An All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Otunba Demola Popoola, has said the party stands a good chance of winning the 2022 governorship election if it conducts a free, fair and credible primary on January 22.
Popoola averred that the only thing he solicited from the party is allowing a level playing ground during the primary, describing this as the best way to have an easy ride in the June 18 poll.
The aviation expert spoke at the APC secretariat in Ado Ekiti on Friday while declaring his governorship ambition, being a follow up to the procurement of expression of interest form in Abuja.
The aspirant was accompanied to the party secretariat by the former Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan.
Addressing the members of the State Working Committee, led by its state Chairman, Hon. Paul Omotoso, Popoola, expressed confidence in the ability of the party leaders to exhibit unbiased dispositions and act as true umpires in the primary.
He said: “I know that Ekiti APC is being led by people with conscience, who lead by principles, trust and with the fear of God. They are unbiased, they portrayed themselves as fathers to all of us.
“I have never condemned any aspirant since I began my campaign and that is why I believe that the APC primary will be so peaceful, because we are all friends and by the grace of God, APC will be victorious in June 18 election.
“If God makes me governor, I will show respect to the party and uplift Ekiti people to the desired level. I started my politics as a Chairman of my Estate in Lagos, where I was consulted to be a leader, which I gleefully obliged. I did that for four consecutive terms and people were still being that I should remain there because I showed good leadership
“I was the first to collect nomination form to vie for Ekiti governor in APC. But I plead with our leaders not to allow the flesh to choose for our party. Let us look beyond the primary. Give us free and fair primary, that is what I solicit from you as leaders”.
Popoola added that the party could attest to his impressive performances and contributions to APC by way of mobilisation of the people at the grassroots, assuring that he would sustain the tempo to lead APC to victory in the June 18 election.
The Chairman of the Party, Hon. Omotoso reiterated that the party has no adopted aspirant, saying all the contestants are free to plunge into the race and win the primary if they mobilise well.
Omotoso refuted the widespread rumour that one of the aspirants has been endorsed by the SWC, saying it will be undemocratic and uncivil to do such in APC, in view of the dire consequences it will bring to the party.
“We don’t harbour hatred against anyone, we are for everybody. Otunba Popoola is a friend of this party. Since he started his campaign, he has never left us. He has stood by us. He has been mobilising for the party. He has given his best to the party and he deserves the best from the party. He has paid his price and a good result awaits him in APC.
“Let me assure you that we will guarantee free, fair, credible and acceptable governorship primary. I was the State Secretary of the party during the primary that brought in Governor Kayode Fayemi as a candidate in 2018. We did everything with integrity. We cannot impose because we knew the consequences.
“You could all recall that no aspirant out of the 32 that contested the primary with Governor Fayemi went to court to challenge his emergence then, because the process was credible.
“Mr Popoola has not only campaigned to delegates that will vote during primary, but he has also extended his tentacles to aggrieved members of the party, thereby making friends for our party. APC will come together after primary to ensure that nobody loses out”.
In his submission, Adesiyan appealed to the aspirant to build on the legacy of Governor Fayemi if he wins the poll.