By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti
The chasm in the Democratic People's Party (PDP) chapter in Ekiti state, in Ekiti state, widened on Thursday, when former governor Ayodele Fayose and senator Biodun Olujimi inaugurated parallel wing executives.
The duo was at odds with the leadership of the Ekiti PDP, which has for some time polarized the party into two dominant factions.
Fayose and Olujimi saw the emergence of new party officials at the ward level as an opportunity to capture the party's machinery before the state's 2022 government election.
While the PDP led by Fayose on Thursday inaugurated members of the EXCO wing of the PDP in 155 of the 177 wards in Ekiti State, with tenure supervised by a notary public, Niyi Idowu, the group led by Senator Biodun Olujimi opened his parallel wing excuses on Friday in the presence of seniors from the party.
The Fayose group based its action on a letter dated April 25 from the National Labor Committee addressed to the president of the state PDP, Chief Gboyega Oguntuwase, to inaugurate the new executives, as stipulated in the provisions of Section 65 of the party's legal structure.
The NWC said the list sent was the authentic list approved for 155 of the 177 wards, after careful consideration of the Electoral Committee and Appellate Panel report.
The PDP president, Oguntuase, refuses to carry out the inauguration exercise, claiming that he was not given guidelines from the party's National Secretariat.
But the inauguration was overseen by the state's legal advisor, Niyi Idowu, allegedly on Fayose's instructions.
Fayose's media adviser, Lere Olayinka, said the inauguration was constitutional in its measure, claiming that the directive followed NWC approval for ward congresses held in the state.
He said the new party leaders took office for a period of four years, according to the party's constitution.
Oguntuase, who rejected taking over the excesses of the faction wing, described the whole process as unconstitutional and a dubious political game, destined to destabilize the PDP in the state.
He said that, in addition to the fact that the matter was pending in court, "the alleged swearing-in was made pending the executives of the party's outgoing wing."
Oguntuwase, who asked for calm "until, by constitutional means, everything is resolved", said: "The notary hired for the inauguration is not known by the party, because I did not send anyone to make him work for us.
“I would like to declare that until today I have not received a letter from anywhere directing me to take an oath to anyone. Even if I get one now, the governor's directive from the state on social detachment will prevent any meetings and swearing-in, ”he said.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti PDP Repositioning Movement rejected the alleged takeover of executives from the wing loyal to former governor Fayose and joined the Olujimi camp.
The group, in a statement signed by its president, Engr. Alaba Agboola, said the alleged inauguration was a desperate madness of some "chameleonic elements" to forcibly hijack the party structure for its predetermined interest.
He declared that the alleged oath taking was an aberration that was not founded in law, adding that the exercise flagrantly denied the provisions of the party's constitution.
The group argued that it is only the party's state body that can inaugurate its local chapter and not an obscure individual, emphasizing that the allegedly inaugurated wing executives were not the true representation of the congress.
He said the authentic ward party officials were the ones whose results of the congress were duly signed by the PDP, INEC officials and security officers.
The group advised new executive members at the ward level to avoid divisive tendencies and to aggressively mobilize various factions to build a united and cohesive PDP in the state.