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Ekiti: PDP aspirants reject Fayose, seek consensus candidate

Former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State over its  candidate for the June 21 governorship election in the state has  assumed a new dimension as the 13 aggrieved aspirants  are set to elect one of them as the party’s consensus candidate.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the aspirants would meet in Abuja to pick one of  them as the consensus candidate for the party.

The party’s delegates had on Saturday elected former Governor Ayo Fayose as the governorship candidate of the party in Ado Ekiti in a primary boycotted by the other contestants.

One  of the aggrieved aspirants told our correspondent in confidence that they (13 aspirants) would meet on Tuesday evening and pick their own consensus candidate who they would present to the leadership of the party.

He said, “The so-called primary is a fraud which would not be allowed to stand. The President called us last year and told us that he wanted us to pick a consensus candidate. He said that this would minimise crisis which usually trails the party primary.

“We all agreed. But Ayo Fayose started  clamouring for a primary when he got back to Ado Ekiti. He connived with the National Working Committee and they eventually manipulated the process to favour him and he won against himself because nobody contested the primary with him.

“We discovered that the National Executive Committee of the party has yet to ratify the waiver given to him when he returned to the party. Based on this, he is not eligible to contest and we went to court.

“ We are meeting in Abuja this evening (Tuesday) and we are going to elect our consensus candidate. After this INEC would be invited to monitor how we are going to arrive at it to make it credible.”

Although, a former governor, Abiodun Aluko, who is one of the 13 aspirants could not be reached on the telephone but another aspirant, Peter Obafemi, confirmed that the aggrived aspirants would hold a meeting on the way forward.

The Director General of Senator Gbenga Aluko Campaign Organisation, Mr. Tunji Olatunde, also confirmed that the aspirants would meet to pick a consensus candidate.

However, a member of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, said in an interview with our correspondent that  the leadership of the party would reach out to the aggrieved aspirants.

He said that this became necessary to prevent other political parties from capitalising on the crisis to defeat the PDP  in the governorship poll.

Another BoT member, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, had earlier said in a separate interview with our correspondent that he and other leaders of the party had been reaching out to the aggrieved parties.

Adeniran, who was a former Minister of Education, said that such crisis was bound to happen in a big party like the PDP but he said that the party would overcome the challenges and win back the state.

It will be recalled that the aggrieved  aspirants had filed a suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja. One of the aspirants, Mr. Deji Ajayi, filed the suit to challenge the eligibility of Fayose to contest the PDP primary.

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