Meeting between aspirants, PDP leadership deadlocked

The meeting between the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Ekiti state governorship aspirants over consensus candidate could not make headway, yesterday.
This was even as the aspirants complained that the cost of nomination fees and Expression of Interest pegged at N10 million and N1 million, respectively, were on the high side.
They, however, pleaded that the nomination fee should be reduced to N2.5 million or at most N5 million.
A delegation from Ekiti state comprising governorship aspirants led by Prof. Tunde Adeniran met behind closed doors yesterday with the national leadership of the PDP led by National Chairman, Dr. Ahmed Adamu Mu’azu, at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
About 30 aspirants attended the meeting including the immediate past Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, former governor Ayo Fayose, Sen. Gbenga Aluko, Sen. Ayo Arise, amongst others.
The meeting was scheduled to deliberate on the controversy over a plot to adopt a consensus candidate as against the conduct of primaries, aspirants could not agree on the adoption of a consensus candidate.
Other issues deliberated at the meeting included the price for nomination form put at N10 million, which some of the aspirants pleaded should be reduced to about N5 million.
Some aspirants said it was not in the place of the aspirants to dictate to the party the amount to be paid for the form, noting that precedence has been set by other states, particularly Anambra.
However, a source at the meeting said the national chairman told the Ekiti state governorship aspirants that he “does not officially recognise any aspirant until they pay the nomination fee of N10 million which will be available in the next 72 hours.”
The source added “our national chairman advise the aspirants to go back to Ekiti state and work and that they should stop looking for support in Abuja.”
“The chairman maintained that while there will be level playing field for all aspirants, if all the aspirants can agree on a consensus candidate it will be good but they must ensure that there is 100 percent agreement from all the aspirants.”

Briefing the press after the meeting, an aspirant from the state, Sen. Ayo Arise, who corroborated the outcome of the meeting, however, said while he supports the option of consensus candidate, all aspirants must agree.

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