From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti

Some governorship aspirants and leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, including former governor Segun Oni, the Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District, Abiodun Olujimi, former Deputy Governor, Kolapo Eleka, Mr Lateef Ajijola and Mr Wale Aribisala have rejected the ward congress conducted on Saturday by the National Working Committee in the state.

The leaders accused the committee led by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom, of allegedly working for one of the party leaders suspected to be former Governor Ayodele Fayose, to hijack the process.

The ward congress was to elect three ad hoc delegates across the 177 wards to partake in the January 26 governorship primary of the party in the state.

There was tension yesterday at the Koltotel Hotel located at GRA in Ado Ekiti, where the committee members from Abuja resided, as hordes of party members besieged the hotel to raise observations about how the process was being allegedly teleguided by the former governor.

There was heavy deployment of anti-riot policemen to the GRA section of Ado Ekiti where Koltotel was located, while roads to the place were cordoned by combined forces of the police, Department of State Services and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

Expressing regret that the materials sent to the 177 wards were allegedly hijacked, former governor Oni, flanked by other governorship aspirants, described the situation as worrisome, saying he never expected such an act to be happening in the PDP.

Oni said: “What you have seen today is laughable. And this is the standard we still are as a country. It is very unfortunate. There is nothing we can do other than to complain formally. We went upstairs and also told the acting Chairman of the ward congress panel. I believe we cannot have democracy by hijack. If anybody is a muscle man, he should apply the muscle to win people for the party.

“We would believe the party will take a look at what has happened. At least all spoke on our honour and if they want us to say more they can contact us. Each of us is a known face to even the people in Abuja. This is very unfortunate but we hope the party will find a way out of it.

“Before we were getting it right. We were talking across all divides and we believe we would end up together but what has happened today has shown that there is a big problem. Let me sound it that we politicians are testing the will of the people too much.

“If anybody is a muscle man who can wrestle the process out of the grip of the people, let him wait for them. And I believe they will wait for him at an appropriate corner. We must all join hands to rescue this country from this type of politics.”

Lending credence to what former governor Oni said, Olujimi regretted that the sordid scenario was a repeat of what transpired during the Congress of the party last year.

The Senator said: “This is what we have been fighting about that should not happen in PDP. Everything has been compromised. The results have been hijacked by compromise from the committee sent from Abuja. We are rejecting any purported.”

The Secretary of the NWC congress Committee, Kola Ologbondiyan, who debunked the allegations, said the committee didn’t bend the rules to favour any of the factions, saying the accreditation and distribution of materials were done in the presence of all the aspirants.

The former PDP National Publicity Secretary said: “What we have done is in line with the directive we have been given from Abuja. We did distribution in the presence of the aspirants.

“The aspirants would have to wait for the appeal committee if they have issues with the conduct of the congress. Our men are on the field, so we will act on all they give to us. PDP is a democratic party and if they have issues, we have an internal mechanism to settle all our differences.

“It is not our responsibility to go and monitor congress. The aspirants brought two agents each to supervise the accreditation and distribution processes. They were part of the meeting where accreditation was done. As we speak no report has been given to us. PDP is a family and we have the mechanism to settle our differences”.

The post Ekiti ward congress: Oni, Olujimi, Kolapo, others reject exercise, accuse Gov Udom-led committee of compromise appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news