As the governorship contest in Ekiti State gathers momentum, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has said that the party will not give its ticket to a candidate without “progressive background.”
Senator Ojudu, who stated this while addressing newsmen in Ado Ekiti, on Sunday, also said those currently engaged in one campaign activity or the other ahead of 2018 goverorship election in the state were promoting illegality and lawlessness.
Ojudu said the party could not afford to embark on a “suicidal mission” by committing the ticket in the hands of those he described as “decampees” in APC, saying he and other progressive politicians in the party “won’t support such a dangerous political strategy.”
The presidential aide told newsmen that those reported to be making open declarations about their intention to run for the governorship election, when the actual exercise was still more than a year away, were going against the electoral act.
He said it was more worrisome to also find some of the aspirants already painting the streets of towns, red with their campaign posters and billboards, at a time when INEC was yet to give the go-ahead for such activities.
Ojudu, who himself is believed to be eyeing the office of the governor of Ekiti State in the next election, explained that the fear of running afoul of the law gave rise to his refusal to join the bandwagon of those declaring their intentions to run, despite huge pressure mounted on him daily by men and women of goodwill to do so.
He however boasted that apart from winning the party primaries, nobody, either in APC or PDP , including the incumbent governor and candidate of his party would be able to withstand him or stand on his way if he eventually indicates interest in the gubernatorial race.
Ojudu said he was still consulting with traditional rulers, community leaders as well as party faithful before finally making up his mind on the coming election, stressing that this would be unfolded as soon as INEC blows the whistle.
“I am a man of due process. I believe in the rule of law. INEC has not lifted the ban on campaigns and whoever declares or campaign now is only breaching the law and i can’t be part of that
“This is because I swore to an oath as an appointee to always defend the constitution,” he said.
On a recent statement made by Governor Ayo Fayose that President Buhari was on the verge of death in London hospital and had been place on Life support since June 7, Ojudu said such an incendiary and scurrilous comment capable of causing ethnic disaffection was not expected from a state governor
Ojudu accused the governor of abandoning the duties attached to his office, but choose to be engaging in idle activities that are of no benefits to those who voterd him into office.
He said the free school feeding programme of the federal government and other laudable agricultural schemes like rice production and land clearing scheme of the Buhari-led government had benefited opposition states like Anambra and Ebonyin, which he accused Fayose of not keying into.
He said Fayose by his conduct and utterances against Buhari, had debased the values of scholarship, erudition and character Ekiti was renowned for, which he said had been of adverse effect on the corporate image of the state.
On Fayose’s speeches against Buhari, Ojudu said: “Let me state very clearly but with sadness that Ekiti is today in a state of distress and mess. Though, we don’t expect all the state governors to be friend of President Buhari, but we expect all to be friends of the Federal Government in the overall interests of their people.”
He promised to make his decision on whether or not to contest the election known to the public as soon as the coast was clear.
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