The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State is planning to adopt strategies that will minimise conflict that may arise from the large number of aspirants vying for its ticket ahead of July governorship election in the state.
PREMIUM TIMES checks at the party’s secretariat showed that not less than 29 aspirants have either written or visited the secretariat to indicate their interest in contesting the governorship election.
Notable among the aspirants include former governor, Segun Oni, who is also the Vice Chairman South West of the APC; Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu; former senator, Gbenga Aluko; former house speaker, Olufemi Bamisile; former Labour Party candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele, and former Chairman of the Ekiti State Hospitals Management Board, Bamidele Faparusi.
Although rumours that former governor and Minister of Mines and Steel, Kayode Fayemi, is interested in taking another shot at the high office, he has yet to publicly declare his interest to run.
According to the party spokesman, Taiwo Olatunbosun, most of the aspirants were yet to publicly declared their intentions, but had either written or paid a visit to the party’s secretariat to inform the party of their interest.
There are however, apprehensions that the growing number of aspirants may pose a serious challenge to the cohesion of the party as it seeks to wrest power from the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).
“Officially as we speak, there are 29 persons who have so far shown interest to contest the election,” Mr. Olatunbosun told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.
“We have had different reports in the social media of 50 persons or so; but I am telling you what we have right now.
“Some of them visited the party office to inform us while others wrote letters to indicate their interest.”
Asked how the party intends to avoid the pitfalls of the Ondo APC primaries which resulted to crisis due to the large number of aspirants, Mr. Olatunbosun said the experiences of Anambra and Abia States had become reference points in dealing with such issues.
He said the party intended to ensure fairness and transparency as its principle at the primaries as a first step to averting any major crisis.
“The truth is that the high number of aspirants showing interest in the governorship ticket should not be seen as a disadvantage, but rather as a demonstration of the confidence people have in the party,” he said.
“We have rules and we will adhere strictly to them and provide a level playing field for all the aspirants.
“It is not like the PDP where it is a one-man show who will impose a candidate on the people; we will have to allow the tenets of democratic principles to prevail in the coming primaries.”