Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The outgoing State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ekiti chapter, Barrister Gboyega Oguntuase, has clarified that the fact that the tenure of the State Working Committee expires on May 10 necessitated the composition of a Caretaker Committee to pilot the affairs of the party.
Oguntuase said the executive under him was neither dissolved nor sacked, saying the party only acted in line with the constitution of the party.
The party’s National Working Committee, in a statement signed by its National Organizing Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), on Friday announced the composition of a Caretaker Committee in Ekiti, thereby foreclosing the reign of Oguntuase-led executive.
The seven-man caretaker committee chaired by former Senate Deputy Chief Whip and former lawmaker representing Oyo North, Senator Agboola, has Mr Yinka Akerele, Hon. Samuel Omotosho, Hon. Tunji Odeyemi and Ariyo Afolabi, as members
Others include: Hon. Adeyemi Abiodun Sunday and Hon. Diran Odeyemi, who is to serve as secretary of the committee.
Speaking with journalists through the outgoing State Publicity Secretary, Jackson Adebayo, on Saturday, Oguntause said the party acted in order not to create a vacuum in the party’s leadership position in Ekiti.
“We were neither dissolved nor sacked. Our tenure expires on May 10 and there must not be room for a vacuum. It was done for the state and local government structures.
“The caretaker will cease to exist as soon as validly recognised Congresses are conducted at that levels.”
On the crisis of confidence trailing the ward Congress that had factionalised the PDP along pro Ayodele Fayose and Senator Biodun Olujimi’s lines, Oguntuase said the bedlam will be resolved by the court.
Oguntuase insisted that the swearing in done for some ward executives loyal to Fayose by a Lawyer, Mr Niyi Idowu, was an abuse of powers and privileges.
“All the actions taken by the Notary Public was a nullity. Only the State Chairman can swear in a ward executive. If the state chairman refuses to perform such function, only the NWC is vested with such powers.
“Those who brought in a lawyer and non-PDP member to perform the swearing in acted ultra vires of their powers. They also acted subjudicially because the matter is in court already,” he said.
Oguntuase said the party under him had written the lawyer on the need for him to retract his decision and tender apology, failing which he would be reported to the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee for punitive actions.
“They only embarked on act that embarrassed the PDP. How can we allow a non-member to take actions that can destroy our party?
“They even came at a time there was a total lockdown in Ekiti. They have to explain how they entered Ekiti despite the border closure and how they assembled over 600 people for the swearing in without breaching the social distancing order.
“We are confident that the court will look at the two parallel ward Congresses and adopt the one that was conducted in substantial compliance with the party’s constitution and provisions of the Electoral Act, ” Oguntuase said.
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