The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has described the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party held at the Eagle Square, Abuja as an “ambush of democracy”.
In a statement on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti by its Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party said the convention that produced new national officers for the party, “bore the footprints of its old fraudulent conducts in the running of government and internal affairs of the party”.
Olatunbosun said: “Just like PDP had conducted itself in the past in impunity, impudent practices and election rigging both at the party level and national elections, another bizarre spectacle played out on Saturday when the party impudently abandoned its conventional micro-zoning formula that produced all its past national chairmen to manipulate the emergence of another zone just because a few people have the money and power to mindlessly pursue personal agenda to remain permanently relevant politically.
“Just like PDP did in Ekiti State during the last governorship election when the results were already written 48 days before the election, according to the revelations by Ekiti State Secretary of PDP, the result of the weekend PDP convention was also already in public domain and social media before accreditation of delegates began at the Eagle Square.
“The difference in the manner of fraudulent practice in Ekiti election and PDP convention is that while money, soldiers, police, INEC, DSS operatives were used to illegally arrest and disenfranchise the opposition members in Ekiti to compromise the election, Abuja PDP convention witnessed massive votes buying allegedly championed by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his Ekiti State counterpart, Governor Ayodele Fayose, who is owing workers between six and nine months in salary arrears but fraudulently blaming it on debts by his predecessor.”
Lampooning the PDP for its contempt for democratic practice in election contests, Olatunbosun said the cost of pursuing such agenda had had telling effects on the living conditions of Nigerians, particularly workers, who bore the brunt of massive deployment of funds to illegally win election as they remain unpaid for months even as infrastructure decay lingered.
He said: “We have heard of massive funds deployment from Ekiti State to prosecute a convention that would benefit Governor Fayose alone to the detriment of workers who are owed salary arrears and a fellow Ekiti man, Prof Tunde Adeniran, who is clearly the best aspirant with intimidating credentials and who has no question mark on his integrity.
“But because of his selfishness, Fayose was busy days and nights leading to the convention to work against the Ekiti erudite professor by using Ekiti money to campaign against the interest of a fellow Ekiti man and South West zone in general to pave the way for his selfish ambition to become the Vice President.
“Many chairmanship aspirants, including Bode George, Raymond Dokpesi and Prof Adeniran had in unmistakable terms condemned the convention as flawed, marked by imposition and fraudulent deployment of funds, the practice that has become PDP’s pastime in election contests as could be seen in the last general elections when President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration threw open the nation’s treasury to squander billions of dollars to prosecute the elections that would have further perpetuated Nigerians’ miseries sufferings.
“Just like the Nigerian economy has now become the victim of Jonathan’s administration’s massive votes buying that left the national reserves empty as can be seen in how PDP leaders stole Nigeria blind, Ekiti workers are the victims of a callous administration that thrives in deceits and frauds.
“Governor Fayose’s Father Christmas conduct in PDP convention is a climax of three years of reckless borrowings, projects costs inflation and fraudulent administration that is unaccountable to the people.
“Ekiti people, particularly workers, at the weekend saw why they are being owed nine months salaries. They know why the governor jerked up his monthly security vote from N60m to N300m and why the governor also awarded himself another N90m monthly vote called ‘Sundry Expenses’ while his commissioners and Assembly members are unpaid for seven months.
“They now know why Fayose’s N5.9b flyover contract has been reviewed upward two times to the present N14.5b with the governor’s mother, wife and sons as sub-contractors, and New Market project abandoned after disagreement on alleged loot sharing formula that has since landed the contractor in jail.
“Ekiti people now know why Fayose is currently planning to take fresh loans after borrowing N59b over three years and why he is not allowing Ekiti people to have information on the revenue profile of the state, including the government accounts into which IGR is deposited, after Fayose jerked up rates and taxes, including introducing fresh ones that also include taxation of pupils, even as Ekiti people now know why Fayose is giving out Christmas cloths to 100,000 children at N10,000 each even though the market value of that five yards of ‘ankara nylon’ is N1,000.00.
“Ekiti people now know why banks and other private business organisations were forced to pay their corporate social responsibility (CSR) cash personally to the governor who closed down Cocacola, GTB and Ecobank, among others, for refusing to surrender their CSR cash to him, while Ekiti people working there lost their jobs because of personal ambition to raise funds for election.”
Olatunbosun warned PDP leaders never to contemplate repeating their norm in election fixing in Ekiti State, adding that Ekiti people would not allow any Rivers State mercenary and his Ekiti State counterpart to fraudulently manipulate the 2018 election like was the case in 2014 election and weekend PDP’s convention.