From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has unveiled Hon Bisi Kolawole as his preferred candidate for the 2022 governorship election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to his supporters in all wards in the state.
Fayose, had in February endorsed Kolawole as his preferred candidate.
Kolawole, the current chairman of PDP in the state and former House of Assembly member who represented Efon constituency, was on Tuesday, officially presented to Fayose’s supporters across the 177 wards to prepare a solid ground for his emergence in the primary.
This development was an indication that Fayose won’t be supporting the aspiration of former Governor Segun Oni, who returned to the PDP last year after serving as the National Deputy Chairman(South) of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).
PDP bigwigs at the unveiling of Kolawole as Fayose’s preferred candidate were: Ogun State PDP chieftain and a former House of Representatives Chairman House Committee on Rural Development, Hon. Ladi Adebutu, Former PDP Southwest Zonal Chairman, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, Ogun State PDP Chairman, Alhaji Sikirulahi Ogundele, former Ekiti Senatorial candidate, Mr. Kayode Alufa, among others.
Fayose described Kolawole as a bridge builder, who can usher in a better future for Ekiti and the party, commended two former House of Representatives members, Hons Ayodeji Oladimeji and Segun Adekola for stepping down for Kolawole to allow peace to reign, saying “this was a mark of respect for my leadership.”
“The man you have come to honour, Bisi Kolawole, is our collective project. I made him my preferred candidate in the overall interest our party. But this does not foreclose due process of nomination in PDP.
“We are not going to attack anybody on social media. We are not going to do that and if you are doing that without your voter’s card, you are just wasting your time. Just go and get your voter’s card.
Fayose added : “Let me say this, whoever wins the primary among our aspirants, we will support that person. The PDP is all we support, all we are marketing and all we want as a winner. We have started consultations and I know that victory is sure.”
The governorship aspirant, Kolawole, promised not to betray the confidence reposed in him.
“I have never wanted to be aspirant, I wanted to remain as PDP Chairman, but when the leadership beckoned, I have to agree. This endorsement does not mean imposition. Fayose endorsing me showed that I have been adopted by his admirers.
“I am going to make sure we have free and fair primary. I won’t take advantage of my position. I am going to be candidate through popular votes and I know this is not going to be an impossible task. Above all, I won’t betray Fayose, who is our leader.
“For Fayose to have endorsed me, I consider myself to have received uncommon mercy of God. I thank God for showing me mercy”, he said.
In his remarks, Adebutu appealed to Fayose to mend fences with his aggrieved supporters to keep and strengthen his political base.
“It is sad that some people who were with Fayose had abandoned him barely three years he left office. Why should this be? When and what actually caused the enmity? I am particularly worried.
“We have to beg them. We must appeal to them. They have dined and wined with Fayose political family. They have benefited from you. We won’t allow anyone to ruin PDP, so Fayose must bring them back.”
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