Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Former Governors of Ekiti State, Engr. Segun Oni and the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, have been counseled to withdraw their governorship aspirations to prevent their statuses and standings in the party from being downgraded.
An Australia-based medical practitioner and APC governorship aspirant in the state, Dr. Wole Oluyede said it would be profitable to the duo to remain as party leaders in the state, saying plunging into the race may bring disrespect that would not be in their own interest.
â€œI wish the two eminent leaders remained as leaders, keep their national offices, because signs were there that they may not win if they are presented as candidate of our partyâ€, Oluyede said.
While Oni had declared interest in the seat, rumour has it that ex-governor Fayemi is interested in scheming a return to the government house.
Oluyede gave the advice in Ikere Ekiti on Saturday during a chat with journalists. The APC chieftain expressed fear that Fayemi and Oniâ€™s interest in the race has heightened the already brewing tension and division in the party.
He said the APC lost the 2014 governorship poll due to internal wrangling, adding that the party may end up bungling its goodwill and chances if it allows cleavages at this crucial time due to inordinate ambitions of members.
â€œDivisions led us to where we are today in APC, because everybody was busy struggling for positions in the past. Nobody wanted to make sacrifice and this caused unnecessary crisis that made us lost the previous elections in the state.
â€œSo, I want to advise my brother Engr Oni and my good friend, Dr. Fayemi not to downgrade themselves by coming down to contest. They are up there as leaders, it will be better for them to remain as leaders rather than reducing themselves to ordinary aspirants.
â€œTheir presence in the race will also deepen the divisions and relinquishing their aspirations for the sake of the party will not make them feel less in any way. If they contest the primary and win, the party will be divided and the question is that can the APC wins with a divided house?â€, he queried.
Oluyede appealed to the two party leaders to work with the first executive governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo to formulate a workable modality through which the party can win the coming election.
â€œIf the trio of Adebayo, Oni and Fayemi can work together as leaders without interest, the party will win easily. My advice to them was not out of fear and it is not compelling, so they are not obliged by it. I am not afraid of contest but the interest of the party must be paramount to us as stakeholders. So, they may either take my advice or discard itâ€, he maintained.
Oluyede appealed to Chief John Oyegun-led National Working Committee not to compromise on the conduct of free, fair and credible primary, so that the party can muster enough cohesion to win the poll.