Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
In preparation for the 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State, stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state have adopted the Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, from Ekiti South senatorial district, as the preferred candidate of the party.
Adoption of the deputy governor, who hails from Ikere Ekiti, and a professor of Building Technology from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, was the major decision reached at the partyâ€™s stakeholdersâ€™ meeting in Ado Ekiti wednesday.
At the meeting were: 177 councilors, 177 ward chairmen, 16 local government party chairmen, 16 local council chairmen, chairmen and members of boards and parastatals, state executive council, state House of Assembly members, serving and former members of the PDP State Working Committee, former deputy governor, among others.
With this adoption, the PDP had foreclosed the ambitions of other aspirants like; former Worksâ€™ Minister, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, former Deputy Governor, Dr Sikiru Lawal, senator representing Ekiti South, Biodun Olujimi and former Nigeria envoy to Canada, Ambassador Dare Bejide.
The communique issued after the meeting reads; â€œAfter due consultation, without prejudice to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), we formally endorse, Prof. Kolapo Olusola (the current deputy governor), from Ekiti South senatorial district, as our preferred aspirant/candidate.â€
It was signed by Hon. Anifowose Mustapha, for councilors, Alhaji Amuda Sunmonu, for Ward Chairmen; Hon Femi Bamisile, for Local Government Party Chairmen; Hon Dapo Olagunju, for Local Government Chairmen (ALGON); Senator Bode Ola, for Chairmen of Board and Parastatals; Dr. Modupe Alade (Secretary to the State Government), for State Executive Council; Hon. Kolawole Oluwawole, Speaker of the State House of Assembly and the State Chairman of the party, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase.
Speaking after the adoption, state Chairman of the PDP, Chief Oguntuase said the party organs will abide by the decision taken by the stakeholders in the overall interest of the party and the entire people of Ekiti State.
He, however, said the adoption will not preclude any member of the party that is interested in the governorship ticket from contesting, adding that open and transparent primary election will be held in accordance with the rules of the party.
Chairman of Forum of Ward Chairmen, Alhaji Amuda Sunmonu also hailed the decision to adopt Prof. Olusola, maintaining that â€œWherever Governor Fayose goes, we will follow him.â€
Also speaking on behalf of local council councilors, Hon Anifowose Mustapha said all the 177 councilors in the state were solidly behind the governor and â€œthe decision of the partyâ€™s stakeholders remained binding on all of us.â€
Secretary to the state government, Dr Modupe Alade described the deputy governor as a competent and loyal member of the Governor Ayodele Fayose political family, adding that his adoption was a reward for loyalty, dedication and commitment.