National Assembly candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State have described their purported expulsion from the party as “inconsequential and clear disrespect for the laws of the party and that of the country,” saying; “The lawlessness of the Senator Iyorchia Ayu led National Working Committee (NWC) will fail ultimately.”
They said the Ayu-led NWC of the PDP lacked the powers to suspend let alone expel them from the party without due process.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti on Friday, the candidates, Alhaji Lateef Ajijola (Ekiti Central) as well as House of Representatives candidates, Otunba Yinka Akerele (Ekiti North 1), Lere Olayinka (Ekiti Central 2), Joju Fayose (Ekiti Central 1) and Mrs Emiola Adenike Jennifer (Ekiti South 2), said members and supporters of the party in the State should discountenance the expulsion and continue to work for their victory in the forthcoming elections.
“In the face of the law, we remain candidates of the PDP and only death can change that. Therefore, we will keep working to win our elections while we wait on the court to determine the propriety or otherwise of the party’s decisions.
“Section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022, provides that ‘a political party shall not be allowed to change or substitute its candidates whose name has been submitted under Section 29 of this Act, except in the case of death or withdrawal of candidate.’
“The implication of the above is that the only instance where a validly nominated candidate whose name has been submitted to INEC by a party can be changed or substituted is when the candidate dies or withdraws from the race in accordance with Section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
“Therefore, our candidature is intact and we will not be distracted from winning our elections.
“Most importantly, as at last week Thursday, a court of competent jurisdiction already ordered that no further action should be taken by the party. Consequently, any action taken in contravention of the court order will not only be null and void, but also contemptuous. We believe that Ayu and his gang know the implications of telling the court to go to hell.
“We are unperturbed. Rather, we are being propelled to work harder to ensure victory in the elections. Ultimately, it will be victory for us as candidates of the PDP.’’