The battle for the Akure South/North by-election to fill the vacant seat at the House of Representatives has continued to gather momentum with over seven aspirants declaring interest in to contest.
The seat has been vacant following the death of the lawmaker, Omolafe Adedayo, whose death was announced on August 16, 2021, barely two years after he was sworn in as a lawmaker.
Contenders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) include former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Sunday Abegunde; former State Commissioner, Mrs Omowunmi Ohwovoriole; Femi Fadairo, among others, who are yet to make their intentions public.
For the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it was gathered that not less than five aspirants are jostling for the position. They include popular philanthropist, Mr Babtunde Emmanuel Faro; former two-time state lawmaker, Kemi Adesanya and a former state Commissioner, Mr Dayo Awude.
Speaking with journalists in Akure, one of the PDP aspirants, Faro, expressed confidence that his party would win the by-election, referencing the performance of the party in the last governorship election.
Faro, who expressed optimism that he would win the by-election, however, noted that he would support anybody that win the congress, peradventure, it fails to favour him.
He said: “Akure federal constituency is the stronghold of PDP in the state. Let us flash our mind to the two or three last elections, PDP won handsomely both at the presidential and the governorship. I am very convinced that with the support of the people for PDP as a party and the clear failure of the APC leadership both at the centre and to some extent at the state level, the people will come out in large numbers to give their support to me and my party.
“Let me tell you that once you can galvanize the full support of the people, there won’t be any problem. You can only rig when you are popular. Once we as a party have a rancour-free congress and a very likeable candidate emerges and we all back that candidate, I know clearly that we will defeat APC in that by-election.”
The philanthropist added: “I have never had the opportunity to hold any elective position but I have worked in different sectors in my career both in the gas and banking sectors, as well as what am doing presently.
“What I hold dearly is my integrity. I know people say, we’ve had people said this kind of thing in the past but I want to change the narrative. I am just about 36 years old. If God gives me life, I will probably be here for another 60 years, so I will not use a token of 11 to 17 months to destroy a very fruitful man that I see myself in the future.
“We will keep reiterating it that I Babatunde Faro will be different. I will keep the faith, I will keep the promise, I will be honest with our people, I won’t promise what I will not do but with the little resources available in form of salary and allowances, expenses and everything will be made public.”