Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
The umbrella body for the private sectors in Ekiti State, named Organised Private Sector Union, (OPSU), which comprises artisans, tailors, Okada riders, transporters, market women and mechanics among others in Ekiti State, on Friday, shunned the welcome rally organised by the standard bearer of All Progressive Congress (APC), Kayode Fayemi, to attend en-mass, a solidarity rally organised by the Kolapo Olusola Campaign organisation (KOCO) to drum support for the flag bearer of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Eleka.
Recall that all private sector unions in the state had merged into an umbrella body named Organised Private Sectors’ Union of Ekiti State at the instance of Governor Fayose’s advice two years ago.
The PDP rally which took place at the newly built Fajuyi park pavilion beside the flyover in Ado Ekiti, state capital, had clashed with a welcome rally organised by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to give a rousing welcome to Fayemi into the state.
The PDP rally was attended by hundreds of the members of the private sector and their leaders who included Mr. Clement Adekola, President of OPSU, in Ekiti and state Chairman of the Ekiti chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers( NURTW), Barrister Samuel Agbede,star chairman of Ekiti arm of Road Transport Employers Association (RTEAN), and secretary, (OPSU), and Johnson Olaniyi, state chairman, Okada riders Association, in the state.
The leaders told newsmen at the pavilion that 90 percent of their members,in compliance with the union’s directives, withdrew their service to Ekiti people to show solidarity with the PDP candidate and Governor Ayo Fayose, in support for what they termed the governor’s continuity agenda.
Adekola said, “We members of the NURTW are always in support of the government of the day and the government of Ayo Fayose is a very good one. Fayose is always supporting us. He is a people loving governor. He always listen to us and supports us. He is a listening and good governor.
“During his first tenure, he bought 100 buses for us. We know he can do it again for us but it is harsh economic situation that has caused it.
“We are with Fayose till election day and we will vote for Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka. Eleka himself is a dynamic man, humble and very respectful.
“We want the good works of Fayose in Ekiti State to continue and we support the continuity agenda of Governor Fayose, “he said.
Speaking on other reason why they withdrew their service for the day, he said it was to forestall a rumoured attack by their colleagues allegedly loyal to the APC in the terminals, “We are not trouble makers. We will not take laws into our hands.
“We will report anyone who wants to make trouble with us to the security agents.
“We have been hearing rumours that they want to fight us, they want to vandalize our vehicles, assassinate us and arrest. We also urge our people not to make trouble with anyone.
“APC said they would arrest me 48 hours to the election. I haven’t done anything against them. We are on ground. I am an indigene of Ikere-Ekiti.
“All of us who are leaders in Ekiti, we heard that the APC thugs are looking for us, to fight us. This is why we, having withdrawn our service today, have come to the Pavilion in Fajuyi Park, venue of the campaign for Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We support Governor Fayose and his deputy, Prof. Eleka in his governorship ambition.”
Corroborating Adekola, Barr. Samuel Agbede, state chairman of RTEAN said, “We are here felicitating and celebrating with the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose and his deputy, Prof. Olusola Kolapo Eleka, who is governorship candidate of the PDP.
“We have withdrawn our services today in solidarity with the candidature of Prof. Olusola Kolapo Eleka of PDP. ”
“Today, the Okada riders, RETEAN, NURTW and other artisans under the umbrella of the organized private sectors in Ekiti have all come here to show support and solidarity. We also want to tell the APC that we are not with them, coupled with the fact that we are aware that they want to come to our terminal s in the state to forment trouble.
“Rather than staying in our terminals where the APC will come and fight us, we chose to be here to be with Prof. Eleka and Governor Fayose to show our total support for the PDP.
“Over 90 percent of us comprising all private sectors in Ekiti including okada riders, motorists, tailors, mechanics , and market women and men among others are here in solidarity with governor Fayose and the PDP candidate, Prof. Eleka, ” he said.
Also, state chairman, Okada riders, Johnson Olaniyi, said: “We are here in solidarity with Deputy Governor Olusola Kolapo Eleka and Kazeem Ayodeji Ogunsakin who are candidates of the PDP for the July 14 poll.
“We are here to say that we are for the continuity agenda of Governor Fayose because he has been assisting us and give us very enabling environment to operate and thrive in our business.
During the time of Fayemi, things were difficult for us . some of our members were even killed others harassed. We don’t was t such to happen against .”
Responding to the development, Eleka said: “They have done excellently well and have confirmed to us that they are solidly behind us, when you have the people behind you, and the right platform and the right personality then you are rest assured that you would excel.
“I want to appreciate them for this huge support and I want t to assure them that we will continue to support them, give them an enabling environment and give them all the necessary infrastructure that would enhance their jobs.”