From Abiola Alo, Ado
Some gubernatorial aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the next gubernatorial election in Ekiti State have kicked against what they termed as imposition of Prof. Kolapo Olusola, as the consensus candidate of the party in the 2018 poll.
In their separate reactions, the immediate past Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi and a former Nigerian High Ambassador to Canada, Amb. Dare Bejide, who are aspirants on the party’s platform have dismissed the development, saying it does not pose any threat to their ambition.
Bejide said, “Any caucus of the party can adopt any candidate, whether the choice of Olusola by his caucus has Fayose’s backing holds no water, as no one can impose a candidate on the party.
“This would not stop me from emerging the party’s governorship flag bearer for the poll in March 2018.”
Ajayi added that the decision to conduct primaries and determine who gets the party’s ticket belongs to the National Working Committee of the PDP.
Also, the publicity secretary of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye, said the adoption was a clear breach of the PDP’s Constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act (as amended).
Speaking through the Director of Media of his campaign group, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement, Niyi Ojo Adeyeye said the meeting of the “amorphous group” was hastily convened out of fear for the overwhelming popularity of Adeyeye.
“It is important to note that PDP as a political party is bigger and larger than an individual, no matter how highly placed he or she may be as to override the rules and regulations of the party which are sacrosanct in the election of any candidate for elective position.
Chairman of Forum of Ward Chairmen, Alhaji Amuda Sunmonu also hailed the decision to adopt Prof Olusola, maintaining that “Wherever Governor Fayose goes, we will follow him.”
Hon Anifowose Mustapha who spoke on behalf of local government councillors, said all the 177 councilors in the State were solidly behind the governor and “the decision of the party’s stakeholders remained binding on all of us.”
The Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti state had earlier adopted the Deputy Governor of the State, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, as the consensus candidate of the party in the 2018 governorship election.
The Professor of Building Technology from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, who hails from Ikere Ekiti, in Ekiti South senatorial district of the state was unanimously endorsed at a meeting of party stakeholders held at the Government House Pavilion in Ado Ekiti, the state capital on Wednesday.
Present at the meeting where the decision was reached were the 177 councillors, 177 ward chairmen, 16 Local Government party chairmen, 16 Local Council Chairmen, Chairmen and members of Boards and Parastatals, State Executive Council, Ekiti State House of Assembly members, serving and former members of the PDP State Working Committee, former Deputy Governor, among others were in attendance at the meeting where the decision was taken.
The communique issued at the end of the meeting reads; “After due consultation, without prejudice to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), we formally endorse His Excellency, Prof Kolapo Olusola (the current deputy governor), from Ekiti South Senatorial District, as our preferred aspirant/candidate.”
The communiqué was jointly signed by ; Hon Anifowose Mustapha, for Councilors, Alhaji Amuda Sunmonu, for Ward Chairmen; Hon Femi Bamisile, for Local Government Party Chairmen; Hon Dapo Olagunju, for Local Government Chairmen (ALGON); Senator Bode Ola, for Chairmen of Board and Parastatals, Dr Modupe Alade (Secretary to the State Government), for State Executive Council; Rt. Hon. Kolawole Oluwawole, Speaker of the State House of Assembly and the State Chairman of the party, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase.
Speaking after the adoption, State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Oguntuase said the party organs will abide by the decision taken by the stakeholders in the overall interest of the party and the entire people of Ekiti State.
Oguntuase, however, said that the adoption will not preclude any member of the party that is interested in the governorship ticket from contesting, adding that open and transparent primary election will be held in accordance with the rules of the party.