Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A faction of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Ekiti State, loyal to Senator Biodun Olujimi has faulted the inauguration of the ward executives of the party in the state without following due process.
Olujimi rejected the decision of the party in a statement the Chairman, Ekiti PDP Repositioning Movement, Mr. Alaba Agboola signed on her behalf.
The party had conducted two congresses in Ekiti with former governor Ayodele Fayose group laying claim to victory for his faction while Olujimi had insisted that it was the congress conducted by her faction that must be recognised.
But Olujimi said the party leadership had taken position on the controversy surrounding the conduct of the ward congress in the state with the inauguration of authentic ward leaders on Friday in line with court’s pronouncement.
The lawmaker described the inauguration done by Fayose as illegal, null and void even as she urged the party members to discountenance the said inauguration.
Olujimi insisted that the group inaugurated by Gboyega Oguntuase- led State Working Committee of the party was the authentic ward executive of the party in Ekiti.
The lawmaker said: “Our attention has been drawn to a purported inauguration of Ward Executives in Ekiti state on April 30 by Mr. Niyi Idowu, who is based in Lagos and not a member of our party, PDP.
“We wish to state categorically that no such inauguration ever took place in Ekiti State and we stand solidly by the position of the State Executive Committee as expressed by its Chairman, Gboyega Oguntuase to the effect that the said inauguration has no basis in law and fact and should be disregarded.
“Our people should learn lessons from the pronouncement of our courts to the effect that only the state organ of a party can inaugurate its local chapters. This is the extant position of the law as pronounced by a High Court in Calabar just a few days ago.
“The true position in Ekiti State is that only the ward executives elected on March 7 conducted by the PDP and monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission, and security agencies in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and Sections 85 and 86 of the Electoral Act remain authentic and have assumed work from 1st May 2020.
“As the tenure of the last ward executive ended at 12 midnight on April 30, the tenure of the authentic ward executives begins from today and they have been duly inaugurated and begun to function,” the lawmaker explained.
Olujimi charged the new ward executives to carry every member of the party along in decision-making and embark on aggressive mobilisation of all factions in their various wards to build a united, cohesive and well-grounded PDP in Ekiti.
Olujimi, thus, directed the new ward executives to begin to hold their meetings in line with government directives and guidelines on COVID-19 pandemic.
She added that the authentic list of the ward executives in Ekiti State would be published in due course.