It’s no longer new that the immediate past Governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, is at war with his former Deputy Governor and the incumbent Senator, representing Ekiti South Senatorial district, Senator Abiodun Olujimi. The Senate Minority leader is also doubles as the PDP’s Ekiti South Senatorial candidate for the 2019 general elections.
Both the former Governor and the incumbent Senator have been at loggerheads in the last 3 years. It is believed in some quarters that their hostility contributed to the PDP’s loss of power to APC in the July 14th, 2018 governorship election. Recall that before the last Ekiti governorship election, PDP in Ekiti state had two factions. Those loyal to the Olujimi/ Adeyeye group, before the former
One of the issues, which has been the order of the day in Ekiti State politics mostly among the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is the supremacy issue and who takes over the affairs of the party at the state level since the party has no Governor, but a principal officer at the National Assembly, in the Senate.
The issue of gender is negatively hindering Senator Abiodun Olujimi’s quest to take over the leadership of the party as the highest-ranking officer in the Senate. Recall that the last Ekiti governorship election witnessed step downs as many PDP stalwarts left the party for other political parties. Many of them were not comfortable with the leadership style of the then former Governor.
Sometimes in November 2018, the State Executive Committee (SEC) reaffirmed its support for Governor Ayodele Fayose, that he remains the leader of PDP in the fountain of knowledge state. It was in a reaction to the declaration of the Senate Minority leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, as the party leader by a faction led by the Deputy speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, who pledged support for Olujimi. The decision didn’t go down well with the former Governor.
SEC is the highest organ of any political party in the state. It comprises the State Working Committee, Party Chairmen and Secretaries of Local Governments and wards and elected public office holders among others. Aside SEC’s reaffirmation, the issues of who would be in charge of Atiku/Obi presidential campaign in Ekiti State led to another spat between Sen. Abiodun Olujimi and ex-Gov. Fayose. The clash led to both leaders appointing two Directors General for Atiku /Obi presidential campaign. The former Chief of Staff, Chief Dipo Anisulowo, is the DG Atiku /Obi presidential campaign for ex-Gov. Ayo Fayose group, while Otunba Yinka Akerele is the DG Atiku /Obi presidential campaign for the Olujimi’s faction.
To make the issue more interesting, the Deputy Speaker, Olusegun Adewunmi, led 12 PDP lawmakers which included Hon Olusegun Adewunmi, Hon. Omodara Olaposi, Hon Badejo Anifowose, hon Musa Arogundade, Hon. Olayode Omotosho, Hon. Mrs. Titilayo Akerele, Hon Mrs. Cecilia Dada, Hon Afolabi Akanni, Hon Ojo-Ade Fajana, Hon. Olayanju Olanrewaju, Hon. Adewale Ayeni and Hon Temitope Fasanmi to
They further said that Fayose could deliver Ekiti state to the PDP in the coming presidential election. “We state with all sense of responsibility that ex-Governor Fayose
All this development didn’t go down well with the former Governor, who felt betrayed that in fewer than 4 months after leaving office, he appears not to be relevant any more. That was why Fayose released a video on Twitter, urging people of Ekiti state to vote against Olujimi, who is the party’s candidate in Ekiti South at the 2019 National Assembly polls. He said:
“Ekiti Kete o, my name is Ayo Peter Fayose, Osokomole. My beloved teachers, my beloved workers, okada riders and entire people of Ekiti State. I commend you, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, our President-in-waiting. I commend you all candidates of PDP in Ekiti, except Senator Abiodun Olujimi.”
In his tweet, he maintained and insisted that Ekiti south electorate must not return Abiodun Olujimi to the Senate. I know you will do exactly what I ask you to do. I love you and may God bless you. That was Act 1, Scene 1″.
Recently, Fayose was on a live radio programme in Ado Ekiti ,where he urged voters in Ekiti South not to vote for his party candidate in the February 16 National Assembly elections. In reacting to all the former governor’s broadcast, the Senate Minority leader, Abiodun Olujimi, who spoke through her Special Assistant on Media, Chief Sanya Atofarati said:
“Fayose is being haunted by his wicked and failed past. It is sad and shameful that a (former) governor, who could not produce his successor in an election despite the resources available to him, is living on past glory. Senator Olujimi is a tested product that nobody can destroy nor distaste.”
In a nutshell, findings reveal that the issue of who becomes the leader of the party in Ekiti was what led to war between the former Governor and the senate minority leader. It said that Olujimi held the highest elective post not just in Ekiti, but in South West being the PDP minority leader in the Senate, which authentically places her on the top of the rung of the party’s ladder in the South West and Ekiti State. But the issue of gender is working against her as some see her as an over ambitious woman, but the fact remains that she is a force to reckon with in Ekiti state politics and also at the federal level. In fewer than four months, many of the PDP stalwarts, who left the party have all returned. They include: former Deputy Governor, Dr. Sikiru Lawal, former LP governorship candidate, Ambassador Dare Bejide, who also contested the last governorship election and host of others. They are ready to make the party work again.