- We’ll hand over Ekiti to APC—Ex-Gov Oni
- We’ll use Oni, APC to set electoral records—Fayose
- As Ekiti PDP denies link with mega party
Ahead of the 2018 gubernatorial poll in Ekiti State, two major political parties—The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) have started trading words, with each vowing to outrun the other in the control of the political machinery of the state.
Former Governor of the State, Segun Oni and the current National Deputy Chairman (South) of APC has indicated his intention to run for the poll with a vow to dislodge PDP in the state.
But Governor Ayodele Fayose on Sunday said he and his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), would use the All Progressives Congress (APC), former Governor Segun Oni or anyone presented by the party in the 2018 governorship election in the state to set electoral records.
Fayose expressed confidence that 2018 would mark the third time he and his party would defeat the APC and its candidate in governorship elections in the state.
Oni, who is the current National Deputy Chairman (South) of APC, had while submitting the letter of his governorship intent to the party, declared that he would return Ekiti State to an APC-controlled state if he is given the opportunity of becoming candidate of the party ahead of next year’s gubernatorial election.
He said he would defeat Fayose or whoever is nominated as candidate of the PDP in the state.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, Fayose advised Oni to keep his gunpowder dry until he is able to secure the APC ticket, noting that the APC and whoever it presents for the election would be no match for the PDP and its candidate.
He said: “Defeating the APC in governorship elections is not new to me and my party.
“We defeated them in 2003 and recorded a landslide victory against them in 2014 when their candidate could not even win his local council.
“The 2014 victory was very remarkable because Oni was part of a gang-up of three former governors against me and my party and we won convincingly.
“Let Oni first secure the ticket of his party and then see if he can test his might against the will of Ekiti people.”
In another development, the state PDP leaders and members loyal to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, have vowed not to leave the party after the Supreme Court judgment.
The factional members, acting under the umbrella of PDP Elders Forum, denied media report linking them with the Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN), which was inaugurated Ado-Ekiti last week, adding that they could not quit the house they laboured hard to build.
They said it was the decision of a few members to pitch their tent with the new party without adequate consultation with the leaders of their group in PDP. The resolve of the elders was at a meeting hosted by the first state party chairman and former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Chief Clement Awoyelu, at the weekend.
They resolved that all members of PDP in the state should remain in the party, as the decision of the apex court had not affected the state chapter of the party in any manner to necessitate a defection to any party.
Also speaking, former PDP state Secretary, Dr. Tope Aluko; former Secretary to the State Government, chief Dare Bejide and factional PDP state Chairman, Chief William Ajayi described members of the group as “formidable individuals” who had won various elections under the umbrella of the party. They urged members to remain in the party irrespective of whatever circumstances.