Thirteen governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State clamouring for a consensus candidate have dragged the party to court seeking the disqualification of former Governor Ayo Fayose ahead of today’s primary election in the state.
A former Deputy Governor in the state, Mr. Abiodun Aluko, told our correspondent on Friday that 13 of them were represented by one of the aspirants, Mr. Deji Ajayi, who filed a case against the PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission and Fayose before a Federal High Court, Abuja.
Aluko said that the 13 aggrieved aspirants had resolved not to participate in the primary election because of the case. Ajayi had earlier threatened to drag the party to court claiming that Fayose was not a genuine member of the PDP and should be disqualified from the race.
“One of us, Deji Ajayi, has gone to court over this and he is representing the 13 of us. It is Deji Ajayi and 12 others and we can’t go to court and still go ahead to participate in the primary election,” Aluko said.
Also, the Director-General of Gbenga Aluko Campaign Organisation, Mr. Tunji Olatunde, corroborated this in an interview with our correspondent. He said that all the 13 aspirants held a meeting on Thursday night and agreed that they would not participate in the primary election because of the case and because the process had been skewed to favour Fayose.
He said that the 13 aspirants clamouring for consensus arrangement were doing so not because they were afraid but because they wanted the best for the party.
Olatunde said that primaries always generated crisis which he said was not good for a party like the PDP which is seeking to oust an incumbent governor.
He said, “Deji Ajayi has gone to court on the re-admission of Fayose which did not follow the due process. He filed a case against him at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday. It is prejudicial to conduct primary election on Saturday because of this.”
But Fayose when contacted said that the aspirants were afraid of defeat, noting that he was re-admitted properly and this gave him the opportunity to participate in the state congress which produced the current set of party executives at the state level.
Fayose, who spoke through the Director of Publicity and Research, Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, said that he was ready for the primary election while expressing the confidence that he would emerge victorious.
Adelusi said, “We are ready for the primary election. I am sure that the PDP delegation from Abuja would arrive today ( Friday). Some ministers will also come as well.
“It is true they have gone to court. But they only filed originating summon and the case has not been assigned to any judge. There is no injunction and nothing is stopping the primaries.
“We have seen the text messages they are sending around that court has stopped the primaries, it is a lie. It is a way of causing confusion but it won’t work.”