By Ariwodola Idowu
Crisis on Saturday rocked the delegates’ congress of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti leading to an attack on a former Chairman of Ikere Local Gvernment, Mr. Mr Banji Aluko.
Aluko was beaten up by persons suspected to be political thugs over allegation that he was working against ‘Ikere Agenda’, fashioned by Gov. Ayo Fayose in support of his deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola.
Aluko , who led a group of youth to the secretariat of the party to register his protest over alleged subversion of the opposition’s will, was chased away from the congress.
The supporter of former works minister, Mr, Dayo Adeyeye, was beaten with canes and cudgels and his sparkling apparel heavily stained.
Aluko accused the Deputy governor and a member of the House of Assembly representing Ikere constituency 1, Mr. Wale Ayeni, as the masterminds of the attack.
“Our group won election at Ogbonjana ward 7 and we were rejoicing only for these thugs to pounce on me and started beating me.
“I have reported the case to the police and proper action will be taken against the sponsors,” he added.
The fragile peace brokered recently in the party broke down as the political gladiators squared up in virtually all the 177 wards, where elected delegates were expected to emerge, preparatory for the May 8 governorship primary.
The major gladiators are Governor Fayose; former Minister of Works, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye and Senator representing Ekiti south, Sen. Abiodun Olujimi.
They engaged in battle of wits in the delegates’ election.
While Fayose is backing his deputy, Olusola to succeed him in the July 14 governorship poll, the duo of Adeyeye and Olujimi were also contesting the same seat.
Adeyeye described the congress as a charade, calling for outright cancellation of the exercise to prevent anarchy.
Adeyeye said the election was “brazenly manipulated” in all the 177 wards , accusing the leaders of PDP Ad hoc committees sent to the 16 local governments of diverting the materials meant for the election.
Former Senate President, David Mark , led other top hierarchy of the party to conduct the congress.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Uche Secondus and members of the National Working Committee, as well as Senator Mark, were in Ado Ekiti last Wednesday to mediate between the opposing camps.
Tension was particularly high in Ikere Ekiti, hometown of the Fayose’s deputy , as factions fought over the control of the Ikere local government delegates in all the eleven wards in the council.
Adeyeye, who spoke through his Media Assistant, Niyi Ojo, said: “There was no election anywhere in the state. Those loyal to Fayose sat somewhere and wrote the list of delegates.
“What really marvelled us was that the committees sent by the national headquarters to conduct the election didn’t go to the wards, they
diverted,” he alleged (NAN)