A group within the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Repositioning Group headed by Senator Biodun Olujimi, has nullified the earlier consensus candidate, Lateef Ajijola for the governorship election in the state.
Newsflash Nigeria had earlier reported that the Olujimi faction otherwise known as the Repositioning Group had elected Lateef Ajijola as the group candidate for the party primary.
Ajijola, a Lagos-based businessman and senatorial aspirant of the party in 2014, in the group’s mini primary held at Ajaleye Events Centre, Polytechnic Road, Ado Ekiti, the state capital on Friday, September 3, defeated two other top contestants to emerge the winner.
In the keenly contested poll, the Ado Ekiti born politician polled 50 votes.
Another aspirant Otunba Yinka Akerele scored 26 votes, while a former deputy governor of the state, Dr Sikiru Tai Lawal scored 4 votes.
However, on Sunday, October 3, 2021, a month after the group conducting the mini primary, the group nullified the election, said the election conducts and result contravened the gentleman’s agreements among the aspirants of the group.
This was made known through a statement on Sunday, October 3 by the group’s chairman, Engineer Alabama Agboola.
The statement reads;
“It is now commonplace news that the Repositioning Group recently held an in-House election purposefully to democratically pick a Gubernatorial candidate to represent our group at the forthcoming PDP gubernatorial primaries coming up in January 2022.
“It will be recalled that three aspirants presented themselves for the election in which Alhaji Lateef Ajijola won more votes than the others.
“However, the terms of the MOU before the election gave room for the elders’ appeal panel to wade in incase the election conducts and result contravened the gentleman’s agreements among the aspirants.
“In line with this, a 5-man appeal committee headed by Rt.Hon.Tunji Odeyemi was set up after one of the aspirants petitioned the group’s leadership with cited cases of malpractices pre and post the election.
“After due considerations and investigations of all the allegations as contained in the petition; the Committee’s findings as contained in their report released on the 28th September 2021 and signed by all the five-member committee upheld all the allegations as contained in the petition.
“To this end, the Repositioning elders caucus had an online conference meeting on September 28, 2021, and adopted all the findings of the Appeal Committee as presented.
“In view of this, the preponderance opinions of the Elders was that the in-House election held on the 3rd of September, 2021 could not be said to have been held as a true representation of the intention of the organisers ( Repositioning Movement) to bring out a candidate that will represent the group at the forthcoming competitive Ekiti state PDP Governorship primaries.
“It has been resolved, therefore, that the group is YET To pick any candidate that will participate in the coming primaries. Members are to be calm and continue to trust in the leadership of the group that appropriate steps are being taken urgently to ensure that we choose a candidate to represent the interest of the Repositioning Group in the PDP gubernatorial primary come January, 2022.
“In God we trust”.
Newsflash Nigeria had reported that a lawmaker representing Ekiti South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Biodun Olujimi, had boycotted the shadow primary in the group.
Olujimi, who is a ring leader of the Repositioning Group against the mini primary conducted on Friday, September 3.
The lawmaker is hopeful to contest the governorship position fighting the agitation for power shift to the south zone.
The former minority leader of the senate said the mini primary was against the interest and agitations of Ekiti South to produce a PDP guber candidate.
Recall that there were two major factions of the party in the state, Ayo Fayose group otherwise known as Osoko People’s Assembly (OPA) and a serving senator, Biodun Olujimi group named as Repositioning Group.
Although the third faction is of the former governor of the state, Segun Oni and his followers returned to the PDP from APC last year.
In February, the Fayose group had endorsed Bisi Kolawole, the immediate past chairman of PDP in the state as his preferred candidate and had unveiled in May, to his supporters in all wards in the state.
The ring leader of the group, Ayo Fayose, former governor of the state described Kolawole as a bridge-builder, who can usher in a better future for Ekiti and the party, commended two former House of Representatives members, Hons Ayodeji Oladimeji and Segun Adekola for stepping down for Kolawole to allow peace to reign, saying “this was a mark of respect for my leadership.”
The choice of Kolawole endorsed by Fayose polarised his political platform, Osoko People’s Assembly (OPA) where two aspirants who are in the camp, his deputy during the second term, Kolapo Olusola Eleka and Wale Aribisala put out from the group.
Recall that, Newsflash Nigeria had earlier reported that the PDP had fixed January 28, 2022, for the party’s primary.
About four aspirants had obtained the expression of interest and nomination forms. They are former governor of the state, Segun Oni; immediate past PDP State chairman, Bisi Kolawole, Lateef Ajijola and Kayode Adaramodu.
The source gathered that the outgoing National Treasurer of the party, Hon Wale Aribisala had obtained the draft of the governorship form and may likely obtain the form this week.
Oni obtained the form on Wednesday, September 22 at the PDP National Headquarters in Abuja while Lateef Ajijola obtained their own on Thursday, September 23. Bisi Kolawole had obtained the form on Friday, September 24 and Kayode Adaramodu also obtained their own form on Friday, September 30.
The forms were sold at N21million made up of N1million for expression of interest and N20million for the nomination form.
Meanwhile, the party had extended the sale of its expression of interest and nomination forms for the Ekiti governorship election by two weeks.
Newsflash Nigeria understands that the closing date for the sales of the forms had been extended from Thursday, September 30 to Thursday, October 14.
In the same vein, the date for the submission of the forms had also been extended to Friday, October 15.
The party further revealed that the screening of aspirants earlier scheduled for Monday, October 11 2021 has been shifted to a new date of Monday, October 18, 2021.