The gulf within the crisis-ridden Ekiti State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday, widened with the emergence of parallel executives from the council congress conducted on Wednesday.
This is just as the seven-man caretaker panel of the party set up to pilot the affairs of the state chapter are sharply divided over the propriety of conducting elective congress amidst the division in the party.
While, the Caretaker Panel chairman, Senator Hosea Agboola, has distanced himself from the congress held on Wednesday, and the state congresses slated for Saturday (today), the secretary, Diran Odeyemi, said PDP has no constitutional impediment barring it from conducting the elections.
The former governor, Ayodele Fayose, and former minority leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, have engaged each other in battle of wits over the control of party structure which has polarised the party into two dominant factions.
A reliable source close to Agboola told the Nation that he vowed never to be part of the congress, but want party positions to be shared among the contending forces in the state chapter.
Agboola has refused to come to Ekiti to supervise the congress despite receiving a letter from the party National Working Committee (NWC) signed by the National Organising Secretary, Colonel Austin Akobundu (Rtd.) and dated August 24, 2020, on the conduct of outstanding congresses.
But Odeyemi said that the decision of Agboola not to participate in the congress was personal to him and can not stop the conduct of the exercise.
Odeyemi, who stated this yesterday, while fielding questions from reporters, said that the National Secretariat of the party approved the conduct of the congresses.
“If for one reason or the other, the caretaker chairman believe that what the party should have done is to allocate the positions between Olujimi and Fayose, that is his personal opinion.
“The party’s understanding is, if you are going to share positions among these warring parties, there must first be an agreement. The party cannot force anybody; the constitution says it is either by consensus or election.
“If the two of them cannot agree among themselves, then the consensus option is closed. Except if they agree among themselves, but in this case, they didn’t agree among themselves. The chairman has sympathy toward having the party to share the positions and the party said no, we can’t be sharing position because we are not father Christmas. This is politics and democracy, if they agree, well for them.
“The caretaker committee cannot continue to be there. Even when we feel that the committee has done its best within three months, let give them extra one month. So, the chairman personally, that is his believe, probably because he was nominated, he is not a party man. If he is a party man, when I say party man, I come from Wadata and I represents the interest of the party. He was nominated by the governor. He can obey anybody and I will obey the party,” he said.
But Olujimi blamed the crisis in the state chapter of the party on the Uche Secondus-led NWC, accusing it of igniting crisis besetting the party by fanning the embers of discord among party leaders in the state through divide and rules tactics.
She alleged that the Secondus-led NWC was acting the script of ex-governor Fayose, who is desperate to seize control of the party’s structure.
The former Minority leader, warned the NWC to desist from dancing to the dictates of Fayose, saying acting contrary would not only damage the party but deal a devastating blow to PDP in the future.
“I have called the Chairman of the caretaker committee, Senator Agboola who was mandated to conduct the congresses and he said he never conducted any local government or preparing for any state congresses.
“So, all the elections or congreses conducted are nullity to the best of our knowledge”.