The crisis rocking the Ekiti State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) worsened over the weekend as members and stakeholders of the party were sharply divided over the December 7 councils elections in the state.
The unfolding events appeared to have split the rank and file of the opposition party as some stakeholders called for outright boycott of the election, while others advocated participation.
The leadership of the party in Ado-Ekiti had said it would boycott the council polls over alleged plot by Governor Kayode Fayemi to rig the elections in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The splinter group in a statement signed and made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti by Hon. Yinka Olomofe, on behalf of the Ado-Ekiti Council Stakeholders, directed its member to distance themselves from a ‘predetermined exercise.’
But the Forum for the PDP local government party chairmen dismissed the announcement with a wave of the hand, affirming the party would participate in the council polls.
The Forum said the decision was hinged on the resolution reached by the party’s State Executive Committee during a joint meeting of the State Working Committee and the Local Government party chairmen held on September 25, 2019.
The Forum, in a statement signed and issued on Sunday in Ado Ekiti by its Chairman and Secretary, Hon. Idowu Akinbode and Hon. Israel Ogudele, respectively, and 12 other members of the forum, declared the earlier announcement of non-participation in the council polls as null and void.
It said the decision to participate or not to partake in the conduct of the elections can only be determined by the State Working Committee in collaboration with the local government party chairmen.
The Forum called on party members and all the party’s candidates to disregard the purported non-participation and continue with their campaigns and all other due processes as outlined by the electoral body.
It charged the EKSIEC to provide a level playing ground for all participating political parties, advising the electoral body to shun all illegal activities that could cast a pall of darkness on the credibility of the elections.
Meanwhile, the PDP State Chairman, Chief Gboyega Oguntuwase, said: “The position of the extended EXCO, the SWC with all party chairmen of all the local governments, we met and we discussed extensively on what the PDP should do concerning the local government election.
“We all resolved that in the overriding interest of the party, so that there will be activity in the party, so that Ekiti people will have option, so that the fundamental provision of the constitution that we all have right to vote and be voted for would not be blotted out by unnecessary emotions and sabotage that we should participate in the elections.
“Any chairman of any local government that is making any announcement to the contrary, no matter who is backing him, shall receive adequate query and punishment for leading a rebellion at the appropriate time. I, as the state chairman, confirm that we shall take part in the elections.”