The Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, has petitioned the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, over the faulty constitution of the Atiku campaign council by former governor, Ayo Fayose.
Ms Olujimi is seeking the dissolution and reconstitution of the council, which is due to be inaugurated on Tuesday (today) in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
In a petition dated January 6 and addressed to the PDP chairman, the senator accused Fayose of hijacking the council and “injecting his cronies in all strategic positions with the sinister intention to sideline other members of the party”.
She urged Secondus to compel Fayose, who is the South-west coordinator of the Atiku campaign, to adhere strictly to the resolution reached by party members on December 28, 2018.
The resolution focused on how the council should be composed in order to forestall cracks and crisis in the party ahead of the polls.
She said only the immediate dissolution of the campaign council could avert unnecessary cleavages in Ekiti PDP.
Ms Olujimi stated that changes were made to the list of members of the Atiku/Obi Campaign Council, as published in a newspaper, without notifying the stakeholders, describing such as “demeaning and mischievous”.
“The original composition had Prof Olusola Kolapo as the chairman; Otunba Yinka Akerele as Director General and Chief Sanya Atofarati as spokesperson/director of media among others while the position of secretary did not exist in the original composition by the national directorate,” the petition read.
“But the publication, which I am rejecting, has Prof Olusola as chairman: Chief Dipo Anisulowo as DG: Chief Gboyega Oguntuase as secretary’ Jackson Adebayo as spokesperson and Lere Olayinka as Director, Media and Publicity.”
The senator further warned that the PDP might lose the state to APC despite people’s resolve to vote against the ruling party in the presidential poll.
“It has become imperative to swiftly alert the National Campaign Council of our great party, PDP, and the general public to kindly disregard the misleading publication as to the actual composition of the Campaign Council. The purported publication is not only untrue but also contravenes the prescribed provisions of our Party’s guidelines and directive,” the petition further reads.
She also said Fayose had plans to misappropriate party funds.
“It should be understood that this is another orchestrated plan of former Governor Ayo Fayose to convert the party’s resources and fortunes to his personal enterprise as usual.
“He did it during the last governorship election and our party paid dearly for it in spite of my advice, warnings and outcry. Once beaten is twice shy.”
Ms Olujimi also said in the spirit of fairness, Fayose should be called upon to comply with the earlier resolution of the party by adhering to the earlier membership and composition of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Council as previously agreed by the State Working Committee led by the party Chairman, Oguntuase; Biodun Olujimi; Duro Faseyi; Olubunmi Olusola and other federal lawmakers present.
“That if he (Ayo Fayose) fails to comply with the above, we shall be left with no other option than to take appropriate actions that will reflect the wish of the people as agreed in the meeting of the Campaign Council at the PDP State Secretariat and Chaired by Prof. Olubunmi Olusola Eleka the Campaign Council Chairman on 28 December, 2018,” she added.
But the spokesperson of Fayose, Lere Olayinka, has swiftly responded to the petition, stating that the senator had no status to query the composition of the council.
He also queried the basis for Ms Olujimi’s petition, since she is a member of the council.
“I am aware that Senator Olujimi is angry that Yinka Akerele was not made the Director General of the council, but how can Akerele be the DG of the council when he in July 2018, left the PDP to become the governorship candidate of DPN,” Olayinka said. “How can a person who in July was a candidate of a party that campaigned against the PDP and got about 300 votes now be appointed the DG of a presidential campaign council?”
Olayinka also noted that Mrs Olujimi was also unhappy that some members of the House of Assembly were not included in the council.
He said the house members, although claiming to be members of the PDP, had been in ‘concord’ with the APC to suspend PDP members of the house and also remove PDP council chairmen in the state.
“How can such lawmakers in the state house of assembly who perhaps are being paid by the senator, be members of the council when they teamed up with APC to remove PDP council chairmen and also suspended their PDP colleagues in the house? They can never be members of the council,” he said.
He urged Mrs Olujimi to act responsibly as a senator.
Meanwhile a statement by Olayinka, as Director Media and Publicity of the council, said Fayose and the PDP National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Eddy Olafeso, would on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 inaugurate the Ekiti State chapter of the Atiku/Obi PDP Presidential Campaign Council.
The statement said the inauguration would take place at the campaign office, Olora junction, Adebayo, Ado Ekiti at 2pm.
He said the council is to be chaired by the state’s former deputy governor and PDP candidate in the 2018 governorship election, Kolapo Olusola, while Dipo Anisulowo would serve as Director General; and the state chairman of the party, Gboyega Oguntuase would serve as secretary.
“Other members of the campaign council are; Senator Duro Faseyi, Senator Biodun Olujimi, PDP Deputy Governorship candidate, Alhaji Ayodeji Ogunsakin; National Treasurer of the party, Hon. Wale Aribisala; all members of the State Working Committee, the five House of Representatives members, all elected council chairmen as well as local government party chairmen,” the statement noted.
“Also appointed as members of the council are former Deputy Governors, Chief Paul Alabi and Dr Sikiru Tae Lawal, former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Pastor Kola Oluwawole and 10 other members of the House, Board of Trustees members, Hon. Tunji Akinyele and Chief Bisi Kolawole.
“All members of the campaign council, whose names were published on Sunday, January 6, 2019, as well as party supporters are expected at the inauguration.”