Ekiti 2018: Don’t Rely on Federal Might, Ex-Speaker, Bamisile Tells APC

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Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Former Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Olufemi Bamisile, has urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to rely solely on federal might to win the July 14 governorship election.

He also warned that the party shouldn’t skew the primary or rig it in favour of any aspirant to avert crisis in the party.

Also, a member of the seventh House of Representatives, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, has urged the national leadership of the party to take urgent steps to unite all aspirants before the primary to avert confrontation and enmity among contending forces.

He said the party members would be making a fatal mistake with erroneous impression that the party can win with just any candidate, banking on federal backing, pointing out that the party needs a sellable candidate to complement whatever institutional support that will come from the national leaders.

The party leader called for expeditious action on the issue of delegates’ list that would be used for the conduct of the May 6 primaries, saying it will be appropriate for the list to be made open in earnest to boost members’ confidence in the national leadership.

Bamisile spoke at the weekend while hosting delegates and party members from all the 16 local government areas to an Easter get-together at his residence in GRA, Ado-Ekiti.

The former Speaker said he was not afraid of other party bigwigs interested in the APC ticket including former Governor Segun Oni, Senator Gbenga Aluko and former House of Representatives members,

Bimbo Daramola, Bamidele Faparusi, Opeyemi Bamidele and others.

Bamisile said: “You and I will get to the Promised Land together; nobody can buy delegates at the primary because they are determined to elect the right candidate this time around.

“We are going to run the government together because it is somebody that works hard that reaps the fruit of his labour. I want to assure my supporters that nobody can rig the APC primary.

“Everybody will be taken care of in our administration, including the delegates and voters. We will use agriculture to turn around our economy and give financial empowerment to women and youths.”

Speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti on Friday, Bamidele said the large number of aspirants in APC, numbering 35, had widened the gulf and created cleavages that needed to be bridged to make the post-primary reconciliation easier.

“For us to win this election, our party needs to urgently thrash two burning issues. One, some aspirants seem to be approaching the election with dangerous mindsets that can brew bad blood. This has created palpable divisions and tension, so our leaders must call all of us to order in this regard.

“With the mood of the electorate in Ekiti, they are ready for APC but this will rest largely on how we handle our internal affairs and the kind of candidate we come up with”, he said.