NATIONAL Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun, was in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Monday on a membership drive and declared that the July 14 governorship election in the state was “a must win” for the APC.
Chief Oyegun, who addressed leaders and members of the party in the state at an interactive forum, after flagging off the membership drive, stated that the party would deploy every available resource to win the July 14 governorship election.
Oyegun announced to the party faithful, who had gathered at a popular events centre in Ajilosun area of the state capital after a meeting at the party’s secretariat, announced that the delegates’ list for the primaries was ready.
The APC chairman assured that there would be free and credible primary election and said that the list would soon be made available to aspirants with good financial standing.
According to him, the party was aware of the importance of the Ekiti election in the history of politics in Nigeria, saying: “we will work hard to ensure that Ekiti returns to the progressive fold.
“Though we are in power at the centre, that doesn’t mean that we should not work hard. President Muhahmmadu Buhari as you know him, will not rigour compromise or subvert the will of the electorate. So, we must work hard to deserve the victory that will come to us.”
The Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Segun Oni, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Senator Gbenga Aluko, Senator Ayo Arise, Mr. Femi Bamisile, Dr Bayo Oriire, Dr. Wole Oluyede, Capt Sunday Adebomi, Bimbo Daramola, Dr Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, Victor Kolade, Mr Kola Alabi, Mr Diran Adesua, were all at the meeting.
Other leaders like Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Opeyemi Bamidele and Bamidele Faparusi sent representatives while members of the party’s state working committee were also on hand to receive their national chairman.
Oyegun dispelled the rumour of alleged plot to impose a particular candidate on the party, saying: “We have got your demands and we also want to tell you that we expect some things from you too while giving you assurances that there will be no imposition and that the primary shall be free, fair and credible.
“To all the aspirants, you must not campaign as if there won’t be tomorrow. Don’t campaign in a way that breeds enmity. I learnt that you are above 30, but the large number shouldn’t be a source of discord.
“Let me say this clearly, anybody who wants to fly the flag of our party must maintain decorum. But we shall be fair to you as much as possible because there can’t be peace when justice is denied. We must not also have bad losers, you must work with whoever the electors pick as their candidate.
“The aspirants must ensure that there is no division or factionalisation before and after the primary. We are also barring members of SWC from joining the bandwagon of the campaign for any of the aspirants because this can cause further division,” he warned.
Oyegun said the choice of Ekiti to flag off the programme was strategic, saying this conveyed a vivid and strong message of love for the people of the State.
“I am happy with APC in Ekiti with the level of mobilization from our aspirants. You have shown that you are desirous to join the progressive fold. We didn’t choose Ekiti for the flag off of this programme by accident.
“We must know that Ekiti is facing one of the most important elections in our history. God has put the victory o our laps, he has put it in our hands and we must not lose it.
“We at the national headquarters have decided that this election is one that we will work hard, leave no stone unturned, because to us is a must-win election,” he stated.
Oyegun added: “As you know, President Buhari won’t alter or compromise the outcome of the election, this shows Ekiti will have a free and fair election, so we must be united and work hard to achieve victory together,” he concluded.
Surprisingly, the State Chairman of the party, Chief Jide Awe, who had taken cover outside the state since Governor Ayodele Fayose assumed office made a surprise appearance at the event.
The government was after Awe over his alleged complicity in the death of Mrs Julianah Adewumi and Ayo Jeje, who were killed in Erinjiyan on May 30, 2014, during the administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi.