The local council tour embarked upon by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, climaxed yesterday amidst pump and pageantry in Ekiti State capital city, Ado, as loyalists, friends, associates and fans trooped out in solidarity.
Ojudu is one of the leading aspirants in the state’s governorship election slated for July 14, 2018.
The former Senator had been on a weeklong delegates harvesting campaign across the 16 local government councils in the state. He also met with party leaders, youths and officials to preach tolerance, cohesion and diligence as weapons to win back the state from the incumbent regime of Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose.
The tour which kicked off in Iye Ekiti, in Ilejemeje Local Government Area, provided opportunity for the delegates who will elect party’s flagbearer for the May 5, 2018 governorship polls, to hear out Ojudu on his agenda to rescue the beleaguered state.
According to Ojudu, the reception received in the 16 councils was warm and suggestive of a people in dire need of liberation from the lingering governmental ineptitudes and crass shenanigans.
“In all the communities, I saw poverty, I saw youths with no jobs, I met civil servants who have not been paid for months but I also saw hope, the hope of using the election to chase away those that have ruined our state; those who want to turn every citizen to beggars.”
In every local council, party faithful trooped out in numbers to receive Ojudu who many described as the one with what it takes to tame the incumbent governor Fayose who is seemingly bent of fostering his deputy, Kolapo Eleka, in spite of intra party criticism and condemnations.
Fayose of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, snatched power from seating Governor Niyi Adebayo of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, in 2003 but could not complete his tenure as a result of leadership misdemeanour that led to his impeachment by his party dominated assembly in 2006.
His ouster was then masterminded by an Ekiti based political pressure group, E11, led then by Senator Ojudu.
The second coming of Fayose into the Ekiti political arena was again frustrated in 2011 when Ojudu beat him in the Ekiti Central senatorial contest with over 68,000 votes against the latter’s less than 22,000 votes.
His last outing in 2014 was however triumphant as he dealt hot blows to incumbent Dr Kayode Fayemi, then of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, to win landslide in all the 16 councils of the state to emerge governor.
The ouster of Fayemi, incumbent Minister of Mines and Steel and an aspirant for the Oke Ayaba government office job under the APC, threw the party into political wilderness in the past four years.
But Ojudu assured that he would work very hard to secure the party ticket, campaign vigorously to mobilise the people, win the election and recover the state and its economy from its present comatose state.
“This is not the time to dissipate energy on fighting ourselves. It is a time we have to put on our thinking caps and reflect on what we used to be as Ekiti and what we are now. Ekiti people are very diligent people. We are trained to be contented with what we have; we are trained to be humble and respectful, particularly, to our elders.
“Today we are gradually losing those values to joblessness and frustration. Our younger generation can no longer get jobs after graduation. There is hunger in the land and our governor (Fayose) is there building a N16 billion naira bridge to nowhere. That is why we have to chase the current ` government away and form a people friendly government that will benefit all.”
The Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President assured that he would turn around the fortune of the state and bring back food to the tables of Ekiti people in due time if elected the next governor of the state.
According to him, arable land abounds in the state and there is no reason why the state and the people should wallow in abject poverty.
“We are coming with an agricultural plan that is designed to provide employment for our teeming jobless youths, turn the state to the food basket of our country, develop the tourism potentials and enliven the land,” he said.
He however appealed to the delegates voting in the coming primaries to vote for a candidate that is popular enough and nor mortgage the future of the state for pecuniary gains.