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Four Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants in Ekiti State have called on the national leadership of the party to disqualify Governor Ayo Fayose from playing any role in the primary election scheduled for April.
They said the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Prince Uche Secondus should disqualify Fayose having adopted his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, which they said amounted to the imposition on party leaders and members.
The concerned aspirants at a news conference they addressed on Tuesday claimed that there was no time Olusola showed interest in ruling the state adding that “Fayose saw him as a weakling that can be manipulated against the interest of Ekiti people.”
The four governorship hopefuls accused Fayose of unilateral imposition of Olusola, using state apparatus to promote him, intimidation and harassment of party members loyal to other aspirants, arbitrariness and one-man dictatorship.
The alleged imposition of Olusola by Fayose, they said, has led to indifference and exodus of leaders and members expressing fear that the action may kill the party.
The four aspirants who addressed reporters are former Minister of State for Works and immediate past PDP national spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye; Senate Minority Whip and former Deputy Governor, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi; former Secretary to the State Government and former High Commissioner to Canada, Ambassador Dare Bejide and former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Owoseni Ajayi.
They also called for the dissolution of the state PDP executive committee led by Mr. Gboyega Oguntuase for allegedly betraying its expected neutrality calling for the constitution of a caretaker committee in its stead.
The aspirants called for a strict adherence to the provisions of the Electoral Act and the PDP constitution in the process leading to the conduct of the primary and emergence of flag bearer for the July 14 governorship election.
Adeyeye lampooned Fayose for allegedly carrying out persecution of other aspirants to “a ridiculous level” by ordering party members in all parts of the state to reject Christmas gifts they sent to them.
Adeyeye said: “The candidate he (Fayose) has chosen for himself is not a person that can win the election in this state. When you display billboards and you are writing “Meet Your Next Governor” on them, you are putting yourself in the position of God and that is very annoying.
“We will not leave the party for him because he sees himself as all-in-all but we know he is not all-in-all. The governor being an interested party must be put in his place and no advantage should be accorded (Olusola) Eleka.”
Mrs. Olujimi said: “We have not come here to tear our party apart, all we are demanding for is a free and fair process that will lead to the emergence of a candidate.
“Can anybody who wants to win the election for PDP wish us away? If anybody wants to wish us away in the party, the consequences will be grave.
“The primary will ne held in few months and nothing has changed. This (Fayose) was the same man who opposed the use of consensus when he was contesting the last time.”
Bejide said: “Section 50 (i), 50 (2) and 50 (2b) of the PDP constitution spells out how our candidate will emerge.
“Imposition, impunity and arbitrary action of a sitting governor is definitely ruled out and we will surely enforce the provision of the law.
“The governor and the State Working Committee has no role to play except they are co-opted by the national leadership.”
Ajayi said: “The governor may claim that he has the right to support any aspirant of his choice but the deputy governor has not come out to say he wants to be governor.
“What the deputy governor has said was that he wants to back to the university to continue lecturing. The govenor is forcing the Deputy Governor on us.
“The so-called was a fraudulent act, an illegal action; I want to tell you that eighty percent of those working with him are with us. They are only working for the money they are earning.”