The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State is having a new kind of internal conflict because critical players are kicking against the former governor of the state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, who oversees the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign in the state.
The people who had a stake in the situation at a recent meeting criticized the former governor’s “one-man” leadership style. They told the leaders of the party at the national level not to let Fayose run the presidential campaign in the state.
They also said that Fayose’s support for Atiku/candidacy Okowa’s was questionable because he was working with Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who is at odds with the party over Iyorcha Ayu’s continued position as national chairman.
Ekiti PDP hasn’t gotten over the fact that it came in third place in the June 18, 2022, governorship election, which was won by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), whose candidate, Chief Segun Oni, was a PDP chieftain who was angry with the party.
After the nasty primary, where Fayose’s chosen candidate, Chief Bisi Kolawole, won the party’s governorship ticket, the party became more divided. Biodun Oyebanji, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, won the election. Political observers are surprised that the leaders of the APC haven’t learned anything from the party’s past mistakes to stop them from happening again.
Aside from losing the 2018 governorship election, the party also lost all positions in the 2019 general elections, including the presidential election between Atiku and Obi, except for the Ekiti South Senatorial seat, which it won through the court.
Raphael Adeyanju, the party’s state publicity secretary, warned that anyone who tried to give Fayose control of the campaign committee would be vehemently opposed. He said that Fayose had never supported Atiku’s dream and that he was in charge of the campaign for reasons that had nothing to do with himself.
Many of Fayose’s supporters were at the meeting where the statement was made. Professor Olusola Kolapo, a former deputy governor, Dr. Samuel Omotosho, a former lawmaker, Sade Akinrinmola, a former chairman of the Gbonyin Local Government, Gboyega Oguntuase, and Mr. Deji Ogunsakin, a former state factional chairman of the PDP, were among them.
In the statement, Ogunsakin is quoted as saying that the party can no longer put up with Fayose’s one-man show, hurting the party’s chances for a long time. He told party members to go back to their wards and campaign for Atiku and Okowa before the 2023 election.
Earlier, some party leaders, with the help of party stakeholders, distanced themselves from Fayose’s relationship with Wike and said they would work for Atiku/Okowa to win the presidential election.
When Fayose saw a lot of opposition, he called another meeting at his private hotel. At this meeting, he called for a stop to the fighting. He asked the Ekiti PDP to work together for Atiku and all PDP candidates in the general elections of 2023.
Fayose said he was sure the PDP would rise again in Nigeria, especially in Ekiti State. He also hinted that he was still with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
He told PDP members in the state that they needed to collaborate as a unit to help the party’s presidential candidates, Atiku Abubakar, the National Assembly, and the State House of Assembly win in the 2023 elections.