Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti
Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, seven National Assembly candidates, many House of Assembly candidates and other prominent chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tuesday, boycotted the party’s presidential campaign rally in the state, because of the clashes among factions within the party.
While the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Raphael Adeyanju believed that the Atiku campaign in Ekiti “was a huge success,” another chieftain of the party loyal to Fayose, Mr. Omotoso Okeya, said the rally “was nothing to write home about.”
The duo, who spoke on yesterday on a political radio programme, the New Cruse FM, admitted that there were factions within the party and also agreed that a house divided against itself could not stand.
Okeya, who pooh-poohed Adeyanju’s claim that the rally was a success, revealed that Fayose, seven National Assembly candidates and many House of Assembly candidates boycotted the rally, because of the belief that they were not important in the party.
Okeya also disclosed that many party faithful especially, those in Fayose’s camp, shunned the rally, because they were shortchanged by the national leadership of the party in arriving at the choice of the Presidential Campaign Committee (PCC) members and the way and manner funds were disbursed for the exercise.
The ex-governor’s loyalist added that the admittance of Social Democratic Party (SDP) members into the PDP as well as giving them roles in the local PCC, has been creating bad blood within the local chapter, having not shown remorse for working against the party in the last governorship election, which contributed to a woeful third position at the poll.
But Adeyanju countered by holding Fayose and his loyalists responsible for the dismal performance of the PDP at the 2022 governorship poll, accusing the former governor of “selling out the party to the opposition.”
The Ekiti PDP spokesman said the party had no choice than to make overtures to members, who defected to SDP to return to their former party to make it stronger ahead of the forthcoming general election and avert another poor performance if it went into the election in its present state.
Adeyanju said the SDP members were accepted back in the party on the strength of the fact that the party came second in the governorship election, noting that the return would strengthen the PDP for a strong showing in the forthcoming polls.