Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Two aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kayode Ojo and Opeyemi Bamidele have denied speculations that they plan to step down for the immediate past governor of the state, and Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals development, Kayode Fayemi.
Spokesman to Ojo, Biodun Borishade said, “The news, strange and bizarre, is in the air that a certain Kayode Ojo in league with Michael Opeyemi Bamidele have concluded plans to step down for John Kayode Fayemi, a fellow aspirant in the coming Ekiti APC primary.
“This is absolutely false and mischievously designed to misinform and mislead the unsuspecting public and APC delegates. Ojo remains a leading contender for the Ekiti governorship seat.”
Bamidele also clarified that he has not backed out of the primary of the party and described the rumour as laughable, saying there is no reason for him to quit when he is convinced that he has a good chance of clinching the party’s ticket.
He stated that with the assurances given by the Bola Tinubu and other party bigwigs at a meeting held in Lagos last Friday, he has no reason to doubt the credibility of the process leading to the primary. He said he expects the leaders to conduct a free, fair and credible primary that would produce a strong candidate that will be able to dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and retrieve the state back for the party.
“It is laughable that people are saying I have stepped down for Fayemi. When the Minister was in government , I disagreed with him even as a sitting governor . I was brought up to speak truth to power, not minding whose ox is gored. It surprises me that they didn’t say I was fronting for Segun Oni or Senator Gbenga Aluko, because I am close to all these people. But, this is part of politics.
“I have traversed all the 177 wards and I am now visiting all the 16 local governments in search of delegates. At 54, if I want to step down, I won’t waste time, energy and money moving around. I will not even pretend in telling the public about it.
“If for any reason the delegates chose another aspirant and the party calls on me to play any role, I will play it as a loyal member because if I emerged as a candidate, l will expect other aspirants to work with me. It is no longer about the individual but about the party wining and the state and its people,” he said.