The group of elders of the People’s Democratic Party in Ekiti State endorsed the adoption of Bisi Kolawole by former Governor Ayodele Fayose as a candidate for the presidency of the next congress scheduled for April 2, 2020.
In addition to Kolawole’s support as a preferred candidate for the presidency, the elders also endorsed Joseph Omolase’s candidacy as a preferred secretary.
Elders and stakeholders led by former Ekiti state governor Ayodele Fayose endorsed Kolawole during a meeting held at Clement Awoyelu’s residence on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
The State Work Committee, led by Oguntuase, had previously dissociated itself from the supposed action of the elders and also the stakeholders led by the former governor, of imposing a consensus candidate before the congress.
However, when reading the statement after the meeting, Chief Idowu Odeyemi said that the decision to approve Kolawole was made after extensive consultation and input from party leaders in the 16 areas of the state council.
Odeyemi calmed the fear that what the elders did represent an imposition, saying that “we must say, however, that this endorsement made by the elders has not cancelled the right to participate, which means that the race is still open.
“We only express our right to endorse our preferred candidate, which means that another group can also endorse its own.”
He added that the elderly were aware that other groups within the party also endorsed preferred candidates. “We will meet you at the congress. We are not imposing a candidate, we just express our right. Thi party has been one and after the congress, we will remain one”.
Reacting to the development, Ayodele Fayose said he openly supported Bisi Kolawole, who has just been endorsed by the party’s elders to move the party forward.
“We are not doing this to score any points; we are just looking for someone who can manage our party in view of the fact that we do not have an acting governor.
“By the grace of God, I am the only person who served as a governor who is still in this party. I am the only two-term governor still in this party. It would be bad for someone to want me to leave.
“You must also remember that politics is about interest. Part of the interest embodied in this congress is the governance contest that is ahead. So I don’t blame anyone for doing what they did. But do not forget that I told them when Adeyeye was contesting then that it would end in the middle of nowhere and it happen like that.
“Adeyeye ended up at APC and ended up outside APC. Some of them, on the other side, who lead the rebellion, will follow suit. I have been the pillar and one of the main stakeholders in this party. I’m not saying that I have the full word, but the fact is that I did my best for this party.
I want to assure you that I am not contesting. I don’t want to be governor, even if I wish to be governor, I am no longer eligible. I want us to run this contest without bitterness, but the moment it comes to rebellion, if you don’t have numerical strength, you will lose.
“We will involve everyone in free and fair contests. We are not sharing any position, we want a contest and, anyway, we will accept it”, he said.