The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has given reasons for picking Kolapo Kolade, a former Attorney-General of Ekiti State, as its deputy governorship candidate for the June 18, 2022 governorship.
Its earlier choice, Funmi Ogun, who is a former secretary of the party in the state, was forced to decline her nomination, following pressures from party leaders, who were not comfortable with her nomination.
She had written a letter to the national leadership of the part stating she was withdrawing from the position for reasons that there appeared to be an opposition from the party hierarchy.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the pressures from the party leadership stemmed from a previous agreement between the two factions of the party, namely Ayo Fayose-led group and the Biodun Olujimi group.
The agreement, it was gathered, was that if any of the groups produced the governorship candidate at the primaries, the other group would produce the deputy governorship candidate.
However, when the primaries were concluded and Bisi Kolawole emerged as the candidate from the Fayose group, the Olujimi faction refused to recognise the outcome of the election, creating a stalemate over the emergence of the deputy governorship candidate.
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Raphael Adeyanju, told PREMIUM TIMES that the choice of Ms Ogun was to quickly fill the gap as time was running out in the submission of candidates and it was no longer possible to await the response from other faction.
“But she had to withdraw from the nomination in the interest of peace and the unity of the party,” Mr Adeyanju said.
She resigned her nomination on Thursday, February 24, just 24 hours before the INEC deadline of submission of nominations and she was immediately replaced with Mr Kolade just before the closure of the submission of nominations.
Ms Ogun had stated that the “stakeholders in Ekiti had endorsed me and forwarded my name to our national leadership, but they did not act on it. So, I have decided to reject my nomination for me not to be on collision course or ruffle feathers with our national leaders.”
Mr Adeyanju, however, said Mr Kolade was a “candidate of compromise” as he neither belonged to the Fayose nor the Olujimi group.
“Eventually, we had to zero on the former attorney general of the state in the person of Kolade Kolapo,” he said.
“He is a very neutral person; you cannot say he belongs to any group. So we have him as a compromised candidate.”
PDP primaries that produced Mr Kolawole was controversial to the extent that it was rejected by leading aspirants such as Ms Olujimi and former governor, Segun Oni.
Although Mr Oni has dumped the PDP for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Ms Olujimi is still stuck with the party, despite her grievances.
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