The Senator representing Ekiti South at the National Assembly, Chief Biodun Olujimi has dismissed the claim that she was trying to wrestle the Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the hand of former governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, insisting that nobody owns the party.
The former Senate Minority Leader, who stated this in Ado Ekiti at the weekend during a chat with journalists, said that the camp of Fayose was trying to take advantage of her gender to sideline her from the management team of the party, even when she has given her best to the service of both the party and the state, vowing to fight for her right.
Fayose’s media aide, who earlier spoke on behalf of the former governor, had in a statement on Olujimi said: “We don’t have time for a loser who is being used by APC to destabilize the Ekiti PDP.
“If she wants to leave PDP, she can leave. She has the right to ventilate her frustration having failed to take over PDP, so that she can become the party flag bearer in 2022.”
Olujimi who said that leadership could only be earned and not served alacarte, said that she was prevailed upon by some concerned members of the party to provide leadership that was lacking in Ekiti PDP.
“I believe it is what we do that will make people believe in us. What happened is that some people came together and said they wanted a new leadership. I didn’t compel anyone. They came and said they needed a breath of fresh air, a new beginning and inclusiveness and then we started a movement which gathered so much momentum to such an extent that they believe that we are eroding the ground upon which they, the former governor’s men, stand,” she said.
She wondered why a man that has been governor for 8 years would be preoccupied with wrestling powers with ordinary Senator.
“The bottom line is that if you have done well, you won’t need to wrestle at all. Fayose that I worked with and I had great respect for? How did he lose it? He needs to answer that.
“What is happening is a misconception which came about because of the belief that one person owns the party and the other person is trying to wrestle the party from the owner. But that is not the situation; the situation on ground is that everybody in the party including the most lowly joined the party because there is free entry and free exit.
“And so, nobody owns the party. Yes there are some individuals who are established in the party and who are parts of the management team. As former governor, Ayodele Fayose is one of those. But to exclude every one of us from the management team is one of the major issues at the front burner.
“When we held the congress, of course if we hold the congresses hundred times, the group which I and others lead, will always win 100 percent. So we had a congress which was marred with irregularities.
“Can you imagine how I struggled to get my mandate back and went back to the senate and one person will sit and compile lists of the ward executives of the six local governments that I represent in the senate, I think that is not fair for people to treat my gender as a woman and think that I can’t fight. We are quiet fighters, I will not take that and the people I represent’ won’t take that,” she added.
On the allegation that she was scheming for the 2022 governorship, she said that there was nothing that precludes her from participating in the governorship election of her state. “Nothing at all. I have paid my dues and done what I am supposed to do in Ekiti. I am eminently qualified to participate. Don’t forget that I participated in the 2018 governorship election.”
On the claims that she was on her way to the All Progressives Congress (APC), she said she remained a PDP member.
“For me, contrary to insinuation, I am wholly PDP through and through. They tried to brand me APC because I worked well with people, especially Mrs Fayemi. We have met at different fora including the UN. I see her as a leading light on gender issues but I differ with her when it comes to issues of politics.
“I am a die in the wood PDP. But the easiest thing they do is to play to the gallery, blackmail people and say they are working for the opposition. I can say to you that I have not met Fayemi in the last five years. I can recollect that maybe when he was minister I met him once, since then I have not had the opportunity.
“However, when something happens in Ekiti, I send messages and when things go wrong, I try to correct it. The kind of opposition they want is the one whereby you wake up in the morning and start to abuse people. I am not cut out for that. I believe in opposition that is constructive and focused.
“If they had allowed us, we would have played the role properly by sitting down and marshaling our strategy. A situation where the boys of Fayose will go on air and start maligning people including me, and telling all kinds of lies and slandering people, I will not be part of that. That is why I pulled back and the pulling back is what they termed working for opposition. I will never leave issues and start to attack personalities.”
On the Edo State crisis, Senator Olujimi urged the National assembly and the Executive to collaborate and find a way to solve the crisis.
“This brigandage is unfortunate and Edo State has become the epicenter. Serious-minded people from that axis should have been able to take precaution over time, but since they have not been able to do that the National Assembly and the Executive must find a way to resolve the crisis so that election can hold. And we can then have credible elections. If we continue this way, I foresee violence and that is not the best especially when we are dealing with the pandemic.
“There has to be collaborative efforts to solve it and the government must not sit down and watch till the situation gets out of hand. We want the government to do something about this.
“Our democracy has not been anchored on ideology and that is where we miss it all the time. You find people moving freely from one party to the other. In Edo state, a few years ago, a party said that one person was the best and now the person is no longer good. I think it is time for us to be honest in our electioneering campaigns.
“When you hold somebody’s hand and ask people to vote for him, you must be able to defend and stand by those things you said about him come rain come sunshine. You must allow people to make their choice freely. The problem is these godfathers who think we must do their wish all the time and that is not democracy.
“The ordinary people should be allowed to decide who they want. The trauma that Edo people are going through is not necessary. It is because we are not honest as a people. We must start with Edo in allowing the votes of people to count and that they must be allowed to freely choose who they want,” she noted.