Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hyden Oil & Gas Limited, Mr. Dapo Abiodun at the weekend kicked against the zoning of governorship ticket in Ogun State, noting that the Constitution of All Progressives Congress (APC) did not make provision for it.
Chairman of Ogun APC, Chief Derin Adebiyi has, however, explained the need to zone the governorship slot to Ogun West Senatorial District, faulting the claim that the district did not have qualified aspirants to contest the position.
The duo expressed their views in separate interviews at the weekend. While Abiodun rejected zoning of governorship tickets in the state, Adebiyi warned against marginalising Ogun West from producing the next governor.
In his argument, Abiodun noted that neither the APC constitution nor the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made provision for the zoning of presidential or governorship candidates.
Abiodun, Chairman of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), charged the party leadership “to toe the honourable path of providing a level-playing field for all aspirants jostling for the governorship race to prove their mettle based on merit.”
He threw his weight behind the decision of the APC national leadership “to adopt direct primaries. It has been experimented in the last Osun State governorship election. It is a best model in choosing candidates into elective offices. The model will ensure transparency and accountability.”
Adebiyi, however, faulted Abiodun’s position on the zoning of the governorship ticket, noting that the governorship ticket of the forthcoming election in the state had already been ceded to the Ogun West senatorial district.
He added that other governorship aspirants from other senatorial districts could contest the race, assuring that the APC would provide a level-playing ground for all and sundry. But I want to rejoice with the people of Ogun West that the governorship ticket has been zoned to their senatorial district.
“The APC executives will not waiver on this zoning policy because the party is supreme. Aspirants from other two senatorial districts are free to contest the governorship race with Ogun West because the party will not prevent them from coming out. Because the party is supreme, zoning policy will guide us jealously.”
He, therefore, urged the people of the senatorial district “to put their house in order and be united so that the governorship nomination will not slip off. I thank God that this time around, aspirants that have the substance have come out to show interest in the governorship seat of Ogun State.”
Abiodun, who lost Ogun East senatorial election to Sen. Buruji Kasamu in 2015, declared that he would contest the 2019 governorship election in the state, noting that his ambition was not predicated on pecuniary reasons.
Abiodun, who hails from Ikenne Local Government Area, Ogun East senatorial district, said if given opportunities to govern the state, he would give first priority rather than investing in sectors and trade
Beyond investing in other sectors of the state’s economy, the oil magnate said: “I believe in investing in people. This is something that is evident in the most prosperous nations of the world.
“My utmost desire is to give the people of Ogun State an enabling environment that help them to excel and stand out among their peers in the federation, Africa and all over the world, while blazing new trails for the generation that comes after them, regardless of their origin or foundation.”
He acknowledged that towering magnificent structures “are good. Roads are beautiful to behold. But we need to build the people, and they one can grow to build you the best infrastructures the world has ever seen.
“Our state is blessed with the human capital and intellectual capacity to exceed other successful states in Nigeria. I believe strategic positioning and close proximity to Lagos can be maximised to our greatest advantage where we can easily generate as much internal revenue as Lagos State, if the opportunities are properly harnessed.”