Ahead of the July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State, one of Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) aspirants, Senator Biodun Olujimi said she will remain focused and forge ahead with her mission of picking the sole ticket of the party ahead of fellow contestants.
Some aspirants on the PDP platform including ex-National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye and Olujimi have accused the state governor, Ayodele Fayose of intimidating and coercing their supporters while simultaneously going about campaigning for the Deputy Governor, Professor Kolapo Olusola.
Sen. Olujimi, who currently represents Ekiti South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, said she cannot be cowed by what she termed the “antics” of the state governor to backtrack on her avowed mission of contesting on the platform of the party and be the next governor of the state.
The senator who was at Wadata Plaza, national secretariat of the party on Friday to return her Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms told journalists that she won’t be forced out of the party by any individual or group, regardless of their status in the society.
“All aspirants are being intimidated but I can’t be intimidated at all. Many of our people have decamped because of what they are going through.
The governor is biased, the party in the state is biased. “Some of those aspiring for the position have left because of high handedness, because they are being harassed. I can’t leave the party because of anybody; I can’t go to any other party party,” she said.
While denying having a frosty relationship with Governor Fayose and Professor Olusola, the lawmaker said she is ready to test her popularity amongst the delegates, arguing that her deep knowledge of Ekiti politics is enough for her to clinch the ticket.
“I know the terrain of Ekiti politics. I know where Ekiti people are coming from, I know where they are going. I know what they want and am ready to give it to them. I did a lot for them in the past.
“I have been there for quite a number of them. I have impacted positively on the people of Ekiti. If there is a level playing ground, I know I will emerge as PDP candidate in the May 8, 2018 primary elections,” she stated.
She pledged to leverage on her links at the federal level to bring about the development of the State if given the mandate. On what she would do if entrusted with the mandate, Olujimi identified job creation and educational empowerment as critical to the resuscitation of the state.
Meanwhile, Olusola said he is proud of the confidence reposed in him by Governor Fayose ahead of the gubernatorial contest.
The deputy governor who was also in Abuja on Friday to return his nomination form said he is in the race based on his personal conviction to better the lots of Ekiti people by consolidating on the dividends of democracy provided by the outgoing Fayose administration.
However, he did not see anything wrong in being supported by the state governor who has a personal right to support whoever he likes.
“To be anointed is not a new thing. God himself anointed Jesus Christ for a purpose. Everyone of us has a destiny to fulfil and it is going to be through certain means and persons.
“Governor Fayose has the right to pick interest in someone and I don’t think he should be crucified for that. I have been under his tutelage for over two years now and I have acquired a lot of experience from him. He is my leader, my mentor and my benefactor,” he said.
On allegations that the governor is using both state and party apparatus to intimidate other aspirants and their supporters to conscript support for him, Olusola denied knowledge of same, adding that by virtue of his upbringing, belief and education, he would never subscribe to illegality and will not be party to a chaotic primary election.
“If I don’t win the primary, I will support whoever wins. All the aspirants have made a commitment in the nomination form to play by the rule of the game and put the interest of the party above our personal interests.”
He said the infrastructural development being put in place by the Fayose administration has already set the tone for industrialisation of the state, adding that same will boost the development of cottage industries and agriculture in the State.
Responding, National Organising Secretary of the party, Colonel Austin Akobundu (retd) who received the nomination forms from the two aspirants expressed delight in the confidence the people of Ekiti State have in the PDP.
“I am impressed by the excitement of the teeming supporters of the aspirants. This means that our party is strong and alive in Ekiti State.
“The mandate given to the National Working Committee (NWC) is that every assignment of the party is transparently carried out. There will be no impunity and there will be no imposition”, he emphasized.