Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Traditional rulers in Ekiti State have backed the southern agenda being pursued by some politicians in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties scrambling for the July 14 governorship election.

They warned parties against fielding a candidate outside the Ekiti South for the July 14 governorship election in the state.

The Obas insisted that all political parties must ensure they produce a candidate from the south in their primaries ahead of the main election.

Speaking during a meeting with Governor Ayodele Fayose on Saturday, the Elemure of Emure Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo, said they had resolved that all political parties must field a candidate from Ekiti South in the collective interest.

“We should have a candidate who should emerge from the south irrespective of political party. That will show fairness; where a particular area is not considered in the scheme of things, that will amount to marginalisation.”

Another Oba from the south, the Ologotun of Ogotun Ekiti, Oba Samuel Oyebade, said the people of the South had waited for too long. “We are part of Ekiti State, any candidate from Ekiti South should be supported.”

Speaking on behalf of Ekiti North kings, the Onimojo of Imojo Ekiti, Oba Olatunji, said “we believe in principle of justice and fairness. We are not standing here to be partisan, but we are talking about justice. We are supporting based on principle of fairness, justice and equity.”

Also expressing support, the Owatapa of Itapa Ekiti, Oba David Makanjuola, urged all the kings to galvanise support for the Ekiti South agenda.

For kings from Ekiti North, the Alare of Are Ekiti, Oba Boluwade Adebiyi, said the agitation of the Ekiti south people was genuine and would be granted.

“People should support Ekiti South so that we don’t stay on each other’s neck. We are not saying a word in favour of a particular candidate or party but for us to remain as one people, let’s be fair to ourselves.”

Responding, Fayose, who said the agitation was legitimate, advised the kings to spread the message.

“I have only one vote, it is their duty to seek the support of the people. You can’t stop anybody from contesting, but their demand is legitimate. The Peoples Democratic Party is a party of the people. We realised the agitation was legitimate that was why we zoned our ticket to the south”, he added.