A governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ekiti state, Dr. Wole Oluyede has warned the party against fielding the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, as its candidate in the July 14 gubernatorial election.
Oluyede, who served in the administration of the former governor in the Knowledge Zone Committee, said allowing Fayemi to emerge at the party’s May 5 primary would spell doom for the party at the poll.
The aspirant, who made the statement while addressing a news conference in his Ikere-Ekiti county home, on Monday slammed Fayemi for allegedly “believing that he owns the party structure in the state and controls delegates to vote at primary.”
The aspirant, who is a medical doctor, also criticized a former governor of the state, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, for allegedly promoting Fayemi’s ambition and former Governor Segun Oni for also joining the governorship race instead of playing the role of statesman.
According to him, the state’s chapter of APC presently has no rallying point adding that “those who supposed to act as leaders had already taken sides” in who gets the party’s ticket.
Oluyede was reacting to a statement credited to Ekiti APC Chairman, Chief Olajide Awe, on a live interview programme on Adaba 88.9 FM.
Awe was reported to have said that the party would disqualify any aspirant that has been found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction or a Judicial Panel of Inquiry.
Some party faithful had said that Awe’s statement was targeted at Fayemi, and this already causing tension in the local APC chapter with supporters of the contending aspirants pouring invectives on one another.
But Oluyede, who supports the APC chairman’s reported statement, urged party leaders and delegates to listen to voters whom he said are not favourably disposed to any former governor returning to office.
He said, “nobody can buy the delegates at the primary no matter how highly placed" urging the leadership to organize a transparent primary.
Canvassing for zoning, Oluyede said it was time the governorship ticket is zoned to Ekiti South senatorial district saying Oni and Fayemi, whom he claimed were products of zoning in the past are now up in arms to deny the zone the opportunity.
Oluyede: "When I joined the race, some people were bandying it that Fayemi owns the structure in APC but that never bothered me.
“They (Oni and Fayemi) are welcome to the field; if what I said is not the truth, let them take me to court. The chairman of the party has said let there be free and fair election.
“He (Awe) said that any aspirant can be disqualified if he or she is found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction or a Judicial Panel of Inquiry.
“He (Awe) said our party should listen to the people, that they have desires and they are saying it, listen to them. We made that mistake in Osun State when we didn’t listen to the people and we lost that senatorial seat.
“Does that sound like what somebody suppose not to say? Nobody would allow any manipulation of any kind and he (Awe) said there is no more “Baba sope” (meaning ‘this is what the godfather has said’).
“That means the President or the National Leader in Lagos has not anointed anybody, they have guaranteed free and fair election. He said that openly.
“We are only asking for free and fair (primary) election and the party should apply the law as it stands. Why would you want to go against the will of the people?
“We should not recycle a man that is so disconnected from his people and does not even think there should be a free and fair (primary) election within his party.
“That person is not even qualified to hold a political position within the country, we should move beyond that type of person.
“How can they set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry against you and you didn’t show up. Is that responsible? Even if what you can do is to show up with your lawyer and refute all allegations you.”