There is brewing crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, as its governorship candidate in the last election, Bisi Kolawole and some National Assembly candidates in the 2023 general elections have rejected the list of the party’s Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) in the state.
In a letter they wrote separately, they alleged that majority of those on the list released by the DG of the campaign, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, were not members of the party.
The National Assembly candidates who wrote the letter are: Central Senatorial candidate, Alhaji Lateef Ajijola; North Senatorial candidate, Funso Ayeni; House of Reps candidate for Ekiti North 1, Otunba Oluyinka Akerele; House of Reps candidate, Ekiti Central 2, Lere Olayinka, House of Reps candidate for Ekiti South 2, Mrs. Emiola Adenike Jennifer; House of Reps candidate for Ekiti Central, Joju Fayose and Otunba Babatunde Ajayi.
Their letter read: “Out attention has been drawn to the 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.”
Also in his letter, Kolawole said he cannot function as the chairman of the campaign council in view of its composition. He accused the party of rejecting the names he submitted as council members.
He said: “Even though I have not been officially consulted by anyone, I wish to raise the following concerns as per membership of the Campaign Council and Management Committee, should the list being circulated on social media be authentic.
“As you already know, I am a committed and loyal member of the PDP, and so I will remain.
“However, in spite that I regard this appointment as an honour, I wish to state that I will not be able to function in the midst of people who openly and gladly worked against my election.
“As it was done in other states, I was given a template and instructed to come up with a list of members of the Presidential Campaign Council and Campaign Management Committee.
“In arriving at the list, I followed the template and consulted relevant stakeholders, most importantly National Assembly candidates whose elections are on the same date as that of the president.
“Also, in the meeting with the vice presidential candidate of our party, His Excellency, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, it was agreed that the list was okay and that it should only be moderated by including about three or five names.
“By ignoring that list and including people who are still in the Social Democratic Party (SDP), it is a clear indication that the Presidential Campaign Organization does not respect its own decisions.
“Also, the SDP members included in the Campaign Management Committee are people who left PDP before the governorship election and have not returned to the party.
“With their inclusion in the Campaign Committee, how will they function when their party, the SDP, is also fielding candidates for National Assembly and the National Assembly elections will hold same day as that of the President?
“Will they be campaigning for the presidential candidate of our party and at the same time be campaigning for the Senatorial and House of Representatives candidates of the SDP?
“While I am not against the party and its presidential candidate having a working arrangement with members of other parties, including the SDP, I am however of the belief that such arrangements should not amount to rewarding people who decamped to other parties to work against the PDP with a membership of the party’s campaign committee. By doing this, we are only saying that it pays to leave PDP and work for other parties. This to me, will be a sad commentary on party loyalty and discipline.
“In view of the above, I wish to notify you that I will not be able to function as Chairman of the Campaign Council.
“This will, however, not affect my commitment as a member and a leader of the PDP in Ekiti State.”
WesternPost reports that former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose who controls the structure of the party in the state belongs to the Integrity Group led by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who has been at loggerheads with the party’s leadership over their calls for the resignation of National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.