Ahead of the Ekiti State Governorship election, the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, says the election is as good as won for the party.
The election, scheduled for next Saturday, will be conducted in 2,195 polling units spread across 177 wards in 1the 16 local government areas of the state. About 35 parties are fielding candidates for the election.
While speaking with journalists after meeting with the chairman of APC Ekiti governorship campaign council, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State on Wednesday in Abuja, Mr Oshiomhole said as a former governor in Edo state, who always defeated the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), victory is sure for the APC.
He alleged the incumbent Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti does not believe in free and fair elections without making use of state apparatus.
He called on the PDP to learn how to mobilise the people to win elections.
“I have fought PDP in Edo, just relying on mobilisation and persuasion and we know how to win. We will fall back on those conventions, tools of winning election and because they are not in that group, they cannot start learning new trick. So, Ekiti is as good as won,” Mr Oshiomhole said.
“We have a candidate who is not new to governance and he has his track records. We also know that in the last election that brought Fayose to office, how the election was rigged, the money collected from NNPC, the military officers ruthlessly deployed, the young officer that refused to participate in the misuse of the armed forces who later made a confession that was played on national television.
“Those manipulative tools will not be used this time and so, the governor will have to learn an art that he was never familiar with. He has to learn how to persuade and convince the electorate. In line with the PDP tradition, they have always spent their energy on controlling structures and producing candidates whether people like them or not. This time around, they will have to win and not to rig.”
Denying reports of a court case against Mr Fayemi, he said no court has stopped him from contesting the election
He also described Segun Oni, who was one of the aspirants for the party’s governorship ticket before Mr Fayemi picked it, as a perfect gentleman who has been part of the ongoing campaign in Ekiti.
“What is important is that Segun Oni spoke eloquently during the flag-off of the campaign. Segun Oni is a complete gentleman and I have a lot of respect for him. He spoke and I believe that he spoke from the heart. But in this business, you can hear all sort of things on the social media.
“I am here as the national chairman of the APC and I believe that if someone takes us to court, I would have been served court papers. So, let me say that there is no such thing. But however, we know that the opponent can sponsor publications and try to plant confusion.
“The only hope they have is that we will turn against ourselves. But we are far more sophisticated than that and will not turn against ourselves, we are facing it squarely and this election will be lost and won on merit.”
He expressed satisfaction with preparations so far by the Mr Bagudu-led Campaign Council for the election.