Estranged members of the Peoples Democratic Party State Working Committee, Friday denied rumours making the rounds that they were planning to defect to the All Progressives Congress, following irreconcilable differences with Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The aggrieved party leaders while briefing newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Friday, said they were sent by the SEC, comprising 50 members, to deny the rumour that 11 out of the 14 SWC members were planning to join the APC.
They were led by the Acting Chairman, Mr Tunde Olatunde, State Secretary, Dr Tope Aluko and Auditor, Mr Tunji Olanrewaju.
They recently suspended the State Chairman of the party, Chief Idowu Faleye over what they called illegal occupation of the office, saying he was not properly elected to occupy the position , in strict compliance with the party’s constitution.
Subsequently, the Vice Chairman (North), Mr Olatunde , was elevated by the SEC to man the position in Acting capacity, which must have infuriated Fayose, Faleye’s benefactor.
Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved members, Olatunde explained that though there were barrage of crises in the State chapter of the party, that the Chief Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee and the Southwest chapter of the party were critically looking into how to abate the lingering problem.
He said their strained relationship with Fayose stemmed from where he made Faleye, a returnee in the party, the State chairman in flagrant disobedience to the PDP’s constitution, among other alleged infractions, particularly in the recent appointments he had made.
“I want to say emphatically that Faleye is only parading himself illegally as the State Chairman. He is a labour unionist and not recognised as the leader of our party. Though, he could be recognised as a chairman in the Government House
“Faleye as at now is not a registered member of our party. The constitution stipulated certain conditions that you must meet before you can be a State Chairman of our party.
“He is from Ido Osi Ward I that had produced the Youth leader. So, It is unconstitutional for a ward to produce two EXCO members and for non-registered person to be elected an officer of a ward, let alone a whole State”, he insisted.
Slamming those spreading the rumour of their planned exit from the party, Olatunde added that : “We have laboured for the PDP. Fayemi was there for four years. We could not get any dividend of democracy. We worked hard to install Fayose, why must we now leave the house we struggled to build?
“Though there are issues to settle with the Governor, but we are settling it and we will get out of this crisis stronger . We have been reaching out to those who have been maintaining siddon look, I mean the aggrieved ones . We have reached about 40 people, particularly those who are not on the same page with the party.
“If we are working hard to build the party and bringing the aggrieved in, then why can we leave? What is the APC now that we want to go and share? This story is meant to tarnish our image, it was a blatant lie and it is absolutely rejected.
“We believe it was wicked that somebody can say we want to leave, leave for what? We Have produced the governor, three senators , six Reps members and 26 Assembly members. So, we cannot leave the House we built by our own sweat”, Olatunde said.
Aluko added that the party will continue to forge ahead in the task of bringing cohesion and ensure that party’s position is not circumvented by anybody, no matter how highly placed.
They were reacting to the statement credited to the former State Deputy Chairman of the PDP and now APC governorship aspirant, Mr Femi Bamisile, where he said he had it on good authority that eight members of the beleaguered PDP SWC were planning to defect to APC before 2018.