Former Majority Leader of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye has advised stakeholders in the south senatorial district of the state to plead with contestants from other zones to concede the governorship slot to the zone during the 2018 poll.
Afuye, who had indicated interest in the governorship race but was dropped through a shadow election midwived by Ikere elite under the platform of Ikere Development Forum (IDF), said it was fair and justifiable for the south to be given the slot since occupiers of the seat have always emerged from the North and Central senatorial districts since 1999.
On the shadow election conducted for five aspirants from Ikere, where an Australian-based medical doctor had been adopted as a sole candidate in consonance to the southern agenda, Afuye urged the aggrieved aspirants to accept the outcome in the interest of the town and the zone.
The former Commissioner for Information in Ekiti spoke in Ikere Ekiti on Saturday while throwing his weight behind the emergence of Dr Wole Oluyede for the actualization of the what he called ‘Ikere Agenda’.
IDF, comprising elites from all walks of life have converged in the town last weekend, where the five aspirants vying for the seat were screened and Oluyede emerged through consensus.
Those who participated in the shadow election in APC were: Dr. Oluyede, Hon. Afuye, Mr Kola Alabi, Chief Sesan Fatoba and Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, while the deputy governor Kolapo Olusola was adopted to go into the race on the platform of the PDP, being a sole aspirant.
Afuye said he decided to support Oluyede to show for the IDF to pick a candidate to fast-track the actualisation of Ikere agenda and boost the chances of the south at the poll.
“The south has aspirants and personalities with autonomous identities who can govern Ekiti well. So, at the right time we shall meet contestants from other zones to beg, convince, persuade and plead with them to show concern and honour the zoning”, he said.
Afuye expressed disappointment at the way some aspirants from Ikere Ekiti have been condemning the emergence of Oluyede by IDF, saying there wasn’t any dissension at the meeting where the shadow was conducted.
“There wasn’t any dissension at the meeting and all the five aspirants conceded to the outcome before changing. They must know that IDF was only showing concerns, members are not politicians.
“The five of us conceded to the idea that the IDF should use its discretion for the shadow and we had an agreement that the outcome will be binding. It wasn’t Oluyede alone that has benefited from this, some people had benefited from such gesture in the past.
“All of us, I mean the five aspirants from Ikere can’t go into the APC primary and get a good result, the outcome will be disastrous for us.
“If there was anyone to be aggrieved with the exercise, I should be the one being the most experienced among them. But politics is about sacrifice and protection of interest.
“It will be our interest for the governor to be domiciled in Ikere in 2018 and that is what we want to protect, so I plead with my brother to accept the outcome honourably”, he advised.