Disquiet in Ekiti PDP as Fayose endorses party chairman

Ahead of the next year’s governorship election in Ekiti State, the reported endorsement of the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Chief Bisi Kolawole, by former Governor Ayo Fayose as the preferred aspirant is already generating ripples in the party.

Kolawole, from Efon Alaaye in the Central Senatorial District, was a former House of Assembly member from 2007 to 2011 and commissioner for environment under the administration of Fayose between 2015 and 2018.

Tribune Online gathered from a reliable source, on Monday, that the former governor announced the endorsement of Kolawole during a meeting of his political group Osoko People’s Assembly (OPA) in his country home in Afao-Ekiti at the weekend.

The endorsement has ostensibly put the former governor against the ambitions of the likes of former Governor Segun Oni, who recently made an open declaration; 2018 governorship candidate, Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka and 2018 deputy governorship candidate, Mr Deji Ogunsakin, who was said to have indicated an interest in the plum job.

The development according to feelers from the camps of the opposition party was already causing crisis as many members were surprised with the decision of the former governor, which they described as “unexpected.”

While some threw their weight behind Kolawole, others maintained that it was premature for the ex-governor to jump the gun in a bid to foist his crony on the party warning of a repeat of the 2018 defeat to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which they partly blamed on the alleged imposition of Professor Eleka.

Besides, the choice of Kolawole has further polarised the party that is battling a raging factional crisis between the group loyal to Fayose and the group loyal to the lawmaker representing Ekiti South in the Senate, Senator Biodun Olujimi.

The Olujimi faction led by Kehinde Odebunmi has taken the battle to reclaim the party structure to the Supreme Court after the High Court and the Appeal Court had validated the Fayose’s group led by Kolawole as the authentic executives of the party.

Confirming the development to Tribune Online, Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka, said his principal’s decision was a result of calls from his political family.

Olayinka who maintained that the endorsement would not foreclose the ambitions of others in the party, adding that transparent primary election would be conducted to pick the party’s candidate.

According to him, “You know we have a political family and it was our decision to endorse Bisi Kolawole as a preferred aspirant, of course the former governor agreed with us.

“I don’t believe this should generate any controversy because others who are interested will be allowed to obtain a nomination form and we meet in the field.

“When Fayose brought Eleka in 2014 as his deputy, nobody knows him here and also he was the candidate in 2018. Let me tell you the truth, everybody wants the endorsement of Fayose.”

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Disquiet in Ekiti PDP as Fayose endorses party chairman

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