The struggle for leadership occasioned by political intrigues and machination has characterized the Ekiti State Chapter of the PDP for some time.
Two groups: the Fayose’s and Olujimi’s have been at cold war over who leads the party in the state with the gladiators displaying different political expertise and acrobatism at one stage or the other to outsmart one another.
Generally, position held or holding remains a paramount determinant factor of leadership succession in politics. Nevertheless, how well one can use a position is equally an underlying factor.
Politics is a game of numbers; hence seniority between two serving officers could also be determined by the number of the people or constituency they represent. For instance, every senator is equivalent to one-thirds of a governor based on three senators per state.
Now, determining PDP leader in Ekiti State is not a complex issue at all. It is only that some of the occasional politicians whose participation is always dictated by opportunism are now benefitting and earning their living on the misunderstanding between Chief Ayodele Fayose and Senator Biodun Olujimi. Hence, the need to heat up the polity. They pray the crisis continues ad infinitum for their selfish ulterior motives.
Fayose has served out two terms as governor, who presided over the entire state, while Olujimi serving second term as senator representing Ekiti South. And, based on the previous personal and political relationship between these gladiators, Fayose is the undisputable leader of PDP in Ekiti State. It is completely odd and absurd for anybody to think otherwise. Water does not flow uphill.
Olujimi, now an astute politician and one of the protégées of Fayose could at best be regarded the Mother of PDP family in Ekiti and Fayose still the Father and Head of the family. This is common sense and logic as integral part of law.
Politically speaking and without any iota of hyperbolic and superfluous orchestration, it could be said that Fayose midwived Olujimi from childhood to adulthood. He is evidently a mentor of Olujimi in the field of politics.
Ab initio, Fayose promoted Olujimi to serve in various capacities in his administration: started as PA to Fayose’s CoS, Adviser to Fayose, Member, House of Reps, Deputy Gov, Member Board of NCC, Senator, etc.
Today, Olujimi obviously belongs to the class of x-this, x-that, etcetera but we should not forget that something cannot stand on nothing and every river has a source. My advise is that Sen. Olujimi should not disconnect from her source.
I was physically present at the venue where Fayose singlehandedly influenced the senatorial primary in favour of Olujimi in 2015 without which either Sola Akinyede or Makanjuola Owolabi would have won. Iya Olujimi was very happy on that day as she was frequently and stylishly sipping from the bottle of water in her hand.
Many political stalwarts became Fayose’s foes and trenchant critics because of his preference for Olujimi both in elective positions and those by appointment. Fayose as an imperfect being might be unfair to some people but he has been evidently and incalculably helpful to Olujimi.
Likening the political development in Ekiti politics to Lagos, Sen. Ahmed Tinubu has groomed the likes of Raji Fasola, Akinwumi Ambode, Babajide Sanwoolu, Remi Tinubu, etc and yet none of them has struggled the political leadership of the state with him. Notably, some of these Tinubu’s mentees such as Fashola and Oluremi are now serving as minister and senator respectively and yet have not interpreted any law to claim superiority over their political master and mentor.
However, the course of political events vis-à-vis the superlative political calculations of Fayose have practically and logically vindicated him as the undisputable PDP leader in Ekiti State.
On the eve of the PDP local government congress, Olujimi group complained that the party officials from Abuja who were saddled with the responsibility of conducting the Congress and the electoral materials were received by the Fayose group.
Also, during the Congress on March 7, the Fayose and Olujimi groups produced two parallel exco lists in which the NWC has now authenticated and upheld Fayose’s.
Again, Olujimi group went to court to stop the swearing-in of the exco produced by Fayose group but the court declined, implying that nothing is preventing the party from holding the local and state congresses with the Fayose’s authentic list of exco. With the gradual easing of the lockdown, that could take place at any time.
Subsequently, a 7-man Caretaker Committee was constituted by the NWC to manage the affairs of the party pending the constitution of the new exco at the state level. Olujimi group has complained that only 2 of the 7 members of the committee would have sympathy for them.
Now, with the above, the Olujimis have been proved to be perpetual underdogs with their incessant complaints. The group is always the complainant, but it takes two to tango and biting is part of fighting. They actually struggled with Fayose in all the instances; they cannot withstand internal pressure, how would they resist external attacks from the opposition party. ?. I think it’s better they queue behind who has been strategically positioned do it better in the interest of the party and it’s teeming members.
Whatever one’s views are, democracy allows it. But, some politicians prefer clutching at straws otherwise the Olujimi group ought to have accepted Fayose as the leader, chief strategist and grand master with the unfolding events.
Fayose’s has good rapport and link with the highest ruling body and legally constituted authority of the party, while the other group has tenaciously hinged their hope on INEC. Whereas, it’s the sole responsibility of the party to conduct congresses and primaries with INEC as mere observer.
A tree does not make a forest. Sen. Olujimi is a very bold and active woman politician who has been displaying the experience and dexterity acquired under the tutelage of Fayose. The duo can close ranks, cohesively and complementarily work together for the good of the party in Ekiti State now that the sitting APC government has diametrically lost its bearing with the elitist administrative syle of Gov. Kayode Fayemi that is at total variance with the life style and belief of Ekiti people. It is becoming clearer and clearer with each day passing that the dwindling popularity and acceptability of Fayemi’s government can hardly sustain the APC come 2022 governorship election. But, the PDP must put its house in order. A house divided against itself can neither stand nor progress.
Sen. Olujimi has nothing to lose but lots to gain by brokering peace with her estranged mentor without listening to insinuations. The two groups should come together, and delay could be dangerous. Anyway, i have no doubt that the care taker committee will do the needful as well.
Truly, only God is indispensable but at the moment, I believe vehemently that the experience and politically ruggedness of Chief Fayose would be helpful at the fore front of the struggle that will send the APC packing, most especially with the crude and violent nature of Nigerian electoral processes.
Fayose is not contesting governorship election again but his support for any candidate means a lot. He is not perfect but the numerous physical achievements of his administrations in every nook and cranny of Ekiti indelibly remains a referent point for the PDP in future elections.
Omotoso Okeya, Journalist & Public Affairs Analyst.