Some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State have alleged that no ward congress known to law was held in the 177 wards last Saturday.
In a petition to the PDP Ward Congress Appeal Panel, they accused Governor Ayo Fayose of violating the party’s guidelines and the constitution by allegedly compiling the names of his stooges and imposing them as “elected delegates.”
The development, according to them, has sparked tension in the party and denied party members the opportunity to participate in a free, fair and credible congress to elect delegates expected to vote at the December 9 National Convention.
The aggrieved Ekiti PDP stakeholders, in a petition addressed to Ekiti State PDP Ward Appeal Panel dated 20th November, 2017, urged panel members to disregard the list of national delegates that may emerge from the Local Government Congress held on Tuesday, 21st November.
The petition was signed by Board of Trustees member, Senator Clement Awoyelu; Senator Fatimat Raji Rasaki and House of Representtives member, Hon. Olamide Oni.
Others who endorsed the petition are Former House of Representatives members, Hon. Titilayo Akindahunsi and Hon. Olufemi Adeyemi; Mrs. Titilayo Oluwatuyi, Dr. Kunle Folayan, Chief Williams Ajayi and Mr. Fatai Ibraheem.
The petition reads; “We members of PDP in Ekiti State hereby wish to bring to the notice of the chairman and members of the above-named panel that there was no Ward Congress in Ekiti State on Saturday, 18th November, 2017 or anytime directed by the National headquarters of our great party.
“What actually happened in Ekiti State was the usual practices of Governor Ayo Fayose to single handedly compile the names of his stooges as delegates without following the stipulated guidelines of the party.
“What this means is that Governor Fayose’s choice rather than the people’s choice emerged as candidates. This singular action has disappointed and provoked majority of members of PDP in Ekiti State.
“The essence of this is for the governor to enable him select those delegates that would vote for candidates of his choice rather than the popular choice of Ekiti people at the National Convention on the 9th December, 2017.
“We hereby appeal to your panel to void and disregard the list of delegates submitted by the governor and by intention disregard the list of national delegates that may emerge from the local government congress scheduled for Tuesday, 21st November, 2017.”
But the PDP Publicity Secretary in Ekiti State, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, contended that the ward congress held on Saturday was valid and in line with party guidelines and constitution.
He said: “The petition is a ruse and a mischief of the highest order; the dates for the congresses were held and everybody knows the venues and they were held according to the constitution of the party.
“The Electoral Committee supervised the congress, except they are trying to cover up their inadequacies and unless they did not go to the venue of the congress.
“That is why they sit down in the corners of their rooms to be writing rubbish in their petition. To us as a party, a valid congress ward congress was held on 18th November and delegates emerged.”