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Ekiti 2022: Oni’s ambition suffers setback as Fayose, Olujimi settle rift

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Segun Oni

The governorship ambition of former governor of Ekiti State, Engr Segun Oni, may have suffered setback as the two contending groups in the People’s Democractic Party (PDP), the Osoko Political Assembly led by former Governor Ayo Fayose and another (Repositioning Group) led by the Senator representing Ekiti South, Biodun Olujimi have resolved not to support his ambition.

  The two groups reasoned that Oni just returned to the party from the APC and was not part of the Ekiti PDP Congresses and litigations, and therefore does not have any structure to support his ambition.

“Having failed to realize the governorship ambition in the APC that he decamped to eight years ago, he can’t come to the PDP to reap where he did not sow,” the source said Oni was told at the Lagos meeting.

The Fayose and Olujimi led groups have settled their rift and are said to have now resolved to support any candidate from either of their groups.

It was gathered that following the directive of the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu and other leadership of the party, a seven-man committee, comprising of Fayose and two persons from his group as well as Olujimi and two persons from her group met in Lagos last Monday. Oni was said to have been allowed to attend the meeting as an observer.

The Monday meeting was aftermath of the stakeholders meeting held in Abuja on December 20 and 21, 2021, in which it was established that there were only two groups in the PDP in Ekiti State.

The source said that at the Lagos meeting, the two groups said in his (Oni) presence that “he is on his own as far as his governorship ambition is concerned.”

The PDP Deputy Governorship candidate in the 2018 election, Hon Deji Ogunsakin and former House of Reps member, Hon Segun Adekola represented the Fayose group in the meeting while former Senator, Duro Faseyi and Otunba Yinka Akerele represented the Olujimi group.

“Fayose and Olujimi have resolved to work together and they have already put machineries in motion to bring all their supporters together and back whoever emerges as candidate from the aspirants in their two groups.

“This was also reiterated in the meeting with stakeholders, held in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, December 30, 2021. The meeting was attended by selected members from the two groups, with Oni and other aspirants in attendance,” the source said.

A former House of Assembly member, Hon. Olawale Onigiobi told our reporter that the coming together of Fayose and Olujimi appeared to have unsettled Oni’s camp in the last 48 hours.

Onigiobi said “they have embarked on campaign of calumny to the extent of generating letter on behalf of a faceless APC group to the party’s Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, insinuating a working alliance between Fayose and Governor Kayode Fayemi.

“Also, they have been circulating series of negative write ups, accusing Fayose and Olujimi of working in alliance with Governor Fayemi and the APC.

“In other words, only those in Oni’s camp, most of who only returned to the party from the APC last year are desirous of victory for the PDP. Fayose, Olujimi and others that they met in the party do not want PDP to win. What a way to campaign for a party governorship ticket!

“Won’t PDP field a candidate who can win the Ekiti governorship election if he (Oni) had remained in the APC? And if Fayose and Olujimi are enemies of PDP as being painted, who then will PDP rely on to win the governorship election? Is it only Oni? And why did he not get the APC ticket in 2018 if he was that popular?”

Senator Olujimi, reacting in Ekiti PDP General WhatsApp platform said; “Just stumbled on this. I hope fmr Gov Oni is reading and taking notes. I don’t know where these faceless writers from the dark are coming from. Where were they when we started the movements? Do they know the pains we’ve been through? Are they aware of the issues? Do they think the folly on our faces are deeply entrenched in our being? Are we subservient to these vile writers? We kept the party alive, that’s why people can come and make aspiration their main focus. Some of us are quiet, not because we don’t know what to say or Commission stupid write ups, but because of our belief in the unity of the party.

“I laugh hard when I hear one person is the only one that can win! Some of us have been around long enough to tell the real stories. We are just decent and circumspect.”

Our reporter however gathered that a meeting will be held in Abuja tomorrow, January 3 where report of settlement between the two groups will be presented to the party leadership. The meeting was earlier fixed for December 29, 2021, but was shifted to January 3.

Meanwhile, Oni in his reaction, dissociated his campaign structures from the emerging campaigns of calumny and blackmails geared towards the governorship polls later in 2022.

Oni stated that he had no rift with the leading PDP leaders in Ekiti State, ex-Gov Fayose and Senator Olujimi, and therefore would not engage in campaigns inimical to PDP chances in the coming polls.

He noted that “At the meeting in Abuja, I apologised to Gov Fayose for any personal ill-feeling that he must have experienced based my relationship towards him and he stood up to embrace me. The interpersonal issues are over. We have put that behind us.

“My respect for Senator Olujimi is intact, and I enjoy a cordial relationship with her. She has done well for our state and the country at large.

“ I urge members of my team and supporters to campaign reasonably. Whoever wins all of us will support. We will also ensure that all the various people participate in government. We must stop abuses and play mature politics.”

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POLITICS

2023: Atiku reaches out to Fayose over his call for southern presidency

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Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has reacted to the call by former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, that the south should produce the next president in 2023.

Fayose had on Wednesday said the PDP should give room for power rotation.

According to him, PDP’s constitution provides room for rotational presidency.

Reacting, Atiku’s media aide, Paul Ibe said the PDP presidential candidate will continue to appeal to aggrieved persons ahead of the 2023 election.

He told Premium Times, “It is normal for our people to be aggrieved but the PDP has a way of resolving issues like this and that will be done and we all shall be happy.

“Because the bigger challenge is winning the election, kicking out the APC and stopping them from the many years of impoverishing our people.”

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POLITICS

2023: PDP denies reported suspension of National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that its National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu has not been suspended from office.

The National Publicity Secretary of the main opposition party, Debo Ologunagba, made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement followed a social media report that the National Chairman of the party had been suspended by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) after the party’s national convention.

But the PDP has described the report as a completely false news, existing only in the imagination of mischief-makers who want to destabilize the party.

“It is clear that the false report is the handiwork of vicious anti-people forces who are agitated by the stability, unity, and soaring popularity of our party under the cohesive Sen. Dr. Ayu-led National Working Committee, as well as the intimidating stature of our Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar and His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, respectively,” the statement said.

The party’s spokesman further revealed that Ayu is on a short vacation outside the country.

He pointed out that in accordance with the party’s constitution, the Chairman temporarily transmitted power to the Deputy National Chairman (North), Amb. Umar Iliya Damagum.

He also said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was informed of the development.

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Wike meets PDP senators, Orubebe

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The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Thursday received the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership in the Senate in Rumuepirikom, his country home in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

The PDP delegation was led by the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda.

Also a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe met with Wike

Orubebe recently resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party.

In attendance at the meeting were the Senate Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi; Shuaibu Lau, Danjuma La’ah and Barry Mpigi.

A Government House source said the senators arrived at the governor’s residence some minutes past 3pm and immediately went into a closed door with their host.

The outcomes of the separate meetings were not made public.

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