Criticisms trail Fayose’s emergence as PDP flag bearer

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Mar 25th, 2014
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Former Police Affairs Minister Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade (rtd.) and Senator Ayo Arise have rejected last Saturday’s congress of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, where former Governor Ayo Fayose emerged as the party’s candidate for the June 21 governorship election.

They called for the cancellation of the congress and the conduct of a fresh one.

In separate statements yesterday, they said the congress was a sham and did not represent the wishes of the majority of PDP members.

In a statement signed by the Secretary of the Olubolade Campaign Organisation, Mr. Remi Osabusua, the former minister urged party leaders to cancel the primary.

He said after considering all sides to the issue, he “came to the conclusion that it fell short of acceptable standard”.

The statement reads: “The exercise was clearly manipulated from Abuja in favour of Fayose, as other aspirants were shut out and election materials made available only to him, thereby turning the event into a one aspirant show.”

Arise called for the “urgent” intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan, saying: “The way things are going, PDP might lose Ekiti and that will be disastrous.”

He said he had no problem with anyone who emerges as the party’s candidate, but “the process through which the candidate emerges must be free, fair and transparent”.

Arise said: “Mr. President should intervene as the leader of the party before things get out of hands. I trust he would not allow the party to collapse because of the ambition of an individual.

“My position was made clear from the beginning. I made it clear that I will support whoever emerges as the party’s candidate through a process that is free, fair and transparent. However, what happened on Saturday was a charade that cannot be acceptable to men of good conscience and I state it categorically that Ekiti PDP does not have an acceptable governorship candidate yet.

“We all can see the results of the manipulated process. The State Legal Adviser, Hon. Kola Adefemi, who is the number one legal officer of the PDP in Ekiti State, has resigned, faulting the ward congresses and the primary election. The state secretariat was set on fire this morning and many of our men are threatening to leave the party.

“Notable stakeholders of the party are angry, not because of the person who emerged from the controversial primary, but because the process was openly manipulated. I doubt if any full-blooded Ekiti person will accept what happened on Saturday and queue behind Fayose as the PDP candidate.”

A PDP member, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “This party will not know peace until the decision to impose Fayose on it is changed by those who lead us. Fayose represents a force that opposes the spirit of progress in the party. Should calls for Fayose’s removal be rejected, Ekiti PDP risks going into extinction. People will move en masse and there will be no remedy. This is the truth.”

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