Ekiti PDP Crisis Deepens As Fayose’s Agents Disrupt Elders’ Meeting
… More Members Defect To APC
More crises have hit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State as a meeting summoned by the party’s elders to save the party from collapse was allegedly disrupted by agents of Governor Ayo Fayose on Friday.
The meeting, which was hosted by the Chairman of Ekiti PDP Elders’ Committee, Senator Clement Awoyelu, at his residence in Ekute area of Ado Ekiti ,was held to stem the gale of defections of aggrieved party members complaining about the leadership style of Fayose.
As the meeting was in full swing, Special Adviser to Fayose on Political Matters, Ademola Bello, who allegedly stormed the venue with people suspected to be political thugs, queried Awoyelu’s authority to hold the meeting without the governor’s clearance. Bello reportedly told the bemused party elders that Fayose remains the leader of the party in the state and no meeting should be held without obtaining clearance from him.
Awoyelu, a respected leader of the party, was the pioneer state PDP chairman, a former National Working Committee member, a member of the 5th Senate (2003-2007), during which he served as Deputy Chief Whip, a Board of Trustees member and Chairman of the party’s state Elders’ Forum in which capacity he held the meeting.
Party elders already seated at the time Fayose’s henchmen invaded Awoyelu’s home included former Deputy Governor, Chief Paul Alabi; former Acting Governor/Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olatunji Odeyemi; former spokesman of Ekiti Council of Elders, Chief Idowu Odeyemi, former Chairman, Emure Local Government, Mrs. Titi Oguntuase and Dr. Jimi Oke.
The meeting was also attended by 12 serving local government chairmen, members of the state PDP caretaker committee, 14 chairmen of local government chapters of the party, among others.
All council chairmen and party state caretaker executive members fled the meeting venue for fear of being attacked by the suspected thugs.
A source told our reporter on Saturday that Awoyelu felt embarrassed by Bello’s effrontery to disrupt elders’ meeting allegedly acting on Fayose’s authority.
The source quoted Awoyelu as saying: “I am the pioneer PDP state Chairman, former NWC member, former Senator and former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, which qualifies me to be in the national caucus and an eight-year BOT member.
“The meeting was summoned in my capacity as the Elders’ Committee Chairman and also Chairman of Elders’ Forum.”
But Bello reportedly fired back: “Henceforth, no meeting should hold in Ekiti without the clearance from Mr. Governor. Which meeting are you holding here? Council chairmen who came here would be sanctioned and (party) caretaker committee present will be sanctioned as well.”
Meanwhile, PDP has lost more members to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state at a rally held in Igede Ekiti, the council headquarters.
The leaders of the defectors, Chief Femi Akomolafe, Ayo Famutimi and Ojo Ilesanmi, while speaking with newsmen decried the draconian leadership of Fayose and his failure to fulfil some of the pledges he made during his electioneering campaign.
The defectors further stressed that they defected from PDP to APC because the APC and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari have been delivering better dividends of democracy to Nigerians through its anti-corruption campaign.