Former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Gbenga Aluko, has insisted that the only way the All Progressives Congress (APC) can win the July 14 Governorship poll, is to abide by zoning and also field a marketable candidate for the election.
Aluko posited that the party didn’t apply federal might to win Ondo election, saying Governor Rotimi Akeredolu trounced the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barrister Eyitayo Jegede(SAN) due to his acceptability among the electorate.
He insisted that there is no magic or mystery behind the much-touted federal might, except that it would only work when a party fields a sellable candidate that really appeal to the emotion of the people.
The governorship aspirant, urged the delegates to vote for a popular candidate in alignment with zoning during the primary, pointing out that the agitation by the people of the south senatorial district has gained traction and has become a general consensus among the stakeholders that the zone must produce the next governor.
Aluko said these in Ode Ekiti, headquarters of Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State at the weekend while hosting about 2,000 delegates drawn from the 177 wards in the state.
Speaking about his agenda for the party, Aluko assured that all the wards, local governments and State executives will be allowed to retain their respective seats if allowed to fly the party’s flag for the impending poll.
“Among the 33 aspirants in APC, I was the only person who told the wards and local government chairmen to give me coordinators for my campaign. This underscored the high respect I have for party executives.
“If you give me this ticket and I win, I will allow you to work with me for four years because you have worked and suffered for this party.
“I will not only allow you to retain your seats, I will appoint you as Special Assistants with fantastic remunerations. Let me also state that, the State Chairman of the party will be given automatic appointment as a commissioner in my cabinet while also retaining his position as a party leader”, Aluko pledged.
Aluko urged the party to bury the impression that only the federal might can reclaim Ekiti for the party, saying reliance on such will be futile if the delegates fail to vote right during the May 5 primary.
“It was not that APC didn’t use federal might in Anambra, but despite we didn’t even win a local government out of the 21 in the state. But in Ondo, we won because Akeredolu has been with the people of Ondo State. Even people were happy when he won.
“If you look at the results of Ondo governorship poll, the PDP that came second in the election and the candidate of Alliance for Democracy, Olusola Oke could not go to court. That is the gain of having a flag-bearer that is popular. So, we will lose if will bring a bad candidate.
“The police were on the ground in Ondo, they didn’t slap anybody anywhere. Even if you chase away the PDP leaders, are we going to do same to Okada riders, civil servants, teachers and artisans?
“That is why it is important for us to vote right on Saturday. we shouldn’t put emotion into it. We must follow reality for us to be able to win”, he said
On the issue of zoning, Aluko said: “If you viewed what Ekiti Obas said that it is time for the south to produce the governor, then you will know how deep this has become in Ekiti. The Obas even warned all parties to adopt it as part of conditions for selecting their candidates.
“If you look at this critically, you will know the seriousness our critical stakeholders attached to it and APC should not make a mistake of its life by not complying with this silent convention,” he warned.
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