The long-awaited State Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State held on Saturday, with Hon. Bisi Kolawole emerging as chairman.
Kolawole, a former member of the State House of Assembly and immediate past Commissioner for Environment polled 1,651 votes.
1,690 delegates were
accredited to vote in the congress witnessed by former governors Ayodele Fayose and Segun Oni.
Fayose and Oni used the congress to reunite after several years of political enmity with understanding to work hard to ensure victory for the PDP in the 2022 governorship poll in the state.
The congress was conducted by the Engr Kola Balogun-led Committee appointed by the National Working Committee of the party.
The Ekiti Caretaker Committee was represented by its Secretary, Prince Diran Odeyemi.
Addressing journalists at the congress, Fayose declared that the ruling All Progressives Congress would be ousted out of government in Ekiti with unity of purpose and togetherness among members of the PDP.
He emphasized that loyalty remained the best ingredient the party members as opposition must exhibit to be able to triumph over the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led APC, saying “Ekiti people have serious resentment for the ruling party.”
Fayose warned the party faithful against indiscipline and disloyalty that were common features among politicians.
“Let me tell our members that loyalty pays over time. Let us continue to be loyal. All delegates, we welcome and salute you.You could all see all that are set here for this congress. There is no crack in Ekiti PDP. I would have been surprised if Engr Segun Oni has not been here today.
“Let us found this party on discipline and truth. If we vote for you at the ward , council or state level and you misbehave, we will remove you. We have to be disciplined; facing an incumbent needs discipline; whoever wants to go is free to do so.
“Those with party positions, please, respect your leaders, because it will not be business as usual. We are prepared to support the new Exco for them to succeed. I am not looking for Senate seat or anything, but I am standing for the PDP in order not to destroy it. If you are elected, please, be responsible and respectful to leaders”.
On Oni’s return to the PDP, Fayose stated: “I welcome Engr Oni to Ekiti PDP . I knew APC will fail him when he left. I congratulate him on becoming born again today. Whoever comes back, you are welcome.
“APC operates secretly. PDP is the only democratic party. All that defected to APC in 2018, we regret their actions. But we are waiting for all of them. APC is losing their members on daily basis, because people don’t like them. We are even ready to work with the aggrieved in the PDP, “he said.
Oni, addressing the crowd, said he felt elated to return to the PDP and realign with those he had worked with in the past and those he could trust when it comes to party politics.
“There are people that had been lost and we are back. I thank the leader, Mr Ayodele Fayose and other leaders. This party belongs to Nigerians and ready to take its rightful place. We must encourage everybody to be here. We are starting our winning from Ekiti; very soon we will get good news from Edo and Ondo and we will sweep across Nigeria. We will be able to bring the best of development and not talks that we are having now.’
Fayose said, “This is where the party is. As a leader, you will know where the party is. Chief Segun Oni is here because this is where the party is. There is no crack in our party.”
The former governor canvassed discipline in the party, saying, “We are facing an incumbent shortly in the governorship. To win, we need discipline. Please respect your leaders. We are prepared to support this new executive to achieve anything.”
While a former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Bisi Kolawole, emerged at the congress of the Fayose group held at Petim Hotel, a former House of Representatives member, Kehinde Odebunmi, was elected at the congress of the Olujimi group, which held at Lotus Hotel.