Ignore him, Police Affairs minister tells Ekiti people.
A former governor of Ekiti State and governorship aspirant, Ayo Fayose, said on Thursday that he would proceed with his plan to contest the 2014 governorship election in the state under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, despite plots by some members of the state chapter of the party to frustrate him.
He stated this in Abuja after a closed-door meeting with the national leadership of the party led by its national chairman, Bamanga Tukur.
Mr. Fayose also challenged the Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, another governorship aspirant on the party’s platform, to allow the conduct of transparent primaries for the members to make their choice.
He alleged that there were members of the party who were desperate to stop him from going into the race, adding that they plotted his suspension, which he said was effected without trying him first.
Mr. Fayose’s suspension from the party was announced earlier in the week by the Ekiti State chairman of the PDP.
The former governor said some members of the state executive committee of PDP, including its chairman, who led some of the party faithful to meet with Mr. Tukur last week, were conniving with Mr. Olubolade to impose him (Olubolade) as the consensus candidate of the party in the state.
He said that his opponents were jittery about his entry into the governorship race, and boasted that in a free and fair contest, he would defeat his opponents no matter the number of times it was conducted.
Mr Fayose alleged that leadership of the party in Ekiti State were capitalising on the advice of President Goodluck Jonathan for members to go for consensus candidate, if it is agreeable to all the candidates, in order to reduce friction in the party.
“The genesis of the crisis was as a result of the advice of Mr. President on a possible understanding of emergence of a consensus gubernatorial candidate if practicable. This has become a source of extortion leading to compromise of the state chairman and some exco members,” the former governor said in a petition he presented to the PDP national leadership which he made available to journalists.
“This and other issues pitched members of the State Working Committee, SWC, against others as a result of a generation of a list of undemocratic consensus committee aimed at producing a particular candidate without the input of relevant stakeholders.
“It is noteworthy that all those actions not only negates the constitution but capable of destroying the party. I have since rejected the composition of the so-called consensus committee and promised to hold on to the constitution that guarantees my aspiration.
“I wish to state that Makanjuola Ogundipe (state party chairman) has collected a non-refundable deposit fee of N2 million from at least 13 aspirants and yet want to force a consensus arrangement on the aspirants after the collection of non-refundable fees. On what moral ground can this be justified”, he asked.
Mr. Fayose distanced himself from allegations of violence and wanton destruction of properties levelled against him by his opponents just he declared that he had received assurances of the PDP national chairman that there would be no imposition of candidate.
“The only way out is to do it like Anambra and allow everyone to participate. If the minister wants to be governor he should come home and let the people know him. Abuja will not adopt any candidate”, he asserted.
However, Mr. Olubolade debunked Mr. Fayose’s allegations, saying the former governor was being hunted by his past.
The minister, who spoke through his Ekiti Liaison Officer, Alaba Agboola, in a telephone interview, urged the people of the state not to be distracted in their quest to produce a credible candidate for PDP.
“The Ekiti people are sick and tired of the culture of executive violence characterised by assassinations and killings of political opponents as witnessed in our dear state in the past,” Mr Agboola said.
“Apparently, this culture of violence contributed to the erosion of the image of the Ekiti PDP at the time. What do we make of a situation where someone aspiring to govern a state would storm the party secretariat with armed thugs wounding and chasing party officials out of their duty posts.
“Fayose is being haunted by his past and he should be honest enough to situate the blame for his present predicament within the context of his past deeds and misdeeds.
“Affliction shall not arise for the good people of Ekiti for the second time. The PDP truly desires to reclaim Ekiti State but the party has made it clear that its candidate will not emerge through a process of violence and thuggery,” he added.
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