Ahead of the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked all aspirants seeking the party’s ticket to avail themselves of the guidelines for the party’s primaries and the constitution of the party or face severe sanctions for any infractions.
The National Organising Secretary of the Party, Colonel, Austin Akobundu (rtd), who, on Friday, in Abuja received the completed nomination forms from the duo of Senator Abiodun Olujimi, the Senator representing Ekiti West Senatorial District, who was a one-time deputy governor of the state and Professor Kolapo Olusola, the current deputy governor in the state, insisted that the current leadership of the party would follow the guidelines and the party’s constitution to the letter
“The rule of the game is encapsulated in the constitution. We urge you, your supporters and other members of the party to simply play by the rule so that whoever emerges as our party’s candidate at the primaries will carry everybody along,” Akobundu said.
While counselling the aspirants and their supporters on the need to play by the rules and ensure rancour-free primaries and general election, Akobundu promised that the party’s leadership would give all the aspirants equal opportunity towards realising their ambitions.
According to him, “the mandate given to the our new National Working Committee (NWC) is that every assignment of the party be transparently carried out. There will be no impunity and there will be no imposition.”
The duo, who spoke with newsmen after the submission of their nomination forms, declared that they were sure of picking the ticket of the party at the primaries, slated for May 8 and called for free, fair and transparent exercise,.
Olujinmi, who is the Deputy Senate Minority Whip, declared that she would not be cowed by the antics of the state governor, Dr Ayodele Fayose, to backtrack on her avowed mission of contesting on the platform of the party and become the next governor of the state.
On his own, Olusola said he was proud to be the anointed candidate of Governor Fayose for the contest.
Governors aspiring for the position have left because of high handedness, because they are being harassed, because they are being intimidated. I can’t leave the party because of anybody, I can’t go to any other party. The SDP is just a gimmick for the PDP to loose focus”, ..
The aspirant who said that she did not have any issue with neither Fayose whose term was about expiring, nor his deputy who he has anointed pointed out that she welcomed the deputy governor “ who is new in the party into the race” but stressed that her experience in Ekiti politics as a former commissioner and deputy governor would see through the race.
“I know the terrain of Ekiti politics, I know where Ekiti people are coming from, I know where they are going. I know what they want and am ready to give it to them. I have done a lot for the them in the past, I have been there for quite a number of them, I have impacted positively on the people of Ekiti. If there is a level playing ground, I know I will emerge as PDP candidate in the May 8, 2018”.
She promised to use her links at the federal level to bring better development to Ekiti if she was given the mandate to serve in the July election. She said she will put education on a better pedestal, kickstart employment opportunity scheme, create avenue for jobs, empower the youth and let every segment of the state have sense of belonging.
On his own, the Deputy governor of the State, Kolapo Olusola (Eleka) said that he was proud to be the anointed candidate of the state governor, Ayodele Fayose for the gubernatorial contest.
He said that he was in in the race based on his personal conviction to futhet better the lot of Ekiti people by consolidating on the dividends of democracy provided by the Fayose administration, and that he did not see anything wrong in being supported by the state governor who had personal right of supporting whoever he likes.
According to him, “to be anointed is not a new thing. God himself anointed Jesus Christ for a purpose. Everyone of us have destiny to fulfill and it is going to be through certain means and persons
“Governor Fayose has the right to pick interest in someone and I don’t think he should be crucified for that. I have been under his tutelage for over two years now, I have acquired a lot of experience from him. He is my leader, my mentor and my benefactor”.
On the allegation that Governor Fayose had been using both state and party apparatus to intimidate other aspirants and their supporters to con script support for him, Kolapo said he was not aware that anybody was being intimidated for his sake.
He said that by virtue of his upbringing, belief and academic exposure, he would never subscribe to illegality and would not be party to a rancorous primary but subject himself to a free, fair and transparent primary.
According ti him, “If I don’t win the primaries , I will support whoever wins, all the aspirants have made commitment in the nomination form to play by the rule of the game and put the interest of the party above our personal interests”.
With his experience in government, he said that he would expand the economic base of the agrarian and civil service state if he win the governorship election on July 14, 2018.
He said the infrastructural development being put in place by the Fayose administration had already set the tone for industrialization of the state, adding that this would boost development of cottage industries and agriculture in the state.