Loyalists of Governor Ayodele Fayose on Tuesday defied his directive by electing Dr. Tope Aluko as one of the state delegates to elect the presidential candidate of the PDP at its forthcoming primary.
The goveenor had prefered a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Babatunde Omotoba, as national delegate.
Both Fayose and Aluko hail from Irepodun/Ifelodun local government of the state and the battle for the soul of the council has been between both.
Although members loyal to Fayose from all the 11 wards of the council who were also opposed to Aluko boycotted the congress, Aluko beat Fayose’s candidate with 80 votes out of the accredited 84 for the election conducted at Ogere, the council’s headquarters.
Members of the party, including serving members of the House of Assembly, representing constituency 1 of the
council , Hon. Posi Omodara, ward councilors and elected party officials rejected the governor’s choice of Omotoba.
Most of the party members who spoke at the congress conducted by party’s Vice Chairman in Ekiti Central and Returning Officer, Mr. Tunji Kayode, said Aluko’s election as national delegate was meant to save the party from undue slavery and for political emancipation.
Addressing the party members, Aluko promised that he would continue to serve the party in the most committed way by the election, he described as fight for political liberty and freedom.
“The boycott by those rooting for former Minister of Aviation didn’t vitiate the process. About 126 persons are to participate in this local government and 84 turned up out of which I polled 80 votes to emerge as a national delegate in this council.
“A serving House of Assembly member, councilors and party executives were all present here, so the quorum was formed.
“Aside from that, the police, men of the Department of State Services and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), were present to monitor the election, there was no underhand tactics and my victory represented the wish of the party members.”
“I promise that I won’t betray the confidence reposed in me. I will continue to fight the party’s cause and fight for its advancement all the times”, Aluko promised.
The Returning Officer in Council, Tunji Kayode after conducting the election said: “Our party had been damaged and we are praying that God should restore our lost glory, so we are not going to act in any way that would infract on the party’s constitution.
“The election was not manipulated, it was an open thing and since it was only one candidate that is on ground and he got all the election, he is hereby declared elected as a national delegate of our party”, he said.
Former PDP Chairman in the Council, Hon. Jinadu Isiaka, said the election of Aluko was targeted at saving the party from ruin occasioned by alleged imposition in the party.
“What our people wanted is liberation and we are fighting for it in the interest of our party. We have seen that somebody was trying to impose a certain individual and we have revolted against that through
“Some people have been piloting the affairs of this party in Ekiti and this council for long, but they were sidelined by certain authority, so time has come to fight for our liberty.”
“In democracy, majority is in control but this case was different. How]can the minority be controlling the majority? This is not possible. We won’t allow anyone to impose in the PDP because that may lead to total
collapse of our party and that we won’t allow to happen”, he said.