The ward congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State at the weekend was marred with confusions following accusations and counter-accusation from party leaders and stakeholders.
Tribune Online gathered that two warring factions of the former governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose and that of Senator Biodun Olujimi were claiming victories in the congress across the 177 wards in the state.
Olujimi while speaking with newsmen alleged that members of the state congress committee led by the Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Mr Haruna Manu by their actions compromised to manipulate the process for Fayose’s aspirant.
She said the Manu-led congress committee should uphold the result of the congress earlier held before his late arrival in Ekiti State, stressing that the most acceptable and valid results were the one that was duly signed by the INEC officials and security operatives and not the results concocted by Fayose and his accomplice.
She threatened to drag the party to court if different results were announced by the electoral panel, adding, ” and of course we tear the party apart.”
According to her, “I wonder why a peaceful and credible congress which was monitored by INEC officials and security agents would be cancelled.
“As stipulated by party guidelines, at 8:00 am everybody was at the various wards, the electoral officers conducted the ward congresses. The Independent National Electoral Commission, police, Department of State Services and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were there and everybody signed and dispersed at about 12.30 pm.
“When the chairman of the electoral committee, Engr. Haruna Manu came in rather late about 4 pm, Fayose whose aspirants were scandalously defeated used his fraudulent tactics to lured and brainwashed him to cancel the earlier congress and he agrees to conduct fresh election. This idea party leaders and the teeming party members rejected.
“We stood on our grounds and we said there should be two options that that result be upheld because everybody was present, that if it is not upheld, that we postpone it to a proper date when everybody can be there again, but he said no, that he will go on with it this night.
“We waited all through at Midas Hotel which was supposed to be the collation centre and did not see the electoral officers. But suddenly we got inkling around 8: 50pm that Fayose and some members of the Congress Committee were at Petim Guest House mutilating results already signed by INEC and security operatives.
“We had to mobilise ourselves and storm the hotel in protest. On sighting us, both fake and genuine security operatives attached to Fayose shot sporadically into the air to disperse us but we maintained our stand because we are all ready to retrieve our party from jackers.
“We defiled nature and kept vigil at the hotel till this morning(Sunday) to prevent Fayose and his accomplice. All what we are for is that this material should be brought down and handed over to the police.
“With this development, It is unarguably that Fayose has lost political relevance in Ekiti. If not I wonder how a two-term governor would be struggling to write ward congress result.
“So, when people are struggling like this, it smacks of failure. When you have failed, that is when you start struggling for little things.”
However, Fayose denied allegations of writing the result of the congress, saying “It was those who came from Abuja for the congresses that lodged at Petim Guest House”.
Speaking through his media aide, Lere Olayinka, he said Olujimi and his loyalists invaded the lodge of the congress committee with the aim of hijacking the materials, which he said they could not achieve.