Tobi Soniyi in Lagos
A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Olamide Oni of the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Party yesterday defected to the All Progressives Congress even as he expressed support for the governorship ambition of Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the APC.
Oni, who represents Ijero/Ekiti West/Efon Federal Constituency defected to the APC alongside his personal assistant, Mr. Banjo Filani.
A statement by the Director of Media and Publicity,Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Mr. Wole Olujobi said many other members of the PDP also defected to APC and joined Fayemiâ€™s campaign train last Saturday.
Among them are, Mr. Afolabi Olasope, a lawyer and former First Bank Secretary in Nigeria and Overseas, who also won Ekiti Central Constituency seat in the House of Representatives under UNCP, Aanu Oni, a former PDP appointee.
Others included immediate past State Women Leader of PDP, Busola Oni; Dele Jeje, who is father of Efon Local Government Chairman, Bobby Jeje; and Local Government Woman Leader, Olomi Adeniyi.
The defectors cited selfishness of PDP leaders and anti-people policies of Fayoseâ€™s administration.
Oni said: â€œPDP leaders are always fighting for personal benefits while the masses suffer and an example is the administration of Fayose in Ekiti. State.
â€œI was always insisting that they should make the general well-being of the people their watchword, but they consistently argued that they are in politics for personal benefit. After discovering that this is the tradition in PDP, I had to leave for a party that wants to work for the benefit of all as we have seen in all development projects by APC administration of Fayemi.â€
Also yesterday, Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu joined Fayemi as the APC governorship candidate continued his campaign across the state.
Fayemi travelled through the maze of hills of Efon and Ekiti South-west local governments in campaign engagements and addressed rallies in Efon-Alaaye, Iwaji, Ipole-Iloro, Ikogosi, Erijiyan, Igbara-Odo, Ilawe and also parts of Irepodun/Ifelodun, including Iyin-Ekiti and Igede-Ekiti, where he assured supporters that he would restore their hopes after four years of neglect.
Akeredolu joined the rally at Ilawe-Ekiti where huge crowds converged to express their support for Fayemi, who many speakers urged to rescue them from poverty allegedly unleashed on them by Fayoseâ€™s administration.
The APC candidate promised to continue all his social service programmes, including social security stipends for the elderly people, volunteer scheme, entrepreneurship scheme, rural development, road construction and health services while workers and teachers will enjoy regular pay and promotions.
Fayemi expressed regret that not a single project was added to all the projects he executed in the communities visited and promised to complete all abandoned projects for the benefit of the people, adding that all his development and empowerment schemes would continue.
In particular, he promised to complete work on radio booster station in Efon while the abandoned water project will also be completed.
He promised good times for pensioners, assuring that retired people will receive their entitlements regularly.
He debunked insinuations by the opposition that he would ban okada operations and sack teachers and local government workers if he wins the election.
â€œI am sure that by now Ekiti people would have had enough of Fayoseâ€™s lies. He has been going round to deceive Ekiti people that I will sack workers to dissuade them from voting for APC so that he can continue to inflict more pains on the people while he enjoys himself in government.
â€œI will never ban okada or sack teachers and local government workers because I am not a promoter of sufferings.
â€œI made salary payment my priority, including payment of teachersâ€™ rural posting and core subjects allowances. We shall continue to fulfil this obligation, including looking for new ways to promote the welfare of all categories of workers,â€ he said.
At Ikogosi where scores of PDP chieftain defected to APC, residents lamented the closure of Ikogosi Resort and Gossy Water that resulted in job losses.
However, Fayemi assured them that the business concerns would be reactivated to provide jobs for the residents. He dismissed insinuations that he would sack teachers and local government workers, saying his records had shown that he was never an anti-worker governor.
Residents assured Fayemi that all the beneficiaries of his policies would work for his success at polls.