The fallout of the ward congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State is causing division in the party’s ranks in the state.
A camp loyal to a former governor of the state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose and another camp loyal to Senator Biodun Olujimi have been trading words over the outcome of the exercise.
Following the exit of Fayose as governor of the state and the victory of Olujimi as senator, there has been struggle over who controls the party structure.
Olujimi’s emergence as senator placed her in a vintage position and a rallying point as the leader of the party in the state.
Many party loyalists now see Senator Olujimi as a unifying factor of the PDP in the state.
Fayose, who had issues with many party loyalists before he left the state after his tenure as governor, suddenly returned to Ekiti to mobilise loyalists in the buildup to the congresses.
It was, however, learnt that some party loyalists who had issues with Fayose, especially over alleged maltreatment they suffered under him, decided to pitch their tents with Olujimi.
This is even as some of the party members were said to have made up their minds to resist any move by Fayose to impose his loyalists on the party.
There have been complaints over alleged irregularities and compromise in the ward congresses.
There was suspicion within the camp of Olujimi when it was noticed that the chairman of the ward congresses and deputy governor of Taraba State, Haruna Manu, arrived late for the exercise.
Prior to the arrival of the committee, a congress was said to have been held under the watch of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies.
Senator Olujimi, alleged that the members of the committee, led by Engr Manu, by their actions, had compromised the process in favour of Fayose’s loyalists.
She urged the committee to uphold the result of the congress earlier held before the late arrival of the committee members to Ekiti State.
According to Olujimi, the most acceptable and valid result was the one was duly signed by officials of the INEC and security operatives and not the results “concocted by Fayose and his accomplice.’’
Olujimi maintained that the action of the committee was an aberration, adding that if not urgently addressed, could further plunge the party into serious crisis.
“Why should a peaceful and credible congress monitored by INEC officials and security agents be cancelled?” She asked.
She said the Manu-led committee should uphold the result of the congress earlier held before his late arrival in Ekiti State, insisting that it is the most acceptable.
Meanwhile, the media aide to Fayose, Lere Olayinka, denied allegations of favouritism and writing results of the congress in favour of his principal.
He said it was only the committee sent from Abuja that had the mandate of conducting the exercise and not the one claimed to have been held earlier by Olujimi’s camp.
Olayinka condemned Olujimi and her loyalists for allegedly invading the venue of the congress with the aim of hijacking electoral materials.
As discordant tunes, accusations and counter-accusations continue to trail the exercise, party stakeholders are still in quandary as to what was the final outcome of the congress.
Both Olujimi and Fayose’s camp have continued their political maneuvering in their bid to have firm hold on the party’s structure in the state.
Even though the congress is still generating crisis amongst the loyalists of both camps, what is now being expected is the verdict of the appeals panel from the party’s national secretariat over the ensuing impasse that trailed the exercise.