Abiodun Aluko: PDP will win massively in the Ekiti 2018 guber poll

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Surveyor Abiodun Aluko is a frontline governorship aspirant of the PDP in Ekiti state. Recently, he spoke with Nigerian Concord on vital issues. Excerpt:

How will you react to the judgment of Justice Taiwo on the Ekiti PDP leadership crisis?

We thank God because what happened in the court was just to resolved some controversial issues in the PDP family. In April last year, the National Working Committee of the party called for Ward, local government and state congresses with specific guidelines, and Mr. Governor believed he was above the law and could do whatever he liked. He flaunted all the party’s rules and regulations but some of us who are law-abiding didn’t believe in impunity. We acted in consonance with the PDP constitution and that produced two sets of executives. While we followed due process and produced the Williams Ajayi-led excos, Fayose gathered some few people somewhere and produced the Oguntuase-led excos which has been sacked by the Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti. After that, the Fayose’s people were parading themselves as the leaders of the party but we said no. We told them that we followed due process during the congresses and that was why we took them to court.

How will you describe the political situation in Ekiti state especially now that we are close to the 2018 governorship election?

Ekiti state is still primarily a PDP state despite all the internal crisis within the party. Despite all the crises, PDP is still the first choice of the people because APC is in disarray in the state. APC is not on ground in the state again. Now, that we have taken back our party, I want to assure the people that we are going to produce all the councillors and chairmen in the next local government elections. Also, in 2018, we are going to produce the governor and deputy and so on and so forth in 2019.

Some people have left PDP for other parties as a result of the high handedness of Governor Fayose. How do you intend to bring them back?

The party has set up a lot of committees. The contact committee, the reconciliation committee, security committee, mobilization committee and many others have been set up to handle this. The committees will bring all the aggrieved members back to the party now that the party is no longer in Governor Fayose’s hands.

The judgment was to be arrested before its pronouncement. How do you react to that?

They tried to do that because they knew that they had lost the case but God’s will for the people prevailed. We started this case since last year and ever since then, the governor and his people have been bringing several frivolous applications and motions just to make sure that they frustrated us but after everything, the judge fixed a date for his ruling and they tried to arrest it but the will of the people prevailed. Even on the day of the ruling, their lawyer still tried to stop the judgment but he failed. I salute the courage of the judge by resisting all the attempts by their lawyers to stop the ruling.

How will you react to the clamour by almost everyone in Ekiti state that power should go to the South?

That is the right and proper thing. It had happened before. In the first 39 years of the creation of Nigeria, the North produced the presidents for about thirty years, and the whole of Nigeria said it must stop. There was a lot of agitation that the president must come from the South and specifically, the Southwest. And that was why all the political parties at that time, PDP, APP, AD, all agreed to zone the presidency to the South West. The PDP gave its ticket to Obasanjo while the AD/APP gave theirs to Chief Olu Falae. It was strictly Southwest affair to ensure fairness and equity. That is exactly what we are clamouring for in Ekiti state. Again, about 90 percent of the aspirants that are showing interest for governorship in all the political parties in Ekiti state are from the South, and that shows that the South is ready to take the bull by the horn because they believe that it is their turn. Those who want Ekiti to develop have decided that power must go to the South because the voice of the people is the voice of God.

What is it that you were the only aspirant that went to give moral support to your party at the court on the day of the ruling?

Well, it was a decision within our own group which is the authentic faction of the PDP that all the party leaders must attend the court session so as to give moral supports to our chairman and his exco members but unfortunately, many of us didn’t turn up perhaps as a result of their tight schedules. I was at the court because I am a chieftain of the PDP and I believe in the course of the party.

Don’t you think that Governor Fayose will want to buy the Excos to his own side?

That is not possible because the executive members aren’t the only leaders of the party. We are there to monitor what is happening and we shall resist every effort to manipulate the excos. We shall also resist every attempt to threaten them by the governor or anyone. Our exco members are people of integrity and they cannot sell themselves to the governor.

So which of the two factions will the Ekiti state PDP work with?

Well, our own crisis in Ekiti was a local one. Our crisis here in Ekiti started even before the aborted May 21 national convention in Port Harcourt. We are law-abiding, and we shall work with anyone that the law has recognized. Another good thing is that both Sherrif and Makarfi will team up together as one and organize a national convention soon.

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