The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abuja, has approved the Fayose group congresses at ward, Local government and State in Ekiti State as authentic executives of the state.
The NEC at its 90th meeting, held on Thursday, November 19, 2020 approved the report of congresses conducted at ward, Local government and State levels in Ekiti state, except for Gbonyin and Ekiti East where wards and local government congresses are pending.
The reflector gathered that former governor; Ayo Fayose’s group cleared all the wards, local government and state approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) body of the party.
Recall that the ward congress held on Saturday, March 7, 2020 in all 16 local government areas of the state, but two of the local government areas; Gbonyi and Ekiti East were cancelled due to the ballot paper materials hijacked by some hoodlums.
Also, the State party congress was conducted on Saturday, August 29 in the state.
The crisis rocking the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deepened as parallel state congresses were conducted for the state working committee of the party.
The party had been polarised in recent time with the former governor, Ayo Fayose and the lawmaker representing Ekiti South, Senator Biodun Olujimi leading the two warring groups for the soul of the party.
The crisis made the National Working Committee (NWC) constitute a 7-man caretaker committee headed by former senate Chief whip, Senator Hosea Agboola for the running of the party’s affairs in the state.
In the congresses on Saturday, a former commissioner for Environment, Honourable Bisi Kolawole emerged chairman from the former governor’s camp, while the Olujimi group elected a former member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Kehinde Odebunmi as the state chairman of the opposition party in the state.
While the Fayose’s group conducted its congress attended by former governor, Segun Oni at the Petim guest house, the Lotus guest house both in the state capital played host to the former senate minority leader’s group.
There was confused between the supporters of the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose and Senator represents the Ekiti South District, Senator Biodun Olujimi that who is genuine executives among them before the national body approval released on Thursday, November 19.
Recall that the groups have conducted their primary in parallel in the state.
In ward congress, Olujimi camp claimed that they had conducted the congresses in the morning and won, the ones purportedly done by the Fayose group at night were illegal.
The Senator Olujimi group reaction by the former Ekiti PDP Chairman, Gboyega Oguntuase said the party had earlier held an election monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigeria Police Force, and other securities.
He said the stakeholders in the state in line with the constitution of the party.
However, sensing failure in the poll, the Ayo Fayose faction connived with the electoral officers from Abuja to conduct a fresh election in the night, a situation which the group opposed and said would never happen.
The former chairman said ”election has been held in all the wards in the morning while votes had been recorded for all contestants without any crisis or rancour but said it is unfortunate that the delegates are now planning to conduct another election.
“He alleged that the representative of the party from Abuja had been bribed by the former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose which made them called for fresh election at the late hour of the day so as to perpetrate their evil plans.
“Can election be conducted at this time of the day when people had gone to their homes Oguntuase asked?
However, Ayo Fayose group claimed that the only genuine ward congresses in Ekiti State were conducted by the officially designated electoral officers, hence the ones purportedly done by the Olujimi group were illegal.
According to the Lere Olayinka, media aide to former Governor Ayodele Fayose, said “the only genuine ward congresses in Ekiti State were conducted by the officially designated electoral officers.
“He said the last PDP National Convention in Port Harcourt and the National Convention in Abuja in 2018 were done in the night. The party did not put time, but it only stipulated the March 7 date for the ward congresses”.
He said there was no parallel congress. “There was one congress. As a student, will you sit for an exam when the invigilator and question papers were yet to arrive? It is very clear in the guidelines for the conduct of congresses of the PDP.
He quoted section 4(a) “for the avoidance of doubt, the actual conduct of elections at wards, local government areas, state and zonal congresses shall be by the congresses committee at each level appointed by the NWC’. The party at the national level appointed a five-member committee headed by the deputy governor of Taraba State (Haruna Manu).
“The party also appointed two persons per council as electoral officers. “They came to Ekiti for that purpose, they were at the state PDP Secretariat waiting for the committee chairman to arrive. The chairman arrived at the secretariat at about 1pm with the electoral materials – result sheets and everything. Can you hold election without result sheet? I am aware Senator Olujimi raised the issue that they had conducted the congresses in the morning, when the chairman arrived. She also said the chairman should just allow them to submit the result of what they did so that they would transfer it into the result sheet. But the chairman objected.
“He said there was no way elections could be conducted without the materials. The man said he was in the state for the election and distributed the materials following which the electoral officers moved to the local governments and wards for the congresses. Which one will you call a congress? The one conducted by people duly appointed or the one some people just gathered somewhere and did?”
Meanwhile, the Globalgistng gathered the report that the NEC of the party affirmed the Fayose group congress.
The NEC of the party affirmed 14 Local government area ward congress, Local government and State conducted by the committee from Abuja while the elections did not hold on the remaining two LG governments; Gbonyin and Ekiti East. The materials in Gbonyin LG were hijacked and recovered by the police in Ado-Ekiti and the party should conduct fresh elections in the two local governments.
The National body of the party said the Fayose group congress was done in accordance with the party constitution and guidelines.