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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: Obasanjo turns down PDP’s request

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that he would never return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, saying he has retired from partisan politics.

The ex-president, who renounced his membership of the party in 2015, stated this when he received the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; and other stakeholders who paid him a visit on Saturday in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

According to sources, the visit was targeted at returning the former president to the opposition party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

But, Obasanjo, while addressing the stakeholders, said he had vowed to remain as a statesman. He, however, said PDP would always be part of his life.

He said, “I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that can bring back. Anybody who wants my advice, I will always be there in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Whatever I do in my own life…because I became president on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of my life.

“Since the day I tore my PDP card, that was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. That day I vowed not to be a member of any political party. I will continue to be a statesman.”

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POLITICS

Nigerian-British chartered accountant, Biyi Oloko, wins UK by-election

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Biyi Oloko, a British citizen of Nigerian descent and Conservative candidate, has won the Tilehurst South and Holybrook by-election in the United Kingdom. The Tilehurst South and Holybrook seat was run as a by-election after the death of incumbent councillor Peter Argyle, after 24 years of meritorious service.

Oloko, the new Conservative councillor, who has now been elected to West Berkshire Council, emerged victorious in the by-election that was also contested by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Speaking after his election, Oloko, who was quoted by leading weekly news outlet, Newburytoday Newspaper, said: “I can’t wait to get started on continuing Peter’s work alongside councillor Richard Somner. I met many of our residents on their doorsteps and their message was very clear, their priorities will be my priorities as I look forward to continuing to build on the good record of the Conservatives-led administration.”

Lynne Doherty, Conservative leader of West Berkshire Council said: “I’m delighted to welcome Biyi to the group. We share a passion for community involvement and I’m sure that he will champion the voice of his residents in this area.

Berkshire is a county in South East England. One of the home counties, Berkshire was recognised by Queen Elizabeth II as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters of patents were issued in 1974.

Oloko was a former Special Adviser on Economic Planning and Internal Revenue to late governor of Oyo State Abiola Ajimobi.

Oloko is a chartered accountant whose boardroom experience traverses the Private Sector, Public Sector and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).

He is the CEO of Stephen Simeon Limited, an international advisory business with presence in the UK and Africa. He has an excellent reputation as a leading expert in structuring transactions, business recovery and business turnaround.

Oloko is an active volunteer in the Berkshire region where he is a Vice President of the Thames Valley District of Chartered Accountants and an Ambassador of the Institute of Directors (Berkshire).

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POLITICS

PDP Governors meet in Port Harcourt to consider presidential candidate

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Governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will be meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Monday (today) to strategize for the 2023 general elections.

A statement issued on Sunday by the Director-General of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Cyril Maduabum said the meeting is aimed at consolidating on how to rescue and rebuild Nigeria through the 2023 poll.

According to the Director-General, the meeting will also review the current state of the nation and readiness of the opposition party to provide the necessary leadership to rescue and rebuild the country.

He stated that all the elected PDP governors are expected to attend the meeting which is coming after a gala night hosted by the Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike.

“The PDP governors are working in concert and consultations with other party leaders, particularly the Ayu-led National Executive Committee of the PDP, to craft a credible process and programme for Nigeria’s positive rebirth,” he added

However, an impeachable source told DAILY POST that part of the agenda to be discussed is how the party will zone the presidential ticket to region that holds critical stake in the election process.

According to him, the party may also look at arriving at a consensus presidential candidate if possible.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and some of his counterparts were received by Wike at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Sunday evening.

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