Fresh Crisis Hits Ekiti PDP as Oni, Olujimi Reject Congress

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Segun-Oni

•Accuse NWC committee of compromise

•C’ttee denies working in support of Fayose
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Fresh crisis yesterday hit the People’s Democratic Party in Ekiti State over the election of delegates that would elect its candidate for the governorship election scheduled to hold on June 18.
As a result, a former Ekiti State Governor, Chief Segun Oni and a Senator representing Ekiti South, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, among others, rejected the ward congress conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC) in the state yesterday.

Other party chieftains, who rejected the outcome of the ward congress, include a former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Kolapo Eleka; Mr. Lateef Ajijola and Wale Aribisala, both of whom are governorship aspirants.

In unanimity, therefore, the party chieftains accused the accused a committee of the NWC under the chairmanship of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Emmanuel Udom of working in support of the state’s former governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.

The claims stoked tension yesterday at the Koltotel Hotel located at GRA, Ado Ekiti, where the committee members from Abuja resided as party chieftains and members besieged the venue to raise observations about the process of the adhoc ward congress.

While operatives of the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) surrounded the entire venue, anti-riot policemen to GRA section of Ado Ekiti where Koltotel was located,
The ward congress was organised to to elect three adhoc delegates across the 177 wards to partake in the January 26 governorship primary of the party in the state

Expressing regret that the materials sent to the 177 wards were allegedly hijacked, Oni, flanked by other governorship aspirants, described the situation as disturbing and worrisome.
Expressing disappointment at the conduct of the ward congress, Oni noted that he never expected such an act to be happening in the PDP.

Oni said: “What you have seen today is laughable. This is the standard we still are as a country. It is very unfortunate. There is nothing we can do other than to complain formally.

“We went upstairs and also told the acting Chairman of the Ward Congress Panel. I believe we cannot have democracy by hijack. If anybody is a muscle man, he should apply the muscle to winning people for the party.
“We will believe the party will take a look at what has happened. At least, all spoke on our honour. If they want us to say more, they can contact us. Each of us is a known face to even the people in Abuja. This is very unfortunate. But we hope the party will find a way out of it.

“Before now, we were getting it right. We were talking across all divides. We believe we would end up together. But what has happened today has shown that there is a big problem. Let me sound it that we politicians are testing the will of the people too much.

“If anybody he is a muscle man who can wrestle the process out of the grip of the people, let him wait for them. I believe they will wait for him at an appropriate corner. We must all join hands to rescue this country from this type of politics,” the state’s former governor said with disappointment.

Lending credence to what Oni said, Olujimi regretted that the sordid scenario was a repeat of what transpired during the congress of the party in 2021.

The senator said: “This is what we have been fighting about that should not happen in PDP. Everything has been compromised. The results have been hijacked by compromise from the committee sent from Abuja. We are rejecting any purported.”

However, the Secretary of the NWC congress Committee, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan debunked the allegations, saying the committee did not bend the rules to favour any of the factions.

Ologbondiyan, the immediate past National Publicity Secretary, added that the accreditation and distribution of materials were done in the presence of all the aspirants.

He said: “What we have done is in line with the directive we have been given from Abuja. We did distribution in the presence of the aspirants. The aspirants would have to wait for the appeal committee if they have issues with the conduct of the congress.

“Our men are on the field, so we will act on all they give to us. PDP is a democratic party and if they have issues, we have internal mechanism to settle all our differences.

“It is not our responsibility to go and monitor congress. The spirants brought two agents each to supervise the accreditation and distribution processes. They were part of the meeting where accreditation was done. As we speak, no report has been given to us. PDP is a family and we have the mechanism to settle our differences,” he said.