Ekiti leaders back Southern candidacy for 2018 governorship poll
As the Ekiti state closes to its 2018 governorship election, political leaders in the state who spoke with Nigerian Concord expressed reasopns why the Ekiti South Senatorial District must be considered above other zones in 2018. Excerpts:
Senator Clement Kolawole Awoyelu:
As a leader, I support the clamour for the Ekiti South to produce the next governor because that is what is right. I said this because two out of three people are eating while the third man hasn’t eaten anything, do you think he will ever be happy? The Central and North had taken their shares so power must shift to the South now.
We the leaders of the party in Ekiti state have now agreed to back aspirants from the Ekiti South Senatorial District as the only zone that has never produced a governor in the state. That is our resolution and it shall stand.
I see the judgment by Justice Taiwo Taiwo as a thing that we have been praying for. It has brought a great change to the Ekiti Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It is a good thing that we are now returning the party to the people that own the party.
This election will be won by the PDP because with this judgment now, all PDP members will come together, become united and join hands together like before.
I want Governor Fayose to see reason to respect the judgment. He should allopw the party to go to the people that own it because this is not a PDP judgment but a judgment of a competent court in Nigeria. Fayose is the governor but he shouldn’t turn the party to his own property. Nobody is worrying him in his government so he should not worry us as a party.
Chief (Mrs) Titilayo Oluwatuyi, a foundation leader of the PDP in Ekiti state:
There is nothing that we want than for the Ekiti South to produce the next governor. This zone has always been marginalized. All that the zone has been producing is deputy governor while the North and Central have produced governors. We are the leaders of the party and what we want is that the South must produce the next governor for the sake of equity and justice.
This judgment has brought the Ekiti PDP out of wilderness. It is wrong for Fayose to think that he can control the affairs of the party the way he wants. He should face governance as governor and allow the people to run the affairs of the party. He cannot be the governor and at the same time be the party chairman. He has been combining both but I think that is over now. This is the starting point now that we have the party in place. The party will now forge ahead and prepare for 2018 now that we have got the structure of the party in our hands. We are imploring our aggrieved members to return back to us.
Comrade Tope Oladejo Michael, a leader of the PDP in Ekiti state:
Power must shift to the South this time around. Although, the South has several people that are capable but there is a man who is home-based, and his name is Surveyor Abiodun Aluko. He is the most qualified among all the aspirants that have signified their intentions from the South. He had held several political offices and he didn’t fail. I believe that Ekiti people will benefit a lot if Abiodun Aluko is given the chance to rule this state.
This judgment is what we have all been clamouring for because it is going to strengthen the party. We don’t want Fayose to continue to impose himself on us again. Rather he should face governance.
Prince Kunle Aladesanmi, the Ekiti state coordinator for Omo Ilu Foundation:
The decision of the party is that power should go to the South in 2018. That is not only in the PDP, all other parties too are saying that someone from the South should emerge as governor. I want to say that the South has capable people to handle the affairs of the state.
We are happy with the judgment. Because the case is very clear. Fayose is a governor and he should go ahead and govern the state. He should leave the party for us. The judgment will strengthen the party because those aggrieved members have promised to come back to us. We won’t lose Ekiti to another political party because we are coming together to work for our party.
Barrister Owoseeni, legal adviser of the Ekiti state chapter of the PDP:
We the excos of the party have sat down and agreed to abide by the minds of all our people that power should shift to the South because that is the only zone that hasn’t tasted leadership since the creation of the state. We have had about five executive governors and none has come from the South so it is time we start thinking towards that direction, and if that is what our people want, so be it. We have given it a thought and we will not do anything against the will of the people.
I will say that everyone is excited with the judgment of Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo because it marks a new beginning in the life of the party in the state. There had been an era of impunity, an era of total disregard for the constitution of the party by some group of impostors. With this judgment, the party has been returned to the people that own it. I want to say that PDP is a big family and the only person that has messed up the whole thing in the past is Governor Ayodele Fayose but we thank God that the law has corrected it. We want everybody to come together and find a way to reposition the party. We don’t want Fayose to continue to see the party as his own personal property. The party and governance aren’t the same.
Chief Williams Ajayi, the Chairman of the Ekiti State chapter of the PDP:
I am from the North and we have produced governor twice. The Central has also produced governor thrice and I believe the South should also be supported this time around. Anyway, we are going to sit down with our leaders to decide if we all truly want power to shift to the South. Who am I to oppose this is that is what our leaders agree upon?
This judgment is very clean and clear to everybody, and with this now, nobody can claim that he is the owner of the party again. What we have in the party is a normal internal crisis and we shall all sit down with the other people in the other factions to resolve it. We are going to resolve it because they are coming to my committee. I will bring Fayose’s faction back to the fold and if that happens, no party will be able to win us in the 2018 governorship election. I am ready to work with Governor Fayose because he is a governor from PDP and not from another party. The only thing is just that he should focus his attention on his government and let us run our party without his interference. I will work with him but one thing I know is that he cannot manipulate me to do any wrong thing like he did during the time of the former Excos. He cannot arm twist me, he cannot hijack the delegate list, he cannot impose his own candidate on the party.