Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the endorsement of the state Chairman, Chief Bisi Kolawole, because the governorship candidate by former Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose before the 2022 governorship poll.
NAIJASET gathered on Sunday that Fayose communicated Kolawole’s endorsement to members of his platform, Osoko People’s Assembly (OPA) at a gathering held at his Afro Ekiti country home, and therefore the development is causing ripples within the party.
The anointing of Kolawole was a sign that Fayose has abandoned former Governor Segun Oni, who recently made an open declaration; 2018 governorship candidate, Prof Olusola Eleka, and 2018 deputy governorship candidate, Mr. Deji Ogunsakin, who was believed to be the favorite for the ticket before the newest development.
The issue became a serious topic of discourse on many social media platforms Saturday night with many concerned PDP warning against another imposition saying similar action cost the party victory at the 2018 governorship election.
Kolawole was within the lobby of Assembly where he represented Efon Constituency between 2007 and 2011. He also served under Fayose as Commissioner for Environment between 2015 and 2018.
Pictures of Fayose’s visit to Kolawole’s residence in Efon where he further gave reasons why he anointed him because the next PDP flag bearer later surfaced on social media Saturday evening.
A source told DAILY POST that a former House of Assembly member criticized the selection of Kolawole expressing surprise at the sudden turnaround at the Afro meeting after Fayose had earlier directed them to figure for Ogunsakin.
Fayose was said to possess tongue-lashed ex-lawmaker for daring to challenge his authority as a former governor and leader of OPA.
The choice of Kolawole has further polarised the party that’s battling a raging factional crisis between the OPA group loyal to Fayose and therefore the Repositioning Group loyal to the lawmaker representing Ekiti South within the Senate, Senator Biodun Olujimi.
The Olujimi faction led by Hon. Kehinde Odebunmi has taken the battle to the Supreme Court after the supreme court and therefore the Appeal Court had validated the Fayose faction led by Hon. Kolawole.
Fayose’s public show of support for Kolawole’s candidacy has divided PDP members with a number of them hailing the action while others criticized Fayose for attempting to impose a candidate before the party’s primary.
While some threw their weight behind Kolawole, others maintained that it had been premature for the ex-governor to leap the gun during a bid to foist his crony on the party warning of a repeat of the 2018 loss to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which they partly blamed on the alleged imposition of Eleka.
But Fayose during a social media post justified the rationale why he settled for Kolawole describing him as “eminently qualified” for the party’s gubernatorial ticket.
The ex-governor however clarified that there would be a primary for all aspirants who show interest within the PDP ticket before the 2022 governorship election in Ekiti.
Fayose said: “I painstakingly elect to support Bisi Kolawole because he’s eminently qualified, a point and a bridge builder. But it’s still an open race for all aspirants.
“In due course, the party will conduct primarily for all of them. However, on behalf of me today, it’s Bisi Kolawole for Governor.
“To my Political ‘Sons’ (Aspirants) and followers of the Osoko Political Assembly, it could are ‘you’ but the desire of God be done. some time too will surely come.
“As a pacesetter, I reserve the proper to a choice and decision to which I even have humbly made.”
Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka, reacting to an issue by a social media user on why Fayose abandoned Eleka, Olayinka said: “Abeg carry your Oyinbo giramatika go sleep.
“I respect Prof Kolapo Olusola Eleka such a lot and that I won’t say anything against him here.
“But on this one, we that chose Eleka in 2018 have chosen Bisi Kolawole for 2022.
“In 2018, Prof Eleka wasn’t the foremost brilliant, he got the ticket.”
Reacting to Kolawole’s choice in another WhatsApp post, Ogunsakin, said the action has ended his ambition to run the governorship seat within the 2022 poll.
He said: “I just spoke with my darling region and therefore the chairman of our great party PDP, Hon Bisi Kolawale to congratulate him because the news of his emergence reached me through sources I even have the utmost respect for.
“I want to mention without mincing words that Bisi K may be a fine gentleman and decent husband that I even have such a lot regard for. If I used to be chosen he would’ve stood solidly behind me and in fact, I’ll do an equivalent for him.
“While thanking my friends, well-wishers, and relations for your support so far, this is often where our journey as regards governorship race ends in fulfillment of the promise we made to our leader HE Ayo Fayose and therefore the entire leadership of OPA that we’ll abide by the instruction of the group within the collective interest of all and varied.
“Please note, I’m not available for any negative discussions. Thank you. God bless OPA. God bless PDP.”
Meanwhile, the PDP in the Efon government, Kolawole’s council area of origin has hailed his choice by Fayose describing it as “the best decision.”
According to a press release by the Efon PDP LG Chairman, Hon. Oluyemi Ajanaku, Kolawole is that the man needed for the transformation of Ekiti State.
“No doubt, the declaration of interest on Hon. Bisi Kolawole by Gov. Ayodele Fayose remains the simplest decision because the preferred choice (Hon. Bisi Kolawole) is sort of experienced, disciplined, and indeed equipped with the needed transformation potential and know-how for the revival of our state; especially at this time; when things have fallen apart.
“Thanks to the God-fearing Oshokomole; the leader of our great party, for the type consideration, confidence, and trust which has been painstakingly bestowed on our son.
“On this, we promise total display of support, loyalty, and intensive modern campaign; particularly on the victory of our chosen candidate.”