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Ekiti PDP Chairmanship: Fayose's aide defends endorsement of Bisi Kolawole, Says; others are free to seek stakeholders endorsement

By Lere Olayinka
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Media Aide to Mr. Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti State, Lere Olayinka, has described the endorsement of Hon. Bisi Kolawole by leaders of the party in the Ekiti Central Senatorial district, as their preferred candidate for the State Chairmanship of our party in the forthcoming Congress as sacrosanct, saying others are also free to openly endorse their choice aspirants.

Olayinka, who was responding to a statement by the State Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, querying the endorsement of Hon. Kolawole, in a letter to the State Chairman, Chief Gboyega Oguntuwase, said "It is no longer news that you (Oguntuwase) are interested in returning as the State Chairman and we have it on good authority that you are Senator Olujimi's preferred candidate."

He said rather than ranting, and having boasted that he will defeat Fayose's candidate in the congress, it is better for Oguntuwase to go and prepare for a free and fair contest.

Olayinka, who accused the Oguntuwase led State Exco of not playing its role as opposition party in Ekiti State, said it was funny that the State Publicity Secretary was always prompt in releasing press statements on intra-party issues, but asleep on issues bordering on governance in the State.

He reiterated that "Hon. Bisi Kolawole stands endorsed by Fayose and others leaders of the party in Ekiti Central senatorial district as the preferred aspirant to the office of the Chairman of the PDP in Ekiti State without apology and others are also free to openly endorse their preferred aspirants."

The letter read in part; "First, let me state that this response is on behalf of myself as a party man, who has demonstrated and still demonstrating total commitment and loyalty to the party (Record of my activities speak for itself).

"I read with interest the statement made on behalf of the party in Ekiti State by the State Publicity Secretary, Mr Jackson Adebayo, ostensibly concerning the endorsement of Hon. Bisi Kolawole by leaders of the party in the Ekiti Central Senatorial district, as their preferred candidate for the State Chairmanship of our party in the forthcoming Congress.

"I also read the open letter addressed to the State Chairman, Mr. Gboyega Oguntuwase on the same issue by Senator Biodun Olujimi.

"It is a common knowledge that both Jackson Adebayo's statement and Olujimi's open letter came from the same source as the two are working together. "I wish to state, and clearly too that in politics throughout the world, aspirants getting the endorsement of stakeholders is part of the process because in every politics, there must be interests and

divides.
"Importantly, in our party's guideline for the conduct of congresses and national convention, nomination forms of aspirants must be signed by a stipulated number of card carrying members of the party as a form of endorsement.

"Therefore, the endorsement of Hon. Bisi Kolawole by former governor Ayodele Fayose and other leaders in the Ekiti Central senatorial district is right and legitimate, and other aspirants are also at liberty to seek the endorsement of Senator Olujimi and other leaders of the party.

"Fayose that you and I know does not hide his positions on issues. He is a very clear character and that is what he has demonstrated in the endorsement of Hon. Bisi Kolawole.

"Most importantly, the State Publicity Secretary needs to avail himself with a copy of the just released 'Guidelines for the conduct of Ward, LGA, State, Zonal Congresses and the National Convention' to know whose power it is to conduct elections into party committees at all levels.

"For the avoidance of doubt, the actual conduct of elections at the Ward, Local Government Area, State, and Zonal Congresses of the party is the duty of the Congresses Committee at each level appointed by the National Working Committee (NWC). In other words, the State Executive Committee, to which the State Publicity Secretary belongs

does not have any role to play.
"However, since we are now in the season of suspension of party members loyal to Governor Fayose by your goodself (as the state chairman) and your clique in the State Exco, you can go ahead and announce the suspension of all of us, including Fayose.

"To me, rushing to write open letters and issuing press statements is of no use. Most importantly, Senator Olujimi writing an open letter to you as the State chairman is like a husband writing open letter to his wife, and we in Fayose's group will not be bothered.

"Finally, it is my advice that the State Publicity Secretary should be alive to his responsibility as the opposition Spokesperson in Ekiti State. It is funny that Mr. Jackson Adebayo is always prompt in releasing press statements on intra-party issues, but asleep on issues bordering on governance in the State.

"We have not seen the State PDP under your goodself, taking the APC led government on concerning issues bordering on the well-being of the people and one cannot but begin to subscribe to the popular notion that there could be an accord between some people and the APC-led government in the State.

"In conclusion, we in Fayose group have demonstrated our readiness for the congresses by telling the whole world where our interest is, others too are free to so do."