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PDP needs popular candidate to win Ekiti poll, not zoning, says Oni

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado-Ekiti
07 December 2021   |   4:00 am
Former Ekiti State Governor, Chief Segun Oni, has said that what his party needs to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s governorship election is a popular candidate and not zoning.

Chief Olusegun Oni

Former Ekiti State Governor, Chief Segun Oni, has said that what his party needs to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s governorship election is a popular candidate and not zoning.

Oni said that as major opposition party, the PDP does not have the luxury of gambling with zoning and thereby producing a weak candidate that cannot win the governorship poll.

The PDP governorship aspirant for the 2022 Ekiti State election, however, said that the party members knew the right man that could win the election and would not want to gamble with the choice of candidate.

Oni spoke in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, at a rally organised by a coalition of two groups: The Ekiti PDP Progressives, led by Mr. Wale Ayeni and Dominion Group, spearheaded by Eniola Eponlolaye, to mobilise the masses for the former governor ahead of the PDP primary.

He said the party would galvanise support from members of the public to be able to dislodge the ruling party from the Ekiti State Government House, describing the voter apathy that dogged last Saturday’s council polls as an indication of the dwindling acceptability of the APC in the state.

The former governor, while addressing party supporters at the rally, said his popularity had been soaring among the masses of Ekiti on the premise that he didn’t loot the treasury while in the saddle of governance between 2007 and 2010.

Oni, who expressed confidence that he would triumph in the poll if given the party’s ticket, described as erroneous the thinking that former Governor Ayodele Fayose was firmly in charge of the State Working Committee led by the Acting Chairman, Lanre Omolase.

He said: “Nobody is controlling the SWC. You will be insulting the gentlemen and ladies for you to say they are being controlled by anyone. To me, they are independent-minded people who should see building Ekiti PDP as their main focus.

“PDP doesn’t want to lose and the people who will vote at the primary know who can win for us. Though I am contesting with the aim to get the ticket, but I won’t be a desperate person to achieve this. If you gauge the mood in town now, Ekiti is friendly with PDP and we shouldn’t miss that opportunity.

“This really was conceptualised to send a signal to APC after the wishy-washy local council elections last Saturday.

“It is a wisdom for whoever becomes governor not to get to office and loot. If I had looted, I would not have been popular and acceptable as I am today in Ekiti. Rather than looting, spend the money for the people by way of good roads, water, good schools, scholarship and all that so that they won’t forget you.”

“PDP is a strong force and party in Ekiti and I am of that view that our national leaders would do the right thing in our primary. We don’t want to pick a candidate that would be too weak to win.

“PDP is not planning to rig and that is why we must get the right candidate, but we will resist and botch any attempt to rig the election. What you are seeing today is a signal that we are ready to take over Ekiti.

“Those who did vote-buying in the past are regretting it now. They are even raising curses and abuses on those who gave them money and now fumbling in government,” he added.