The National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has constituted a seven-man caretaker committee for the Ekiti State chapter of the party.
The party, in a statement signed by its National Organizing Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), on Friday, announced the composition, thereby foreclosing the reign of Gboyega Oguntuase-led executive.
It will be recalled that the former governor, Ayo Fayose and the Senator representing Ekiti South, Biodun Olujimi, have been at loggerheads over the structure of the party with the results of the ward congress held on March 7 still in contention in court between the two camps.
The seven-man caretaker committee chaired by former Senate Deputy Chief Whip and the former lawmaker representing Oyo North, Senator Agboola, has Mr Yinka Akerele, Hon Samuel Omotosho, Hon Tunji Odeyemi and Ariyo Afolabi as members.
Others include Hon Adeyemi Abiodun Sunday and the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi, who is to serve as secretary of the committee.
Speaking with journalists through the outgoing State Publicity Secretary, Jackson Adebayo, on Saturday, Gboyega Oguntause said the party acted in order not to create a vacuum in the party’s leadership position in Ekiti.
“We were neither dissolved nor sacked. Our tenure expires on May 10 and there must not be room for a vacuum. It was done for the state and local government structures.
“The caretaker will cease to exist as soon as a validly recognised congresses are conducted at that levels.”
On the crisis of confidence trailing the ward Congress that had factionalised the PDP along pro-Fayose and Senator Olujimi’s lines, Oguntuase said the issue will be resolved by the court.
Oguntuase insisted that the swearing-in done for some ward executives loyal to Fayose by a Lawyer, Mr Niyi Idowu, was an abuse of powers and privileges.
“All the actions taken by the Notary Public was a nullity. Only the State Chairman can swear in a ward executive. If the state chairman refuses to perform such function, only the NWC is vested with such powers.
“Those who brought in a lawyer and non-PDP member to perform the swearing acted ultra vires of their powers. They also acted subjudicially because the matter is in court already,” he said.
Oguntuase said the party, under him, had written the lawyer on the need for him to retract his decision and tender apology, failing which he would be reported to the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee for punitive actions.
“They only embarked on act that embarrassed the PDP. How can we allow a non-member to take actions that can destroy our party?
“They even came at a time there was a total lockdown in Ekiti. They have to explain how they entered Ekiti despite the border closure and how they assembled over 600 people for the swearing in without breaching the social distancing order.
“We are confident that the court will look at the two parallel ward Congresses and adopt the one that was conducted in substantial compliance with the party’s constitution and provisions of the Electoral Act, ” Oguntuase said.