Contrary to the position of Governor Ayodele Fayose that President Muhammadu Buhari had abandoned Ekiti State since he came to power, a former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Gbenga Aluko, yesterday said the 24 appointments recently allotted to the state negated the governor’s position.
Aluko also assured aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that Buhari won’t rig the Ekiti State governorship primary in favour of any aspirant.
Aluko, who has been Buhari’s political ally since 2003, said he knew the country’s number one citizen was too disciplined and cautious to rig the primary in favour of any aspirant.
Speaking in Ode Ekiti during an interaction with 2,600 delegates across the 177 wards, Aluko said the appointments of 24 Ekiti APC chieftains into federal boards, agencies and parastatals by Buhari, confirmed that he has tremendous respect for the state in particular and southwest in general.
“President Buhari loves Ekiti and what the PDP has been saying that the state has not gained anything from his government was rather nonsensical.
“Ekiti never enjoyed such massive appointments since 1999; so we have to be grateful to President Buhari,” he said.
He said he had traversed all the wards to meet with the delegates to sell his agenda for the party and Ekiti and that he could boast of over 50 per cent supports that propitiously puts him in a good stead to be able to defeat any contestant.
“I have been President Buhari’s political associate since 2003 when it was not even political safe and wise to support any other party other than the Alliance for Democracy in the South-west. I knew him to be too disciplined and those thinking of his interference in Ekiti primary should bury such thought.
“We did primaries in Edo, Ondo and Anambra and I think the party tried his best to ensure transparency and whoever thinks he will be imposed is wasting his time.
“Aside from this, I am the only aspirant who has built a vibrant industry in Ekiti. The industry worth over N1.5 billion generates jobs for over 100 youths.”
On Fayemi’s rumoured governorship ambition, Aluko said: “It is still at the realm of rumour and I don’t deal with conjecture. Fayemi has not openly declared, so it is still a rumour.
“Fayemi is a former governor and now a Minister and I don’t think he will be afraid to declare openly that he is interested and if he eventually declares, we will all go into the race as one big lovely family,” he said.
Aluko exuded confidence that his party would wrest power from Fayose in the coming election.
“Dr. Fayemi presented himself for a reelection in 2014 and was deprived of that right, because the government of that time didn’t give a level playing ground but the coming election will be different and APC will record a landslide victory,” he boasted.