By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Ahead of the forthcoming Ekiti gubernatorial polls in June, 2022, politicians who are from different political parties in the Ekiti State South Senatorial District have demanded the zoning of the governorship tickets of the parties to the district.
The political gladiators including aspirants on the platforms of the two dominant parties, like the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP posited that no efforts will be spared to resist attempt by political godfathers to sideline the zone that has not produced the governor since 1999.
The stakeholders spoke on Wednesday at a political summit tagged : ‘Ekiti South Conference Towards 2022 Governorship Election’, held at the Uncle Eagles Civic Centre along Ikere road, Ado Ekiti and convened by a group called Concerned Ekiti Citizens for Southern Agenda, chaired by Hon. Femi Babalola.
Notableb politicians at the event are : Former Speaker and serving member of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Bamisile, Senator representing Ekiti South, Chief Biodun Olujimi, former Works Minister, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, Commissioner for Public Utilities, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, former Deputy Governor Biodun Aluko, Special Adviser to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Federal Matters, Mr. Makinde Araoye, former Commissioner for Special Duties, Adewumi Apalara, PDP governorship aspirant, Kayode Adaramodu, an ex-Commissioner, Mr. Debo Ajayi
Others are: Former Deputy Governor, Kolapo Eleka, ex-Speaker, Ekiti State House Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, former Acting Governor, Ekiti State, Hon Tunji Odeyemi, Special Adviser to the Governor , Office of Transformation and Delivery , Prof Mobolaji Aluko, former Commissioner for Lands, Mr. Remi Olorunleke, monarchs, Commissioner in the Public Complaints Commission, Mr. Kayode Bamisile, a PDP governorship aspirant, Mr. Kayode Adaramodu
Addressing the teeming party members that beseighed the venue of the political event, a member of the House of Representatives and APC governorship aspirant, Hon Femi Bamisile, boasted that the south will produce the next governor of the state.
“We are beginning to feel that the elites from the North and the Central are conspiring to sideline us. How can the south with six local governments higher than any other zone be treated as the minority? This is unfair and unacceptable.
“We are not here to fight anybody. It is our time to produce the governor. Even our dialects in Ekiti are not the same, it will be deceptive to say we speak the same dialect. Let us tell the government that it must do what is right, O to ge (enough is enough).
“We have so many good and competent people in the present cabinet of Governor Fayemi and if they need people, we have too many competent people in the south. We are not going to fight, because Governor Fayemi is a reasonable person. The presence of appointees of government here today shows we are not fighting the government , we only want to correct this anomaly. On Ekiti south agenda we stand”.
In her submission, a PDP chieftain, Senator Biodun Olujimi, maintained that there is no doubting the fact that Ekiti South has the highest number of local governments, regretting that the district remains the one that has not produced the governor, adding that the neglect must stop, if truly Ekiti is one.
“What we are asking is that all parties’ candidates must emerge from the South. That is when we will know that you have us in mind . What we want is equity, justice and fairness and this is the time justice must be done to the South in the eyes of God and man.
“Why should they be insulting us? The reason for the insults was that we are not united. This is not about political parties, but about being responsible. We have the majority and we can work together”.
In his message to the agitators, a serving Special Adviser to Governor Fayemi, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, advised that affirmative action must be taken to address the injustice being meted to the South, saying the state was created on the pillars of justice, fair- play and equity.
“We are capable, able, willing and ready to rule this state. Some people might want to entice you with deputy governorship, they had even spoken to me about this, but I rejected. Let us be united . Many of those from the North and South are supporting us, let us reach out to them”.
Former Works Minister and National Chairman of Southwest West Agenda for Tinubu 2023 presidency, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, said it was sad that Ekiti South indigenes are now having a psychology of a second class citizens, saying this is the time for the trend to change.
“How can a state that was formed on the basis of Justice and equity now becomes a centre of injustice? We must work together and resist this oppression in the interest of our today and our future”.
A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Oye Ojo and a PDP governorship aspirant, Mr. Kayode Adaramodu, said the people of Ekiti must encourage the leadership of the parties to hearken to the voice of reasoning and pick their candidates from the South.
Ojo said: “The likes of Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Hon Bimbo Daramola and myself are with the Southern agenda had that was why we picked Senator Adeyeye from the South as the candidate of our group in APC.
“If the Southern Nigeria is saying that Presidency should come to the South in 2023, what has Ekiti South done to deserve marginalisation? It is your time to produce the governor. Some of us from the Central and North of Ekiti are in support of a southern governor in 2022”.
Speaking on the way out of the zoning conundrum, a Professor at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Dr. Philips Adetiloye, said it is a democratic right for the South to produce the governor, adding that this is part of the ways to further unite the state.
While rumour has been flying around that Governor Kayode Fayemi had endorsed the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji from the Central,his predecessor, Ayodele Fayose had already backed Hon Bisi Kolawole, also from the Central for governorship.