Two state chairmen emerged on Saturday at the parallel congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party conducted in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, by different groups loyal to a former governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, and Senator Biodun Olujimi.
While a former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Bisi Kolawole, emerged at the congress of the Fayose group held at Petim Hotel, a former House of Representatives member, Kehinde Odebunmi, was elected at the congress of the Olujimi group, which held at Lotus Hotel.
Preparatory to Saturday’s state congress for the election of the State Working Committee, the two groups, in view of the leadership crisis rocking the party, had conducted parallel congresses at the ward and local government levels.
Fayose said, “This is where the party is. As a leader, you will know where the party is. Chief Segun Oni is here because this is where the party is. There is no crack in our party.”
The former governor canvassed discipline in the party, saying, “We are facing an incumbent shortly in the governorship. To win, we need discipline. Please respect your leaders. We are prepared to support this new executive to achieve anything.”
But Odebunmi, who spoke shortly after his election, disagreed with Fayose on which of the two groups was authentic, saying, “It is the majority that own the party, not Fayose. This is where we have the majority.”
He said, “Before you can hold a valid congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission must be there. INEC was not present at the ward and local government congresses conducted by Fayose. Fayose is free to grandstand, but the final arbiter is the court of law and it will adjudicate on this crisis and tell us which group is authentic.”