Reconciliation in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State secured by the David Mark-led committee may have broken down, as a fresh crossfire occurred on Monday between the camps of the state governor, Ayo Fayose, and a major contender to succeed him, Dayo Adeyeye.
A statement from the Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM) on Monday alleged that Mr. Fayose ordered the suspension of some party members for not supporting his preferred successor, Kolapo Olusola.
The statement named those suspended as the Chairman of the PDP in Ido/Osi Ward, Abiodun Daramola; a councillor for the ward, Sunday Ojo, and seven ward women leaders from Ado Ekiti.
The movement alleged that the suspended members were those believed to be loyal to Mr. Adeyeye, a former minister of works and ex-PDP national spokesperson.
Mr. Daramola, who narrated his ordeal, said some police officers stormed the council secretariat from Ido Police Station with handcuffs to arrest him.
He said the police officers claimed they were acting on an instruction from Mr. Fayose not to allow him to sit at the plenary at the council legislature with his colleagues.
The councillor further said he was, however, not arrested because of his personal relationship with the police officers.
He added that his fellow councillors told him that he was being punished for being an “Adeyeye boy.”
The Special Assistant to Mr. Fayose on Public Communication and New Media, Lere Olayinka, however debunked the allegation, saying it never happened.
According to him, the meeting was only for those who are supporters of Mr. Fayose’s deputy for the governorship.
Meanwhile, PAAM declared the suspension of the elected councillor and
ward party executives as “illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.”
PAAM Director of Media and Publicity, Niyi Ojo, in the statement, described the suspension as “a huge joke by a shameless jester” noting that the processes for suspension of a member were clearly spelt out in the PDP constitution.
“One is embarrassed that a Governor of a State did not know the rudimentary provisions of Nigerian Constitution and the PDP constitution in respect of elected officials,” he said.
“He unilaterally selected chairmanship of the councils and councillors through YES and NO balloting system and he has gone ahead to render them a robot that should not have a mind of their own.
“He believes in gangsterism, thuggery, intimidation and coercion as a tool in politics of Ekiti as if he is the Emperor of a conquered territory. This is a governor that has rendered every party man poor by denying them of adequate party patronage and now forcing them to do his bidding,” he alleged.
The state PDP Chairman, Gboyega Oguntuase, said although the decision to suspend the officials was yet to be communicated to him, the matter would be looked into dispassionately.
“Whatever decision taken has not been communicated officially to the party but we reserve the right to look into it,” said Mr. Oguntuase.
“We don’t want our people to be reading meanings into it but such matters will be looked into dispassionately and nobody will be punished for offence not committed.”
Mr. Olayinka, in a statement he made available to journalists on Monday, said the report that Mr. Fayose ordered the suspension of certain councillors and PDP chieftains for supporting governorship aspirants other than Mr. Olusola was false.
He said the fact that the governor had declared support for his deputy for the PDP governorship ticket did not stop other leaders and members of the PDP from also exercising their democratic rights of supporting aspirants of their choice.
“During the meeting called by the governor on Sunday, he announced publicly that the meeting was for those in support of the deputy governor’s guber ambition and not a general meeting of PDP members,” Mr. Olayinka explained.
“The governor then urged those supporting other aspirants to leave the meeting and added that he had no issue with anyone supporting aspirants of his or her choice.
“The position expressed by the governor in the meeting was simple and should be understandable to clear-minded people because there was no how supporters of other aspirants will be allowed to attend meeting in which issues bordering on the aspiration of Prof Kolapo Olusola will be discussed.
“Therefore, the report that Governor Fayose ordered suspension of any councillor or any official of the PDP in the state for supporting any aspirant is false and should be disregarded.
“Furthermore, Governor Fayose has not hidden his support for Prof. Kolapo Olusola as his preferred aspirant and that has not stopped other leaders and members of the PDP from also exercising their democratic rights of supporting aspirants of their choice.”