Some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State have alleged that Governor Kayode Fayemi is planning to expel them from the party.
The stakeholders also alleged that the governor supported Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just-concluded Edo State elections.
Mr Obaseki, who joined the PDP after he was denied the APC ticket, defeated Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC to win Saturday’s governorship election.
The crisis rocking the APC in Ekiti State has been on for several months.
Last week, PREMIUM TIMES reported that the special adviser on political matters to President Muhammadu Buhari, Babafemi Ojudu, and 11 others was summoned to appear before a panel for allegedly disobeying the party’s directive and failure to withdraw cases instituted against the party in court.
In an official reaction to their summon, the affected politicians in a statement signed by Bamgboye Adegoroye, sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, said Mr Fayemi was responsible for their summons.
“A curious process is taking place in the Ekiti State branch of our progressive party. Our governor and the chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi, after installing the governor of Edo State in a clear case of anti-party, is bent on expelling leaders of the party.
“Towards achieving this purpose he (Fayemi) has set up a committee of his adulators to put us on trial in a predetermined process. The committee is chairmanned by one Mr Ajigbolamu who recently left the PDP to join our party. We also know that the affairs of the committee are managed by the office of the Attorney General Mr Wale Fapounda, his anointed for the position of the governor when his term is over in 2022.”
The stakeholders also said despite assisting the governor politically, Mr Fayemi has decided to punish them by appointing new executives of the party in a private home in Iyin-Ekiti, which they said violates the constitution of the party.
“We demanded of him the dissolution of this product of illegality and institution of a legitimate executive in compliance with our party’s constitution. We intimated our party leaders of these concerns; the same problem which was present in his first term that led to our losing the state to PDP with ignominy in the year 2014.”
They also accused the governor of hounding them and suspending members, leading them to resort to instituting court cases to protect their rights.
The stakeholders, however, said that they are threatened by the strategy the governor “is trying to employ by setting up a committee to expel us. We, however, insist we shall under no circumstance leave the party to join another. We were members of the party from the foundation and also members of ACN, a legacy party that joined with others to form APC. We were in the other progressive parties, AD, AC that existed before and transformed to the present party.”
“We also make bold to say that some of us being threatened with expulsion were responsible for inviting Governor Fayemi in 2005 to come home and run for the governor of our state. We also worked tirelessly for the period of three and a half years it took to get him installed as governor through the court process.”
“Ekiti is a progressive state and this has been right from independence. We shall not sit down and allow one man’s incompetence to turn our state to a PDP state or a state where batons are exchanged between PDP and APC every four years thus depriving it of the necessary stability to ensure its growth. We are therefore calling our national leadership to stop Dr Kayode Fayemi from killing our party in Ekiti. Things are bad enough now for the party in the state.”
“Allowing him to carry out our expulsion will only spell doom for our beloved APC.”
Mr Fayemi’s spokesperson, Yinka Oyebode did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES calls and text messages seeking comments from the governor as regards the expulsion allegations and support for Mr Obaseki levied against him.