A former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Gbenga Aluko, has assured aspirants in Ekiti State that Pesident Muhammadu Buhari has no vested interest in who becomes the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Aluko, who has been a political ally to President Buhari since 2003, said the country’s number one citizen is too disciplined and cautious to rig the primary in favour of any aspirant.
On the recent appointment of 24 Ekiti APC chieftains into the federal government boards, agencies and parastatals by President Buhari, Aluko said the gesture confirmed that the president has tremendous respect for the state and south west, in general.
The APC has over 40 aspirants jostling for the ticket to fly the party’s flag during the July 14, 2018 governorship poll in the state.
Addressing the 2,600 APC delegates from the 177 wards across Ekiti in his Ode-Ekiti country home, on Tuesday, Aluko said he was neither wavered nor rattled by the rumoured governorship ambition of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and that of former governor Segun Oni, who had already declared for the coveted seat.
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 support that put him in a good stead to be able to defeat any contestant.
Said he, “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 southwest. 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 that generates jobs for over 100 youths, this is also additional advantage”.
On Fayemi’s rumoured governorship ambition, Aluko said: “It is still at the realm of rumour and I don’t deal with conjecture. Former governor Fayemi has not openly declared, so it is still a rumour.
“Dr. 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 the party would wrestle power from Governor Ayodele Fayose in the coming election.
Aluko continued, “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.