The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has again waded into the festering crisis rocking the party in Ekiti State.
The crisis is between the governor Ayo Fayose-led faction and that of Dayo Adeye and Biodun Olujimi.
The recent move was informed by the realisation that the bickering could consume the aggregate ambitions of all the aspirants in the coming governorship election.
The fire was stoked by the Ekiti State Governor after he declared his preference for his deputy, Kolapo Olusola, ahead of the primaries, to the chagrin of other aspirants.
An earlier intervention by a committee of the party headed by former President of the Senate, David Mark, which met with the dramatis personae in Abuja, did not produce results.
The national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, and Mr Mark took the mediation to Ado Ekiti on Monday, urging the warring parties to sheath their swords.
The duo successfully brought the contenders together along with their teeming supporters at the AB Foundation Hall in Ado Ekiti, where they were made to sign a truce.
Addressing the party members, Mr Secondus gave the assurance that the party would conduct “free, fair and credible” primaries in order to stabilise the PDP and retain the state come July 14.
“I assure you once again, there will be transparency and the process would not cheat anybody,” he said.
“I urge you to join the leaders to work together to ensure a free and fair transparent primaries, eminent Nigerians are conducting the primaries.
“We urge you to remain calm. We also urge INEC and security agents not to be partial but come to defend democracy. Doing that, the best of our people will serve the people the best. From here, we are moving to other parts of the country for sensitisation.”
Mr Mark said the Ekiti primaries would be used to convince Nigerians and the global community that internal democracy had improved in the PDP.
“Let me assure you that nobody would be allowed to unilaterally write the names of the delegates, you will go to the wards to elect your own delegates, that is the PDP constitution,” he said.
“We are going to meet with all relevant stakeholders before conducting the primary, because we don’t want it to (de)generate to any crisis.
“I am confident that the PDP will win election in Ekiti. If the election is held in Ekiti 20 times, PDP will win because I can see that you are on ground.”
Mr Fayose in his comments, said he would not do anything that would undermine the party to conduct a free and fair primary.
According to him, the PDP would concede defeat to the APC if the latter wins 10 wards out of the 177 wards in the state.
“When I contested in 2014, I won in 158 wards. No matter how mad a dog is, anytime it sees its owner, it will wag its tail. I am the landlord to APC in Ekiti. I am their master and I will defeat them any time, any day,” Mr Fayose boasted.
“I defeated the grandfather of APC in Ekiti. Otunba Niyi Adebayo in 2003. I defeated his godson, Dr Kayode Fayemi in 2014 and this time around, I will defeat their great grandson.
“Though, I am for Olusola in the primary, but I want the other aspirants to be comfortable, the ultimate is to defeat APC in Ekiti and Nigeria.
“I will not do anything that would undermine this process , the party and aspirants. In a matter like this, there will be many interests. I am for Olusola but whosoever that wins the primaries I will stand by that person.”
Mr Adeyeye, in his remarks, said the meeting had given the assurance that the primaries would be free and fair.
“The party has also assured to publish all names of delegates and that by May 8 everyone will vote in secret ballot, and no one will been intimidated or suspended or harassed,” he said. “If this is done, I am assured that PDP will coast home with victory.
“I appeal to all of us that we should maintain our peace. Don’t feel harassed or intimidated, the leaders at the national level have assured us and I believe governor Fayose has supported it.”
Mr Olusola, the governor’s preferred aspirant, said he was committed to a free primary on May 8.
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