Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the highest decision-making organ of the party at the state level, finally, at the weekend, re-affirmed former Governor Ayodele Fayose, as leader of the party.
The Caucus also declared the Chief Gboyega Oguntuase-led executive as the only recognised executive of the party in the state, which finally laid to rest the internal crisis in the PDP.
The caucus’ meeting was called consequent upon the controversies over a meeting held on Saturday, November 3, in which the Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, was pronounced as leader of the party and call was made for the dissolution of the state executive.
Former secretary of the party, Dr. T. K. O. Aluko, who was the arrowhead of the ‘controversial meeting’, was at yesterday’s meeting.
The meeting was also attended by former deputy governor and governorship candidate in the July 14 election, Prof. Kolapo Olusola; his running mate, Deji Ogunsakin; former speaker, Kola Oluwawole; the state Chairman and Gboyega Oguntuase.
Apart from Olujimi, the six PDP National Assembly members from Ekiti State attended the meeting. They were the senator representing Ekiti North, Duro Faseyi, as well as House of Representatives members, Kehinde Agboola (Ekiti North I), Thaddeus Aina (Ekiti North II), Ayo Oladimeji (Ekiti Central I), Segun Adekola (Ekiti South I) and Akin Awodumila (Ekiti South II).
Three former chairmen of the party, who attended the meeting were Chief J. A. Ademuagun, Chief Bola Olu-Ojo and Chief Idowu Faleye, while two Board of Trustees (BoT) members, Chief Bisi Kolawole and Tunji Akinyele also attended.
In the communique signed by Olusola, Faseyi, Agboola, Ademuwagun and Akinyele, the party declared total support for the presidential candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and said, The meeting, which laid to rest the status of Aluko in the party, declared him as a bonafide member of the party in the state and also directed that all members, who defected to other parties and are willing to return should be accorded due recognition.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant on Public Communication to Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, Chief Sanya Atofarati, has described as ‘laughable’ the caucus’ meeting in Ado Ekiti, where the group allegedly sat to back Fayose’s leadership.
Atofarati said the meeting lacked locus standi as it is unknown’ to PDP constitution.
He said: “I even learnt they earlier had a meeting at Afao Ekiti, where they were given a script and were mandated on what to say.
“In a saner clime, Oguntuase, whose state executive was accused of misappropriation, could not have been allowed to preside as chairman of the purported meeting.
“Those who think Olujimi is out to muscle their paymaster should be properly guided by the provisions of Section 30, subsection (d) and Section 31, subsection (e) of the PDP constitution as to know who is a member of the national caucus and national executive council, respectively.
“For instance, few months ago, when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, decamped to PDP, he was announced the national leader of the party, whereas the likes of the former president Goodluck Jonathan, his deputy, Namadi Sambo, the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who are still members of the PDP all respected the provisions of the constitution which bestowed the leadership of the party on Saraki being the highest ranking officer of the party.
“So, debating Ekiti as peculiar issue is needless.
“The point here is that Fayose is an elder statesman and a ceremonial leader, especially in PDP, but, unfortunately, that does not translate to leadership as clearly stated in the sections of the party’s constitution cited above,” he said.