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EKITI PDP: THE FEAR OF FAYOSE BY LERE OLAYINKA

In the last three days, it has been one story of lamentation or the other from a section of the PDP in Ekiti State.

The reason is the activities of the former Governor of Ekiti State and leader of the PDP in the State, Ayo Fayose, on Monday and Tuesday.


The question is, who is afraid of Fayose and why are his just two days of political activities in Ekiti now their source of worry?  

It should be recalled that Fayose was in Ekiti on Monday. He met in Ado Ekiti, with over 1,000 members of the PDP from across the 16 LGs in the State and later went to Emure and Ise-Orun LGs to meet with the party members.

On Tuesday, he went to Ilawe Ekiti and Igede Ekiti to meet with PDP members in Ekiti South-West and Irepodun/Ifelodun LGs respectively.

He later had a live radio program that was aired on six radio stations in the State, where he announced that he would make available a sum of N50m for the purchase of Nomination Forms for members of the party who are interested in vying for positions in the Ward, LG and State Congresses.

Fayose went on to state that the Nomination Forms will be available for all members of the party, not minding the group they belong to.


Since he made that announcement, it has been lamentation upon lamentation from a camp that is working clandestinely to sustain the cracks in the party, which allowed many of them to pocket millions of Naira released for the 2023 presidential election.

To them, the age-long tradition of the PDP to move party positions across the three senatorial districts must be jettisoned. They want the North Senatorial District, which had the State Chairman from 2012 to 2020 (Eight Years) to produce the next chairman as against the South, which last produced the State Chairman in 2008 (16 years ago).

For the avoidance of doubt, the fair and equitable position should be that all party positions in the South Senatorial District should be moved to the North, those in the North should move to the Central and positions in the Central should move to the South. This, I believe is the honest position of the State Working Committee of the party.

But beneficiaries of crisis will not accept this. They already have a cash cow in a senatorial candidate, who himself is interested in contesting for governor in 2026. For this, an olive branch from anyone, including Fayose will make no meaning to them.

Among their rantings was a statement from some imaginary LG Party Chairmen, saying they don't want Fayose's money for Nomination Forms.

How they will prevent genuine lovers and members of the PDP who are desirous of vying for party offices from benefitting from this provision of FREE Nomination Forms is what I still don't know. Also, I am yet to understand how they will sustain this blackmail, using pseudonyms. 

Methinks since they claimed Fayose is inconsequential, they will simply face him at the congresses and defeat him once and for all.

For instance, if Fayose has made provisions for FREE Nomination Forms with his own N50m, methinks they should also counter him by providing their own N50m or even more. At least, they should still have some millions of Naira from the Atiku's election money that some of them pocketed. 

If within two days, Fayose held meetings in Ado Ekiti, with party members across the 16 LGs and visited four LGs to address members of the party, methinks these people should also organize their own meetings and tour LGs too. By so doing, there will be activities at the party.

Or shouldn't all that matters to lovers of PDP be how to bring the party together and win elections rather than staying on WhatsApp platforms and discussing Fayose from morning till night?

Ironically, many of these people lamenting were the ones who were responsible for the situation the PDP is today. 

In 2018, immediately after the election of Professor Eleka was lost, they were the ones who made the State House of Assembly with 23 PDP members and three APC members to sack duly elected PDP LG Chairmen and Councilors, thereby dismantling PDP strength at the grassroots. The same PDP-controlled House of Assembly suspended more than 10 PDP lawmakers and made one of the three APC members Speaker and another of the three was made Leader of the House.

The moment Fayose left office as governor and was detained by the EFCC, they started their Repositioning Group, with the sole agenda of dislodging Fayose, and these same people either left PDP for another party in 2022 or stayed to work against the party.

They left the PDP in 2022 after losing in a free and fair primary election. They fiercely worked against PDP in the 2022 and 2023 elections and many of them have not even returned to the party following Section 8(8) of the PDP Constitution.

Today, they are the ones lecturing those of us who stayed in the house of PDP when they were outside, throwing stones into the house about party loyalty. They are the ones sermonising about who should be seen as PDP members and who should not.

But surely, history will repeat itself!

During the Ifaki/Ureje saga of the early 2000, it was Fayose this, Fayose that. Yet, he defeated all of them. In the 2012 318/310, it was also noise of Fayose this, Fayose that, he defeated all of us (I was in the Segun Oni's 310 camp then). In 2020, those who called themselves Repositioning made so much "we don't want Fayose noise," he still defeated all of them. I doubt if the forthcoming congresses will be any different except they team up with him.

The coming together of all PDP members is what Fayose is preaching now. He said; "When another election comes, I will stand with the PDP, and they will stand with their party.” 

That's the position Fayose openly expressed on a live radio program on Tuesday and that should be clear enough. He has also maintained that all interests in the party must come together as one, insisting that no group can do it alone.

But they will pretend not to understand this simple statement. Rather, they will stick to their only song that Fayose is now in APC.

Funny enough, most of these people are daily seeking to meet with the State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji (BAO) under the cover of the night. They are seeking patronage from him and the governor is obliging some of them because he is acting as a governor of the entire people of Ekiti, not that of only APC members and supporters.

For instance, after receiving his entitled SUV from the Governor, former Governor Segun Oni was at the Govt House Chapel to worship with BAO. Should we say Oni is now in APC? 

We have seen pictures of BAO and other APC leaders with Senator Biodun Olujimi, is Olujimi now in APC? At some point, speculation even became rife that Senator Olujimi was set to defect to the APC, but is she in APC till today?

Many PDP members served in government and their severance allowance has been paid by BAO's govt, should we also categorise them as APC members?

The reality of this they lament that they were never prepared for Fayose's involvement in the PDP Congresses. In their political illusion, they believed that Fayose would leave the PDP to its present state of rudderlessness and allow these few elements to keep eating whatever benefits came, just like they did to the Atiku's election money last year.

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