Loyalists of former Governor Ayodele Fayose in the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have rejected their appointment into the Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Committee and management committee.
Naija News had earlier reported that the Director-General, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, on Sunday released a list of PCC members for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for Ekiti State.
However, Fayose’s allies, including a former governorship candidate, Bisi Kolawole, named as the state PCC chairman in a letter to the PDP PCO DG, have rejected their appointments.
In a letter made available to newsmen on Monday and titled, ‘Re-appointment as chairman of PCC Ekiti State,’ Kolawole said he was not informed before or about his appointment.
He said, “Even though I regard the appointment as honour, I wish to state that I will not be able to function amid people who openly and gladly worked against my election.
“The SDP members included in the Campaign Management Committee are people who left the PDP before the governorship election and have not returned to the party.
“With their inclusion in the campaign committee, how will they function when their party, the SDP, is also fielding candidates for the National Assembly and National Assembly elections will hold the same day as that of the President?”
Naija News reports that another member who rejected the appointment is Omotoso Okeya, who was appointed to serve on the committee as Assistant Secretary, Directorate of Research and Strategy.
Other PDP National Assembly candidates in the state for the 2023 general elections who rejected the appointments include – Lateef Ajijola (Ekiti Central senatorial), Funso Ayeni (North senatorial), Oluyinka Akerele (Reps Ekiti North 1), Lere Olayinka (Reps Ekiti Central 2), Mrs Adenike Emiola (Reps Ekiti South 2), Joju Fayose (Reps Ekiti Central 1) and Babatunde Ajayi (Reps Ekiti North 2). They made their position known in a letter to the campaign DG titled “Rejection of Ekiti State PCC and Campaign Management Committee.”
The National Assembly candidates stated, “Particularly, the persons appointed as Directors of Campaign for the Central and North Senatorial Districts are members of SDP. SDP is fielding senatorial, House of Representatives, and House of Assembly candidates in the above-mentioned senatorial districts. The implication is that SDP members will work against us as our Senatorial Directors of Campaign for our elections.”
‘Its Their Decision’ – PDP Reacts
Reacting to the rejection of their appointments, the PDP Presidential Campaign Council downplayed Fayose’s loyalists excuses, saying there is nothing to worry about.
Speaking to The PUNCH, spokesman of the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organisation, Charles Aniagwu, said: “It is their decision. They were appointed into the PCC as a way of bringing in more people to build inclusiveness but they are at liberty to accept or reject. That they have chosen not to be part of the campaign does not mean they will not work for the party or the candidate.
“Before their appointment, we were doing very well with the campaign and we will continue to do so. But we must state here that they may even work for the PDP from the outside than from the inside. They must not necessarily be members of the campaign council.”