The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants for forthcoming the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State that Ayodele Fayose defeated in the party’s primary election have stepped up their opposition to his candidature.
Former Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade (rtd), Mr. Wale Aribisala, Mr. Ropo Ogunbolude, Modupe Ogundipe, Dr Kadijat Adubiaro, Mr. Peter Obafemi, Deji Ajayi, Dare Bejide and Bodunde Adeyanju yesterday adopted Senator Gbenga Aluko as their ‘consensus candidate.’
They were all defeated by Fayose in the party’s primary held in Ado Ekiti penultimate Saturday.
They had all protested the conduct of the primary, saying it was manipulated in his favour.
They also claimed that Fayose is ineligible to seek the party’s ticket in the first place.
The national leadership of the PDP has, however, already endorsed the emergence of Fayose as the party’s candidate in the election.
The 13 aggrieved aspirants met in Abuja on Friday to take their decision.
At the meeting were: Olubolade, Adeyeye, Aribisala, Ogunbolude, Makanjuola Ogundipe,
Adubiaro, Obafemi, Ajayi, Bejide and Adeyanju.
Aluko told reporters by phone from Abuja yesterday that the move followed a directive from President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The move by the pro-consensus aspirants to select me was an unanimous decision taken after due consideration. The next move will be to present me to the party’s national leaders for approval,” he said.
Fayose’s former deputy during his truncated first tenure, Bisi Omoyeni, was not at Friday’s meeting.
The Ekiti State Chairman of the party, Makanjuola Ogundipe, who shunned the controversial primary in Ado Ekiti, was said to have presided over the consensus meeting.
Aluko said Ogundipe has written to President Jonathan to intimate him with the development.
But another aggrieved aspirant, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, contradicted the purported adoption in a statement issued by the Director General of his campaign organisation, Hon Bisi Kolawole.
“The 12 aspirants that met in Abuja yesterday (Friday) did not unanimously agree on anyone as a consensus candidate,” he said.
Only five out of the 12 aspirants, according to him, “supported one of the aspirants,” and stressed that “any agreement on a consensus candidate this time around must be truly unanimous.”
He added: “A situation where only five very weak aspirants supported one of the aspirants cannot be regarded as a consensus agreement. Rather, consensus should take into consideration the strength of the aspirants.
“Most importantly, what ought to have been done was for the aspirants to call for the implementation of the Chief Bode George’s Committee Report, which all of them signed to abide with.
“Since all the aspirants signed to abide with the decision of the Chief Bode George Committee, what should have been done simply was the implementation of the report, and that was what Prince Adeyeye pointed out at the meeting.
“It is therefore our position in PAAM that if the consensus option is still necessary in view of the present situation, report of the Chief Bode George Committee, which considered the strength of the aspirants must form the basis,” Kolawole said.