As the race to the Ekiti state Gubernatorial poll slated for July 14,this year draws near,a former Senator representing Ekiti North Senatorial District, Mr. Ayo Arise, has boasted that voters would prefer him most to occupy the state highest political office to win the 2018 governorship poll for the All Progressives Congress (APC) than the duo of former Governors Segun Oni and Kayode Fayemi.
Arise said the two former governors have contributed to the development of the state and that time has come for a fresh blood to be allowed to rule the state, saying “going by the mood in town, the people prefer a new person than those they have seen in the past”.
The trio of Oni, Fayemi and Arise were eyeing the state governorship seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
On the rising kidnapping and killings being allegedly perpetrated by herdsmen in the country, Arise said he agreed with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the establishment of state police.
Arise spoke in Oye Ekiti, headquarters of Oye Local Government Area on Sunday after a thanksgiving commemorating his release from kidnappers’den held at SS, Peter and Paul Catholic Pro Cathedral Church in the town.
Arise was kidnapped last year along Lokoja –Abuja road while returning to the Federal Capital Territory after visiting Ekiti State and was held by his captors for six days.
The former Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatization, said : “APC wants to win the coming election at all cost and they need a popular candidate and they knew I am the best for the job so that our strategy can work”.
On whether he would step down for either Oni or Fayemi, who were known to be his political allies,Arise retorted that; “I am not going to step down for anybody.
He said the issue of zoning does not applicable to a homogenous state like Ekiti, saying though the south senatorial district has the right to produce the governor but such shouldn’t be realized through zoning of the governorship ticket.
“The APC knew how important the July 14 governorship election is to members. They need to apply the right strategy and they knew who is best fit to be able to defeat the PDP, and that is me.
“Both Oni and Fayemi are my good friends. I contested as a Senator when Oni vied for the governorship in 2007. The two of them have ruled Ekiti and now is my own turn.
“Even if I step down for any of them, I can only guarantee them my own vote at the primary, because the delegates are adults who can take decisions on their own”.
Arise said it will be difficult for the security to tame the marauding herdsmen and kidnappers because many of them didn’t understand the terrain where they were operating.
“I agree with the establishment of a state police. They can identify the people and when you allow the community to take charge of their own security, they will be determined to fish out criminals.
“Nigeria is so big that you can’t be controlling security from the centre, it must be decentralized”,he advised.
On the crisis hitting the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti, Arise said he would not meddle in the crisis in spite that his bosom friend and former Minister of Works, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye was directly involved.
Adeyeye, a governorship aspirant has been having a running battle with governor Ayodele Fayose over the governor’s adoption of his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola as the party’s sole candidate.
“Adeyeye is my friend but I can’t dictate to him to return to APC. I am not in position to dictate to him that will have to be his decision.
“But after the PDP primary, if the party fails to do the right think, then we can decide to talk to our friends in PDP to join us in APC”.