Factional Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in Ekiti State, Chief Williams Ajayi, has faulted Governor Ayo Fayose for announcing his presidential ambition at the non-elective National Convention held on Saturday in Abuja.
Ajayi said Fayose’s declaration of a presidential ambition was at variance with the party’s position that the presidential ticket has been zoned to the North while vice presidential ticket has been ceded to Southeast and Southsouth.
The Ekiti governor’s presidential ambition was proclaimed through banners, posters and T-shirts worn by members of Ekiti State House of Assembly and local government chairmen was at variance with the party’s position that the presidential ticket has been zoned to the North while vice presidential ticket has been ceded to Southeast and Southsouth.
He said Fayose was to blame for the free-for-all which erupted at Ekiti’s stand at the convention which he said was sparked by governor’s order that party leaders that did not wear lemon green colour “Fayose-for-President” T-shirt.
Speaking with reporters in a telephone chat with reporters on Monday, Ajayi wondered why the governor allegedly left the VIP stand to order his security personnel and House of Assembly members to force party leaders who are not members of his caucus out of the convention venue.
He maintained that he remains the authentic state party chairman on grounds that “the July 12 Supreme Court judgment which affirmed Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the National Caretaker Chairman did not affect his (Ajayi’s) position as Ekiti PDP boss.”
Ajayi disclosed that the Gboyega Oguntuase-led faction is presently before the Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court, Ado-Ekiti which affirmed him (Ajayi) as the valid chairman with the appeal coming up for hearing on 4th October.
Giving account of what happened at the Abuja convention, Ajayi said: “When we got there on Saturday, it was a non-elective convention and it was all about unity and reconciliation and we in Ekiti stand were exchanging banters and hailing one other until Governor Fayose came from the VIP stand.
“We noticed that local government chairmen and House of Assembly members wore branded lemon colour Fayose-for-President T-shirts, going about with placards announcing his ambition for 2019 presidency.
“Fayose came from the VIP stand and ordered that delegates that did not put on the T-shirts should leave the venue and this did not go down well with those affected. He ordered that House of Assembly members and security personnel should start attacking and molesting these party leaders that refused to obey his order.
“It became a free-for-all at the Ekiti stand; after the intervention of Prof. Tunde Adeniran, some leaders withdrew by wlaking away from the event because of their position that Fayose’s declaring for President was an affront on the position of the winning strategy of the party as approved by the last Port Harcourt convention.
“At the Port Harcourt convention, it was agreed that the North should produce the presidential candidate while the vice presidential slot should go to the Southeast and the Southsouth and the National Chairman should go to the Southwest.
“We strongly condemn Fayose’s behaviour and show of shame in Abuja because this is a party that believes in the rule of law and a party of knowledgeable people. Fayose’s ambition is at variance to the winning strategy of the PDP in 2019.”
FAYOSE’S PDP SPOKESMAN: AJAYI AND HIS GROUP ARE IMPOSTORS
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faction loyal to Governor Ayo Fayose has described the Williams Ajayi-led faction as “impostors who lacks locus standi to comment on the non-elective convention held on Saturday.”
Its spokesman Jackson Adebayo maintained that Ajayi and his faction were never invited there because they were never recognised by the national secretariat. He said the allegation that Fayose instigated a free-for-all was a big lie and an attempt to blackmail the governor.
Adebayo said: “The so-called Ajayi lacks locus standi to comment on the convention because in the first place he did not attend the
convention because he was never recognised at any level as being a leader.
“He did not attend because he was not invited there and he was not a delegate so it was wrong for him to be commenting on a process he did not participate in. His men were just trying to justify the illegality they went there to perpetrate.
“The governor cannot descend so low to do that; the only thing he can do is to tell his security men to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order.”
Responding to another question, Adebayo said: “Ajayi has gone too far beyond his reasoning by saying Governor Fayose has no right to aspire for presidency because party organs like national Caretaker Committee, Board of Trustees and National Executive Committee are the ones saddled with the responsibilities to dish out guidelines.
“Ajayi has no right to question the ambition of the governor; he should go and read the party constitution well if he is still a member of the party.”
On Ajayi’s claim that he is the authentic state chairman, Adebayo said the Supreme Court has ended his claim to chairmanship on grounds that whatever that affected Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Prof. Wale Oladipo has affected him (Ajayi).