Let us look at the state of Ekiti today. What do you see? What is the situation?
If you do a survey across the state today, the aggregate opinion you are likely to get is that our governor is not trustworthy. This mindset arises from the various negative things he has been doing.
He keeps attacking President Buhari everyday but he does not tolerate even the smallest criticism of his administration. And that is a small part of his negative side. On the financial side, people have seen him as a bad manager of resources.
With all the money he has collected outside of the huge funds that come from the Federation Account, by this I mean the budget support money, the bailout fund, he has not been able to pay workers’ salaries. The state government under him is owing workers almost seven months salaries.
And he has a way of holding the leaders of the workers unions to ransom. for example, he has just threathened to sack Mr. Ajomoke the NULGE chairman in Ekiti State for questioning the governor, the rationale behind spending huge sum of money to organize rally on international women’s day, while oweing workers salaries for several months.
Why should this happen in a state that produced eminent Nigerians like Femi Falana, Afe Babalola, Wole Olanipekun? I believe somebody should take the gauntlet and let the whole world know that this man is not worthy of leading a banana state not to talk of Ekiti which is the Fountain of Knowledge.
So, what alternative do we have especially now that the tenure of the incumbent governor is fast running to the end and the state is due to elect a successor in 2018?
The state is very lucky that we have a party that is well positioned to take over power via the 2018 election. The APC, a party of progressives, is the party that will take over from the non-performing PDP-led government. And thank God that the party that produced the incumbent government is virtually comatose.
The party is factionalised and the faction to which the incumbent governor belongs is not in the reckoning. He is in the Makarfi faction whereas the PDP faction which the court has declared as the authentic PDP is led by Ali Modu Sheriff.
Governor Fayose is not eligible to contest again and because he is not in the recognised faction of the party, he cannot produce a successor, at least not in the PDP. Besides, one of the major sponsors of his election, Kashamu, has said he will not low him to present a successor on the platform of the PDP
So, where does this leave the APC?
APC is solid on the ground and ready to take power in Ekiti. Politics is a game of numbers. And the people have seen that the incumbent government deceived them into voting it into office. All the mismanagement of the state resources that inevitably translated into lack of provision of infrastructure and non-payment of workers’ salaries, everybody has seen it.
At the appropriate time, the people will protest against all the missteps of this government. The people no longer fear. The time they feared him was the time his party, the PDP, was in power at the centre. So, today, there is nothing to fear about Fayose in Ekiti except fear itself.
And you can see the way he is attacking Obasanjo which shows he doesn’t have respect for leaders. In Ekiti, we have respect for age. He doesn’t have it. His ascension to power is a misnomer. That is why the people are begging our party, the APC, to come out with a credible candidate, and we have a lot of them.
But you have a crowd of people jostling for the APC ticket ahead of the election and analysts say this is a problem in itself because it may create factions and dissatisfied aspirants may encourage protest votes that may cost the APC the election.
First of all, as a former state secretary of AD, i know this aspirant are building the party pending when the party will give the aspirants go ahead for the contest. The Ekiti people have absolute confidence in our party. The confidence stems from the way we organised the primary election that produced President Buhari ahead of the 2015 polls.
The primary was open, free and fair and it was because of the transparency of the process that you have all the aspirants queuing behind President Buhari who emerged from the exercise as the APC presidential candidate. The same process is going to be adopted in choosing the APC candidate for the Ekiti election.
And everybody wants to be in a place where you have credible people. People want to be in a place where things are done in an open and credible manner. That is why you have the APC population in Ekiti growing everyday. And that is why you have that large number of aspirants for the APC ticket. Everybody is defecting to the party. It is in fact the party to beat in the 2018 Ekiti election.
And let me say this: Because of the credibility of the party, we need a credible aspirant to emerge as our candidate. The candidate that must emerge must not be one that is controversial; he must not be one with baggage; he must not have any albatross hanging on his neck.