The crisis in the Ekiti State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party deepened on Friday as the State Executive Committee of the party suspended two of its officials, Messrs Tunde Olatunde and Tope Aluko.
Before their suspension, both were deputy chairman and secretary, respectively.
It also recommended that Mrs. Busola Oyebode [Woman Leader]; Tunji Olanrewaju [State Auditor] and Femi Esan [Assistant Secretary] be sanctioned for alleged anti-party conducts.
The decision sparked off protests from the affected faction, resulting in a free-for-all.
Police Commissioner Etop James immediately deployed a team of armed policemen to the secretariat of the party, venue of the meeting, to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
The prompt intervention of the police saved the situation from degenerating as the opposing camps were already engaging one another in fisticuffs when police officers arrived and took over the secretariat.
The SEC also set up a seven-man disciplinary committee to look into the conduct of erring members and recommend sanctions.
The party’s spokesperson, Jackson Adebayo, who read the SEC’s resolution, named the committee members as Kolapo Kolade(Chairman), Babade Ige, Animasaun Bamidele, Lanre Fajuyi, Smart Adebusuyi, Dele Ajibola and Kola Lawal.
Messrs Olatunde and Aluko later told journalists that the action of the SEC was a breach of the party’s constitution, saying they remained bonafide members of the party with
rights to all privileges being enjoyed by registered members.
Mr. Aluko, who spoke on behalf of the 11 aggrieved members, said the State SWC was constituted by 14 members, saying the Idowu Faleye-led faction hadn’t the quorum to suspend them.
“Nobody can push me out of PDP. I have invested and sweated so much to build the party,” he said.
“But if the party is heading to implosion, then I will take my destiny in my own hands, because nobody has right to my happiness more than myself.”
Mr. Aluko argued that Mr. Faleye remained suspended and had no powers to preside over a meeting issuing suspension on him and his colleagues.
He said Mr. Faleye was yet to be properly registered as a PDP member in his ward since he defected to the PDP from Labour Party.
“How can eleven members be suspended in SWC. Only the State Executive Committee acting on the directive of the NWC can do that. If anybody think the best way to save the party is by illegal suspension, I won’t be part of that game,” he added.
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