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Ekiti 2018: APC leaders oppose Oni over zoning

Some leaders of the All Progressives Congress from Ekiti South senatorial district, have rejected the aspiration of former governor, Segun Oni, to contest next year’s governorship election on the platform of the party.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday at Ikere-Ekiti, the leaders under the Ekiti South for Governor Forum, insisted that there must be compliance with the principle of federal character in choosing the next governor of the state.

They argued that it was the turn of the southern part of the state to produce the next governor.
Ekiti South comprises Gbonyin, Ikere, Ekiti East, Ise/Orun, Emure and Ekiti Southwest local government areas.
The forum argued that all aspirants from Ekiti North and Central senatorial districts must concede the governorship slot to the South to ensure “fairness, justice, equity and fair-play.”

The body warned of possible crisis within the state if the South district is relegated in the politics of the state at a time Nigerians are clamouring for total restructuring to correct imbalances.

Mr. Oni, who is the current Deputy National Chairman(South) of the APC, and from Ekiti North senatorial district, had on Monday declared his interest to vie for the ticket to contest the governorship in 2018.
Speaking on behalf of the forum, its chairman, Oluwole Ariyo, said it would negate the doctrine of fairness for the South to be shut out of power 21 years after the state’s creation.

Mr. Ariyo said the tendency of ignoring the aspirations of those from the zone in favour of other zones was capable of creating a serious cleavage in APC before the 2018 governorship election.

“I heard some people saying there is no zoning in the constitution, but article 20 Section 5 of APC’s constitution makes provision based on rotation in line with the principles of federal character, gender balancing and geographical spread for even distribution of the commonwealth,” he said.

“Let me say expressly that it will be wrong for the proponents of these grandiose impunity to think that it will be reasonable to relegate the South even when the Central and North had each had two shots for the governorship position.
“The pertinent question to ask is why is the APC crying for restructuring even when we can’t ensure equality in our party.

“Our belief is that we must approach the next election as a united body and we shouldn’t create atmosphere of acrimony and enmity among our people, because Ekiti is homogeneous.

“This attempt to relegate the South is an unnecessary load and burden the APC must avoid. We are pleading to the sensibilities and senses of our people from other zones to allow good reasoning to prevail in this matter.
“We are not going to go to war with other zones but we are just pleading that they should consider any of the aspirants from this zone for the APC’s ticket. We have competent and acceptable number of them.”

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