A faction of the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, loyal to the governor, Ayo Fayose, has threatened to dump the party should the Supreme Court affirm the leadership of Ali Sheriff.
Two national factions led by Ahmed Makarfi and Mr. Sheriff have taken their battle for control of the PDP to the Supreme Court, whose decision is being awaited on who the authentic leader of the party is. The Court of Appeal had affirmed Mr. Sheriff as he national chairman of the Nigerian opposition party.
The division in the party is well replicated in the states, where the chapters are split in twos supporting each party leader.
Mr. Fayose’s faction in Ekiti supports the Ahmed Makarfi national faction. The Ekiti governor had himself hinted he could leave the party before the 2019 general elections, but vowed not to join the All Progressives Congress, claiming he was being lobbied to join the party.
At a stakeholders meeting on Thursday held in Ikole Ekiti, the Fayose faction said loyalists of Mr. Sheriff in the state were “outcasts and saboteurs,” who were only interested in wrecking the party.
The faction also used the forum to herald its mobilisation for the 2018 governorship election, and passed a vote of confidence on Mr. Fayose for his exemplary contribution to the party both at the national and state levels.
The group led by its chairman, Gboyega Oguntuase, further expressed their profound support for Mr. Makarfi, as the national leader of the party.
A former deputy governor of Ekiti State, Paul Alabi, moved the motion for a vote of confidence on Messrs. Fayose and Makarfi, before it was roundly supported by those at the meeting.
Mr. Alabi, who spoke extensively on the party’s fortunes since Mr. Fayose
came on board, warned a senator, Buruji Kashamu, and Mr. Sheriff to stop meddling in the politics of Ekiti.
“When did you see any Ekiti man controlling the politics of Ogun?
Senator Kashamu must stop using some renegades to destabilize our
party,” he said.
“Let me also say this, Fayose remains the voice of the voiceless in Nigeria. He is a pride to Ekiti PDP and Nigeria at large and wherever he goes, we shall follow him en masse.”
Mr. Oguntuase appealed to members to stand united, so that the 2018 poll could be a walkover for the party.
“Winning the election in 2018 is a done deal, but we want to keep our records flying,” he said.
“In the last election, we defeated Governor Kayode Fayemi in all the 16 local governments and that feat we are going to maintain in the next poll.”
Mr. Oguntuase said the party could not survive the onslaught already perfected by the All Progressives if Mr. Sheriff was allowed to control the party.
Mr. Sheriff has, in the past, said he plans to hold a national convention of the PDP this year to elect new leaders of the party. The embattled chairman promised not to contest in the polls.