2022 Elections: Ex-Gov Oni says zoning in Ekiti PDP ‘unworkable’
By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
Former governor of Ekiti state, Engr. Segun Oni, has described as unworkable, advocacy for zoning in the governorship candidacy in People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) in the state.
The former governor, who practically opposed the zoning arrangement in the party, argued that such arrangement would be a great disservice to the opposition party.
Specifically, Oni explained, what the PDP should place priority on is the question of ‘who can defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’ instead of the primordial and narrow sentiment of zoning.
The PDP governorship aspirant told the APC in clear terms that the party had lost the June 18, 2022 governorship election in Ekiti state, saying the voters had rejected the ruling party over its failure in the areas of security, employment generation, and economy.
It was earlier reported in Orient Daily last week, that politicians of southern extraction, including former Ekiti deputy governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka, had vehemently insisted that the PDP should zone its governorship ticket to the South that has not produced the governor since 1999.
But reacting, the former governor, in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, told newsmen about his mission to return to the Ekiti Government House in 2022, said zoning will do incalculable damage to PDP.
“When I was going in 2010, I said we should help the South to become governor. No governor had ever liked the South more than me. I gave key positions like the minister, secretary to the state government, commissioner for works to the South when I was governor.
“Let me say this clearly: only a ruling party can zone governorship. But if you are in opposition, you should only think of who can take power. Let me thank Mr. Ayodele Fayose; he had the luxury as a governor, and he went for it, though we lost in 2018.
“Governor Kayode Fayemi, who is in power, is the only one that can answer the zoning call now because he is in government. The PDP should think of who can win the election. We don’t want to be nice guys this time, but a good and determined opposition party.”
Oni posited that the PDP had a good chance of winning the next election in Ekiti state, saying the populace was already disillusioned with the APC reign, which he described as an abysmal failure.
“Ekiti voters are ready for us; I mean, ready to vote for us. No party can be luckier than this. Our road to the Government House is almost clear. People have been saying that to us. Though we have internal crises, we will resolve our differences, because we don’t want to play second fiddle again.”
The former governor described the insecurity in Ekiti, where people were being killed and kidnapped, as very unfortunate, saying he would rise to the occasion and stem the tide, if given the opportunity to serve as governor.
He added: “The issue of insecurity is very unfortunate but not peculiar to Ekiti. When I was the governor, we constructed a panic alert system, that can alert the police anywhere there was a gunshot in Ekiti and police will just come to the location quickly to rescue the situation.
“You don’t allow insecurity to come and meet you, it will overwhelm you and this is what we are experiencing now. As someone who is fighting insecurity, you must be at the front, thinking outside the box. Those in government should have a rethink on the security issues”.
Oni, who branded the PDP as a bit more democratised than any other parties in the country in the handling of primaries, said nothing short of a free and fair primary will be acceptable to members to select a credible candidate for the impending governorship poll.
“We are not imposing consensus and whoever has the largest appeal should win the primary and get the ticket. That is our belief and that is what is going to happen”, he maintained.