The All Progressive Congress, (APC), yesterday faulted the option A 4 electoral system Governor Ayodele Fayose has adopted for the screening of aspirants for Local Government Areas election coming up in the state in December.
The party also dressed down the anointed candidate of the governor, Olusola Kolapo, deputy governor of the state, saying his choice by the governor does not pose any threat to their aspirants.
State chairman of the party in Ekiti, Jide Awe described the screening of the aspirants with option A 4 as a manipulation tailored towards assisting the anointed candidates of governor Fayose to emerge.
Alleging that the governor has manipulated the system to favour his own anointed, Awe who was represented by his Vice-Chairman, Mrs. Kemi Olayele, said: “The 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 packing in 2018. 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.”
The part chairman made the remarks while receiving the 25th aspirant for the 2018 gubernatorial race, Ajayi Olatunji Olowo who declared formally his intention at the party secretariat yesterday.
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 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. Kolapo 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 the 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 fair play.
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 deafening.
“My contesting this election is not predicated primarily on southern agenda, because I feared that that will make the south to be a battlefield. 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 accepted the reality that the adoption of Prof Olusola from the south by Governor Ayodele Fayose and the PDP has put the APC on the spot. It has pushed the APC to a point where it has no choice than 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 main 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 shortcut, which was drilling of boreholes.
“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 attention.
“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.
Olowo advised the APC national leaders to conduct free and fair primaries bereft of bickering so that the party can remain united to prosecute the election.
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