A former deputy to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Mr. Bisi Omoyeni; a senator representing Ekiti Central, Mrs. Fatima Raji-Rasaki, and a former Secretary to the Ekiti State Government, Dare Bejide, have defected to the Social Democratic Party.
They joined the SDP from the Peoples Democratic Party over Fayose's imposition of his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, as the anointed candidate of the party for the July 14 governorship election in the state.
They attended the stakeholders' meeting of the SDP on Monday in Ado Ekiti.
While Omoyeni, a former Managing Director of Wema Bank attended in person, the former Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Bejide and Raji-Rasaki, were represented by Mr. Yemi Arokodare and Chief Titi Oluwatuyi, respectively.
Omoyeni told the stakeholders not to fear because nobody could intimidate them.
"This party was established by divine creation and it has become the third force. Be rest assured that our people are coming en masse to this party. Any support the party need to occupy Oke Ayoba (government house) we will render it.
"Most of the aspirants who are still slugging it out in other parties are coming here. In fact, 70 per cent of the members of the PDP in Ekiti are moving to the SDP," he said.
Speaking with reporters after the meeting, the SDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yemi Akinbode, who led other National Working Committee members of the SDP to the meeting, said it was called because of the Ekiti election which he said was strategic to the party.
"This is the first meeting after the inauguration of the interim state working committee of the SDP, because the election is fast approaching and we have little or no time on our hands. The leadership of the party at the national level mandated me and others including Prof. Tunde Adeniran to come to Ekiti State to quickly put together the stakeholders' meeting to explain to them the vision, programmes as well as the structure of the party and our expectation in the coming governorship election in Ekiti.
"You can see that this is the first meeting and the attendance was good. People are already coming out who ordinarily will not have shown their faces. This is an indication that this is the party to beat.
"It is instructive that those sending representatives are already here. Bisi Omoyeni is here by himself. That is to show that he is here with us.
"Ambassador Dare Bejide and Arokodare are here and that is to show that more people are still coming and that is an indication that the house that is divided against itself can't stand and that is to show that the PDP is in trouble.
"Our doors are still open to members from other parties who are willing to join the moving train. Our goal and objective is to win the governorship election in Ekiti come July 14," he said.
The SDP, however, constituted six standing committees for the purpose of galvanising support for the party ahead of the July 14 election.
They are the contact and mobilisation, youth, women, communication and strategy, result and funding and the elders committees.