Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
The Director of Media and Publicity of the Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM), Chief Niyi Ojo and a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly and loyalist of Governor Ayo Fayose, Wale Ayeni, recently traded words over alleged thuggery witnessed during the recent ward congress to elect delegates for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ojo alleged that Ayeni and some others sent thugs after some persons said to be members of PDP who are not allies of the deputy governor Olusola Kolapo, an aspirant fully supported by Governor Fayose, but Ayeni denied the allegations saying that those accusing him of violence were not authentic members of the PDP.
In a statement, Ojo said, “It has come to our notice that the inordinate ambition to govern Ekiti by force is driving a gang of thugs led by Wale Ayeni to criminality in Ikere Local Government Area to beat up all known supporters of Prince Adeyeye. This is a manifestation of signs of rejection at home and flagrant violation of the fundamental rights of association of these people.
“It was reported that ex- Ikere Council Chairman, Banji Aluko and Gbenga Ayeni were beaten up for supporting Adeyeye and we call on the Commissioner of Police, Director of State Services and other security agencies to quickly arrest these notorious thugs to prevent breakdown of law and order in Ikere.
“Moreover, Prof. Olusola who is aspiring to govern Ekiti State should be reminded that only God gives power to whom he pleases.
No amount of thuggery and intimidation can win elections anywhere and you may not get the support of the people you have brutalized at the general election.”
Responding, Ayeni, who is the coordinator of the Oshoko Mass Movement (OMM), a pro-Fayose grassroots political platform, denied all the allegations, saying:
“It is very unfortunate that somebody is accusing me of organising thugs to beat up people. Why would I organise thugs to beat people? What for? You mentioned Banjo Aluko but l don’t know him to be a member of PDP; he is the same person that would associate with Mega Party, the SDP and others and host meetings of these parties in his house.
“We have certain criteria to determine those who are part of us. We have had congresses to elect people into party positions. When we had our local and state government congresses, he was not in those congresses. The only status he is carrying about is that he has been a chairman of the Okere Local Government before. This is a man who has never attended the past meetings, party functions and congresses of the party. Nobody beat him up; he is just trying cook up stories. If truly he is still a leader of the party how come he is now not recognized in his ward?
“When he emerged as the chairman of that local government on the platform of the PDP, he was voted by our members there. Why is it now that the same people don’t recognize him again? It means there is a problem with him somewhere.
The impression the likes of Banji Aluko and his co-travelers and those alleging that there were acts of thuggery in Ikere and calling for cancellation of e congresses of those local governments just want to use blackmail and lies to discredit the peaceful and transparent ward congress we had in Ikere Local Governments.
They have lost their place in the party because of their disloyalty and that is why they want to discredit the free and fair election.
“In all the wards in Ikere, the deputy governor Olusola Eleka is very popular and the people are yearning for him. Our people in Ikere really want to produce the next governor of Ekiti and they want Eleka to be the person Ekiti will vote for.”