Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A new twist has been added to the agitation over zoning of governorship ticket to the Ekiti South Senatorial District in the All Progressives Congress (APC), as an aspirant, Hon. Bamidele Faparusi, has claimed that Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, promised to give power to the zone during his reelection in 2018.
Faparusi, who was the Deputy Director General of Kayode Fayemi Campaign Council in 2018, posited that the APC won the state in 2018 on the strength of the support provided by politicians from the zone who campaigned with the mantra that Fayemi would give power to the South in 2022.
He spoke in Ode Ekiti yesterday while addressing the APC’s ward and local government executives in Ayekire Local Government and Gbonyin Local Council Develooment Area.
Faparusi said: “We used South for 2022 Governorship to campaign for Governor Fayemi in 2018. It is our votes in the south that won for APC, but the governor after his swearing-in concentrated all major appointments in the central, including Ado Ekiti, where APC lost.
“The south is being hugely cheated in the APC. The south even voted against their own son, Professor Kolapo Olusola, who was the PDP candidate in 2018 because of Governor Fayemi. We told our people that after four years, it will be our turn to produce the governor.
“The PDP had once picked someone as governorship candidate in the south, but the APC had deep seated hatred for the zone. The party had never picked any governor or deputy governor from that zone since 1999. The continuity that we want in APC can only be possible if the party will zone its ticket to the south, no other option.
“The APC belongs to all of us. We can’t afford to be cheated in a party that we all struggled to build. We can’t allow anyone to create second class citizens in APC.
“We sacrificed for our party and even voted against our own son in the district. On this gentleman’s agreement we stand, we must honour it. It will be good for the polity, stabilise Ekiti and engender development and unity in our dear state.”
Faparusi insisted that the zone would not accept deputy governorship position from the APC because that would amount to an insult and drinking from a poisoned chalice.
He said: “What we want is the governorship position. We are not going to trade this for anything. The primary is coming. Let us vote for our own son. Don’t abandon aspirants from the south because of money. Money will be spent, but your relationship with people will remain, that is what you should think of.
“Some people who have the money from the south to buy forms even made sacrifices by not contesting, so we have just three aspirants from our district now. Don’t be deceived by these desperate power seekers. We will resist anything short of governorship for the south at all cost.”
The Chairman of the State Teaching Service Commission, Mr. Babatunde Abegunde, urged aspirants from the district to close ranks and work together to be able to have a good chance of clinching the ticket.
In his submission, the APC’s Chairman in Ayekire Local Government, Mr. Tokunbo Akinyeye, said having the governor from the south would be of tremendous benefit to the people of the area.
“The party is not forcing executives of the APC to vote for anybody. That we have aspirants from the south showed that we are blessed. We can’t abandon our own sons for someone from another zone.”