• Say membership drawn from opposition SDP
• Okeya, newly appointed PCC member, faults appointment, resigns
The National Assembly candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State have rejected the party’s Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) appointed to take charge of the party’s campaign in Ekiti State.
The PDP had earlier announced the formation of the Council for its presidential campaign in Ekiti State with the name of the former governor of the state, Mr Ayo Fayose, missing from the list.
Recalled the PDP has been battling with an internal crisis in the party at the national level, following a call by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, joined by some party stakeholders, including Fayose, for the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman.
Their call for Ayu’s resignation was because he is from the same region as Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate.
Fayose, who is a leading party member in Ekiti and one of the national leaders of the party aligning with Wike’s demands, had, in September, at an event in Rivers state hosted by Wike, urged allies of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate, to do the “needful” to ensure he wins the presidential election.
“For me, I want to believe his excellency, Atiku Abubakar, is not against you but let me say this quickly. A lot of people surrounding the throne are enemies of the throne, and a lot of people surrounding the throne have an issue to grind with somebody or some issues with somebody and they take it to where they are not supposed to take it,” Fayose told Wike.
“There is no living being within this party and outside this party that will not acknowledge your contribution to this party.
However, reacting to the latest development in the state, seven National Assembly candidates in Ekiti State, loyal to Fayose, in a joint press statement released on Sunday, December 18, 2022, said they are rejecting the PDP Presidential Campaign Council because its membership was not drawn from the party but from the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the state.
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The statement was co-signed by Alhaji Lateef Ajijola, Senatorial Candidate, Central; Funso Ayeni, Senatorial Candidate, North; Otunba Oluyinka Akerele, House of Reps Candidate, Ekiti North 1; and Lere Olayinka, House of Reps Candidate, Ekiti Central 2.
Others are Hon Mrs Emiola Adenike Jennifer, House of Reps Candidate, Ekiti South 2; Joju Fayose, House of Reps Candidate, Ekiti Central 1; and Otunba Babatunde Ajayi, House of Reps Candidate, Ekiti.
In their statement titled “Rejection Of Ekiti State Presidential Campaign Council & Campaign Management Committee,” and addressed to the Director General,
Presidential Campaign Council,
PDP, they said, “Particularly, the persons appointed as Directors of Campaign for the Central and North Senatorial Districts are members of Social Democratic Party (SDP).”
They argued that “SDP is fielding Senatorial, House of Representatives, and House of Assembly candidates in the above-mentioned Senatorial Districts, and since the elections would be held alongside that of the president, the implication according to them is that, “members of SDP will work against us as our Senatorial Directors of Campaign for our elections.”
It was based on this that they said the PDP’s Presidential Campaign Council in the state was rejected by them.
Their statement read: “We are National Assembly candidates of the PDP in Ekiti State.
“Our attention has been drawn to Presidential Campaign Council and Campaign Management Committee for Ekiti State, as released by your good self, being circulated on various social media platforms.
“Particularly, the persons appointed as Directors of Campaign for the Central and North Senatorial Districts are members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
“The SDP is fielding Senatorial, House of Representatives, and House of Assembly candidates in the above-mentioned Senatorial Districts.
“In the list, the majority of the nominees are not members of the PDP. They are SDP members. Furthermore, the majority of the rest who are PDP members did not win their polling units in the last governorship election.
“Our elections will be held alongside that of the president.
“The implication is that members of SDP will work against us as our Senatorial Directors of Campaign for our elections.
“To us, the campaign council/committee is not a gift item to impress anybody if the objective is actually to win the elections.
“To this end, as stakeholders/candidates whose elections will hold alongside the presidential election, we the under-listed candidates reject the composition of the Campaign Management Committee in its entirety, and demand the implementation of the earlier list submitted by the party.”
Okeya, newly appointed PCC member, faults appointment, resigns
Meanwhile, one of the members of the Presidential Campaign Council, as announced by the party, Mr Omotoso Okeya, with Mr Bisi Kolawole as the Chairman, has rejected his nomination.
In his letter addressed to the Chairman, PPC of the PDP, in Abuja, titled, “Rejection Of My Nomination As Member Of Ekiti Presidential Campaign Committee,” Okeya said he was not interested in serving as a member of the Council, saying, “I do not see any moral justification behind serving with politicians of unstable character on any committee that can hardly lead the party to victory in Ekiti State.”
His letter read: “This is to inform the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party and the general public that, ‘am not interested to serve as a member of Ekiti State Presidential Campaign Committee as indicated in the sordidly compiled list, being circulated on different social media platforms.
“As a trained and practising journalist with local and international exposure, I do not see any moral justification behind serving with politicians of unstable character on any committee that can hardly lead the party to victory in Ekiti State.
“Sir, for your information, the committee members are populated by disloyal people who worked against the PDP during the last governorship election, and they equally lost their units. And, they are still card-carrying members of the SDP. The PDP is obviously seating on the keg of gunpowder with these calibres of people, who are only interested in absconding with election money which was their practice during the last governorship election
“Please, I cannot serve with these types of dishonest politicians. Hence, kindly disregard my inclusion in such a sordidly compiled list.”