THE drama in Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has continued to unfold as its deputy chairman, Mr Olufemi Bamisile, has rejected the suspension of the chairman of the party, Mr Makanjuola Ogundipe, saying "it is a joke."
This is just as the publicity secretary of the party, Pastor Kola Oluwawole and its Director of Information and Media, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, while also addressing newsmen insisted that Ogundipe remained suspended and that the deputy would take over the affairs of the party.
Bamisile, who addressed newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, said: "What we are hearing that the chairman has been suspended is a joke. The suspension is a joke and we will continue to consider it a joke."
The deputy chairman, who spoke against the backdrop of the crisis that engulfed the secretariat of the party on Tuesday, said "what happened at the party secretariat yesterday (Tuesday) and the hullabaloo also happens in all political parties," adding that "we have our internal disagreements and we will resolve them, just as every other political party or group has its own problems."
He gave the assurance that "we will look at our problems from within and Makanjuola Ogundipe still remains the elected chairman of PDP in Ekiti State," adding that "those who orchestrated the violence would be fished out and dealt with according to the constitution of our party."
But Oluwawole and Aribisogan, in their separate news conferences, insisted that "Makanjuola Ogundipe remains suspended and the party hereby directs the deputy chairman, Femi Bamisile, should hereby take over pending the outcome of investigations," adding that "we regret the actions and inaction of some leaders of the party who orchestrated the squabble and we, therefore, call on all Ekiti PDP members to remain calm as the matter is being resolved by the leaders of the party."
Reacting to the position of Bamisile that runs counter to theirs, Aribisoga said "the constitution of the party said in the absence of the chairman, the deputy should take over," saying "whether he is not going to take it is now a matter of conjecture which I personally cannot answer."
Aribisogan explained that the crisis was caused by a disagreement between the chairman of the party and members of its state working committee the list of the members of the party he described as "consensus template drafting committee" which was to be inaugurated on Tuesday.
Governorship aspirants in Ekiti PDP have been reacting to the development, with Mr Bodunde Adeyanju and Senator Ayo Arise condemning the attack and calling for restraint and peace among the party faithful.