not in the December 7 local government elections in the state.
While the State Working Committee headed by its State Chairman, Barr. Gboyega Oguntuase, insisted that the party would participate, a section of the party led by a chieftain of the party in Ado-Ekiti Local Government Area of the state, Hon. Yinka Olomofe, said the party would boycott the elections.
Olomofe, in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, announced the resolve of the party to boycott the polls in Ado-Ekiti council, saying the party members are only preparing for the 2022 governorship elections.
Countering the position after a meeting of the members of the State Executive Committee comprising the State Working Committee and the Local Government Party Chairmen on Friday, PDP said the 16 local government areas shall participate in the December 7 local government elections.
PDP, in a statement by its chairmen in 14 local government areas of the state, said: “The purported announcements of non-participation by the acting party Chairmen of Ado-Ekiti Local Government Area, Mr. Yinka Olomofe was unauthorised and of no consequence to the participation of PDP in the elections.
“Furthermore, only the State Working Committee in collaboration with the Local Government Party Chairmen can make such announcement.
“That the State Executive Committee and the Local Government Party Chairmen of PDP in Ekiti State consequently and hereby declare that all announcement by individuals and group purporting non-participation of PDP in Ekiti State Local Government Elections is declared illegal and of no effect.
“Therefore, all candidates of the PDP in all the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State are by this announcement mandated to continue their campaigns and all other due process as outlined by Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC).
“We hereby charge the EKSIEC to be alive to its responsibility by ensuring due process and transparence in the conduct of the elections. We also state further by the reason of the joint meeting of the PDP Local Government Party Chairmen, the decision of the party to go ahead with the Ekiti State Local Government in December 7 is sacrosanct and authorised.
“Finally, we wish to state categorically that there is harmonious relationship between the state working committee headed by Barrister Oguntuase and Forum of Local Government for the smooth running of PDP in Ekiti State.”
Meanwhile, Oguntuase has reaffirmed the party’s readiness to participate in forthcoming local government poll, describing those calling for boycott as fifth columnists.
The party, in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, maintained that there’s no amount of shenanigan by the ruling the All Progressive Congress (APC) that would stop the party from its resolve to participate in the election.
PDP explained that it’s not unusual for some members to want to play fifth columnist in any political party, but when such action is established it would be naturally treated as an anti-party activity.
“We therefore call on all our members to ignore the rantings of some individuals against our participation in the council election, rather we should concentrate our energy on strategies that can win the elections for us instead of allowing some black agents to plant distraction in the party,” he said.