Atiku’s support dwindles, as Fayose, top PDP chieftains shun ex-VP’s Ekiti campaign rally
A former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, was noticeably absent during the presidential campaign rally of Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A few members of the State Working Committee who support Fayose, along with 20 of the party’s 26 candidates for the House of Assembly, were also missing from the event held at the Ekiti Parapo Pavillion in Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State.
This cold war might be connected with the disenchantment with the party’s hierarchy over a scuttling of the zoning arrangement and the refusal of its National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign.
Atiku and Ayu are from the Northern part of the country and many Southern stakeholders had repeatedly disclosed their opposition to the state of things.
Fayose, in particular, has been very critical of Atiku, even before his emergence as the party’s presidential candidate.
During an interview in April 2022, the former Ekiti State Governor stated that the PDP could have won the 2015 elections, if Atiku and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had not defected to the APC.
He had said, “Let me take for example our respectable leader, His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, he won in Adamawa with less than 20,000 votes [in 2019].”
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“Go to Sokoto, what’s the voting difference? Let us go to Bukola Saraki in Kwara, we actually lost there. Let us sit back and look at figures.
“This amalgamation of people trying to…at the end of the day it backfired. Jonathan, despite his flaws, we had supported him and some of our leaders didn’t go to APC …if some of them had become Presidents in Abuja would they come back? Will Atiku come back? Would Bukola Saraki have come back?
“When the journey was rough and bad, they ran back. Today, because our party is a party that tries bringing people together, we must not forget history.
“Today, I’m glad they are challenging people jumping from one party to the other, those are the ideologies that are missing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Atiku, at the rally, assured that if elected in the February 25 election, his administration would deploy all resources to attract socio-economic development, adding that he would be deliberate in the construction of roads leading to Ekiti State beginning with the Ado-Akure Road.
The PDP presidential candidate said, “I am highly impressed with the huge crowd we are seeing here today despite antics of the APC government to cripple and sabotage the rally with artificial fuel scarcity and stoppage of drivers from Ekiti roads; let me assure you that we will make you happy for making us happy today.”