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‘Zoning should not be a factor in Ekiti guber race’

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Ayodele Arise


Senator Ayodele Arise an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Ekiti warned against imposition of candidate in the primary scheduled to hold today and that zoning should not be a determinant factor in the choice of the party’s flag bearer. ADAMU ABUH reports 

Zoning of the governorship ticket to the South senatorial district
I don’t support zoning because it is good when you have multi ethnic groups where no group will feel marginalised. But Ekiti is the only state in Nigeria that has one ethnic group. We speak the same language with the same dialect and we are the same people. By whichever way you look at it, we are lucky to belong to the same ethnic group. These are the major factors that were considered when it was being carved out of Ondo State. We are very different from Ondo State that has Ilaje, Ikale, Okitipupa, Owo, Akoko all speaking different dialects. In a state with such multiple dialects, there must be a sense of belonging and balance. When you leave Ado and drive to Ikere today, you will discover that Ikere is the most modernised city today under the incumbent governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose. There double carriage roads, streetlights and with the fountain he put there. When you look at that, you realize that even though he is not from the South, he did so much work there and a whole lot in the central, especially with the white elephant bridge but anyway you look at it, it has added to the beauty of the town no matter your feelings.

So, Ekiti is one homogenous state that anybody canvassing for a south, a north or a central zone as a way of balancing, the person is being economical with the truth. Everyone that has been governor has been at the center, which is Ado and most of the development, certainly has to be there.

How APC can defeat PDP
Unless the APC engages in the dangerous game of imposition or tampered with that electoral process, there is no way the Fayose’s administration can remain in power beyond July 14. His deputy, Kolapo Olusola whom he put up as his party’s candidate is a fine gentleman, but if allowed to win the election, the man will continue to be subservient to Fayose. If the governor asks him to go and bring all the money in the treasury, he will not have the courage to say no. So, we cannot allow that to happen. 

I have repeatedly told Fayose that he will not succeed himself in Ekiti. He has been a very fortunate man to serve two terms, which has never happened. Ekiti people are wired very differently and so, if APC conducts a free and fair primary that is clear to the aspirants we will all work together. But if there is a manipulation of the process, Ekiti electorate may vote for Olusola.

Why I am in the race  
I have been in the Ekiti governorship race since 2005. I contested against the incumbent Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who is now an aspirant in 2007. I am not just one of those who just woke up overnight and want to be governor. I have the passion for my people. It is my intention to ensure that we develop the manpower in Ekiti, develop our state and cities and the rural farming communities. We will bring innovation to governance and I believe that I am probably one of the most qualified to deliver on such promise.

I will focus immediately on the agricultural sector by encouraging our people to go into farming. When they go into farming, I intend to put them on a salary until their farm can begin to produce enough to support their families. I intend to put them on a minimum wage, which of course will not be the current minimum wage. I am looking at an amount of about N30, 000 to N35, 000 per month, provide them with land and tools to encourage mechanised farming and ensure that they grow edible crops like cassava, rice and many others.


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Ayodele Arise
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