Rumpus in Ekiti PDP, as members consider defection

The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party has begun moves to reconcile aggrieved members of the party in Ekiti State to avoid mass defection to the All Progressives Congress.

Sources among leaders of the party in Abuja and Ekiti revealed that the Prince Uche Secondus-led NWC took the option of reconciliation rather than applying sanctions to manage the crisis among the party members.

The Ekiti State Chairman of the party, Chief Idowu Faleye, purportedly stepped down on May 13, following pressure from members of the State Working Committee.

But Faleye, an ally of the state governor, Ayodele Fayose, later refuted claims that he resigned from his position.

In a counter move, he presided over a State Executive Committee meeting on July 31, which suspended the factional Acting Chairman, Tunde Olatunde; State Secretary, Tope Aluko; Auditor, Tunji Olanrewaju; Woman Leader, Busola Oyebode; and Assistant Secretary, Femi Esan.

The SEC at the meeting also set up a seven-member disciplinary committee to try the suspended members for anti-party activities.

It was gathered that the party was pursuing reconciliatory efforts as a way to prevent the crisis from degenerating among its members.

A source said, “With what we are getting here, the NWC members have made up their mind to apply the option of reconciliation. They were of the opinion that the PDP cannot afford to lose members, particularly members of the State Working Committee in a critical state like Ekiti.

“They are also of the view that a strong and unwavering leader like Governor Ayodele Fayose must be supported. They believe that Fayose must not be made to face any problem in Ekiti because he remains the most vociferous among the PDP members against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

“It is clear here that the national leaders are caught in-between the two situations and they believe the best option is to beg the two warring groups to sheathe their swords.”

Another source added that the Acting Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Haliru Mohammed, had been meeting with Secondus to resolve the crisis and ensure fairness to all sides involved in the matter.

The source said, “The Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Olisa Metuh, and the Organising Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, may be asked to convene a meeting on behalf of the NWC next week with the warring factions, so that the matter can be settled.” When contacted to speak on the development, Olatunde said as loyal party members, his loyalists would continue to support any step that would foster peace in the PDP.

“We have always been saying that we are on the side of peace. What we are fighting for is what can further unite the PDP. We want fairness and justice. How can somebody who never played party politics or properly registered in his ward be made a state chairman of our great party?”