By Gbenga Sodeinde, Ado Ekiti
Ahead of the 2018 Governorship election in Ekiti State, the All Progressives Party, (APC) has described the annointed candidate of Governor Ayo Fayose, his Deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola as no match to any of its aspirants in the state.
Specifically, the party dressed down the anointed candidate of Fayose for 2018 Governorship election, saying Olusola’s choice does not pose any threat to their aspirants in APC at all.
Party’s Chairman, Chief Jide Awe who was represented by his Vice-Chairman, Mrs. Kemi Olayele, said this while receiving a governorship aspirant of the party Ajayi Olatunji Olowo who declared formally his intention at the party secretariat yesterday.
“The smallest of our aspirants in APC is far better than the best Fayose can offer. The smallest aspirant among ours can beat Olusola who Fayose is forcing down on his party’s throat and that is why we will send him parking in 2018.
“In APC, we don’t deceive the people by adopting a system that ensures that it is only our choice that emerges. We assure all our candidates of free, fair and transparent primaries. We don’t allow a system where it is only the people that we have ordered to queue behind our candidates that eventually emerge. Ours is a transparent system.”
Olaleye told Olowo: “Meet with the grassroots, we have given you that ticket to campaign for votes from the masses. Your ability to speak our native talent is an advantage for you. It is what some people now in government have been using to cajole our people.
“No one on the platform of APC will lose out in this race. I am assuring you that a free and fair primaries would determine who gets the ticket.”
Speaking about his ambition, Olowo who is a legal practitioner, said the adoption of the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Olusola as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), has automatically put the APC on the spot on the need to uphold zoning in the coming election.
Olowo said the APC-led government under former Governor Kayode Fayemi did excellently well in terms of infrastructural provision in the state , pointing out that the only snag had been that the government didn’t fraternize well enough with the downtrodden masses.
People from the south senatorial district have been advocating for zoning of the governorship ticket to the zone in 2018 on the basis of equity, justice and fairplay.
On the large number of aspirants coming out for the governorship election in APC, Olowo said: “most of them are pretenders who will not even pass the screening of the party for the primaries”.
Olowo, who spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday while unveiling intention for the plum position, said he was not contesting based on the fact that he was from Ikere Ekiti in Ekiti south senatorial district, where agitations for zoning was high and defeaning.
“My contesting this election is not predicated primarily on southern agenda, because I feared that that will make the south to be battle field. I am in support of the best candidate to emerge but I am not against it.
“If the stakeholders meet and said power should shift to the south, then the party can set up criteria and if the aspirants . One thing is sure, there is no best quality people are looking out for that you can’t get in the south.
“But we have accept the reality that the adoption of Prof Olusola from the south by Governor Ayodele Fayose and the PDP has pput the APC on the spot. It has pushed the APC to a point where it has no choice that to pick its candidate from the zone”.
He said governance in Ekiti has gone beyond pedestrianism by only fraternizing with the downtrodden, saying “we should empower them as well , that is the essence of governance and if it doesn’t get to this level, then it has not got to the beneficial point”.
On his electioneering promises for Ekiti, Olowo said he has a 10-point agenda through which he wishes to turn around the fortunes of the state .
He said his man focus of development plan would be qualitative and compulsory education, provision of potable water and development of agriculture among other welfare packages that would transform the lives of the populace.
He said: “Ekiti has three dams; Egbe, Ero and Ureje dam. Findings revealed that Egbe dam can serve both Ekiti and Ondo all together but our leaders prefer the short cut, which was drilling of bore holes.
“The partnership between Lagos State and Kebbi is giving out Lake rice and it shows it is practicable. Igbemo Rice and other products like yam can be repackaged to earn national and international attentions.
“Ekiti was renowned and respected for qualitative education.. My plan is to introduce compulsory but subsidized education for our people, this I want to achieve in partnership with stakeholders if given the opportunity to govern the state.” Olowo declared.