Local Government Chairmen of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State have responded to a petition to the party’s National Vice- Chairman (Southwest), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, by the group loyal to Senator Biodun Olujimi, on the last year Congresses in the State, saying those interested in the party’s governorship ticket “should spend more time reaching out to the delegates and promote the party in pursuit of their ambition instead of this continuous agitations to no end.”
The Local Government Party Chairmen asked “how can those in the Repositioning Movement that dragged the party to court be asking the same party organs, whose decisions they disobeyed for intervention in form of a political solution over the same issue on which they are in court? To us, this is quite hypocritical and unfortunate.”
The Repositioning Movement had petitioned the party’s South-West executives headed by Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, seeking urgent intervene in what they called the unresolved dispute over the party’s 2020 congresses in the state to avert replay of the loss suffered by All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State.
However, in a letter dated June 25, 2021 and signed by Chairman of the Forum of Local Government party chairmen and
Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Chairman, Hon Michael Abiodun and twelve others, the chairmen said that the Zamfara State situation had no similarities with the scenario surrounding Ekiti State Congresses.
They added that “The constitutional provisions that empowered political parties on the conduct of congresses from ward to national levels are very clear.
“Suffice to state that the party followed the necessary due process in conducting Ekiti congresses and all relevant agencies particularly INEC were duly notified in writing in line with the Electoral Laws (SEE SECTIONS 85, 86 & 87 OF THE ELECTORAL ACT (AS AMENDED IN 2010).”
The chairmen reminded Arapaja that “the same Ekiti State delegates that participated and voted in the Southwest Congress that brought you to office as the National Vice-Chairman of our great party were those approved by the National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) that those in the repositioning group are urging you to work against.”
They said further that “the same National Working Committee that conducted Ekiti Congresses also conducted that of Southwest that produced you as the National Vice Chairman to which the opposing side that lost out during the congress congratulated you and accepted the outcome in the overall good of the party.
“It is our considered opinion that for the party to move forward, members and stakeholders must not be encouraged to be selective when it comes to abiding by the rules of the game in the party. A situation where some people will praise leaders of the party when decision favours them but cry to high heaven when it goes the other way is inimical to the growth of the party.
“The just concluded Southwest congress of our great party was a decisively indicative test that showcased the fact that in every contest, winners must emerge and the losers must have the fortitude to bear the pains of the outcome as there must be an end to intra party crisis.
“You are therefore enjoined to be wary of distractions, which are capable of derailing your good intentions to lead our dear party in the Southwest. Your good office superintends over the political affairs of all members of our party in the region and not a group of people, especially the signatories to the letter like Senator Biodun Olujimi, Dr Sikiru Lawal, Otunba Yinka Akerele, Rt Hon Tunji Odeyemi, among others, who are majorly gubernatorial aspirants and are ready to cut off their nose to spite their face because they are fully aware that matters of party congresses are not issues that can be resolved at the zonal level.
“Kindly note sir, in line with our position above, we as the local government party chairmen are also aware that our state chairman, Otunba Bisi Kolawole; National Treasurer, Hon Wale Aribisala and former Deputy Governor, Prof Olusola Eleka as well as former Governor, Engr Segun Oni among others are equally aspiring and their offices and personalities do not give any of them undue advantage over the rest of the aspirants in the repositioning group.”
The chairmen pointed out that the those behind the petition had earlier gone to courts to challenge the outcome of the congresses despite several political entreaties and counsel of notable leaders of the party. They have lost both at the lower and appeal courts and currently challenging the judgment at the Supreme Court.
“As stated earlier, it is on record that the suit filed by the Repositioning Movement against the party over the conduct of the Ekiti State Ward Congress was dismissed by the Federal High Court and Appeal Court while the one filed against the Local Government and State Congresses was dismissed by a High Court in Ekiti State.
“The Appeal Court judgment on the Ward Congress is being challenged at the Supreme Court while the lower court judgment on the Local Government and State Congresses is being challenged at the Appeal Court by the Repositioning Movement.
The question to ask is; how can those in the Repositioning Movement that dragged the party to court be asking the same party, whose decisions they disobeyed for intervention in form of a political solution over the same issue on which they are in court?”
“To us, this is quite hypocritical and unfortunate.”