The All Progressives Congress has vowed not to allow strangers to take over Ekiti State.
Its Chairman in the state, Jide Awe, said during the state Congress in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, that the party had “men and women of honour who are going to be at the vanguard of this struggle” to upturn the emergence of Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party as the state governor-elect.
Awe, who was returned as chairman after eight years in office, said, “This is our land. The land of the progressives, We won’t allow any stranger to take it from us.
“The struggle for emancipation of Ekiti State has just started. I know we have men and women of honour who are going to be at the vanguard of this struggle. We at the head of the struggle will not shack in our responsibility.”
He however did not name those he described as strangers.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, said he was optimistic that the APC would “overtake and recover“ the state from the PDP.
He however appealed to opposition parties in the state to stop fighting over APC’s petition at the election petitions tribunal.
Fayemi said, “The APC is getting stronger. The party is on the ground, effectively, efficiently and absolutely. From what I have witnessed, we still have a firm grip of the state.”
In a veiled reference to the PDP, the governor pointed out there was no reason for anyone, group or party to fight “if you don’t have skeleton in your cupboard.”
He said, “The tribunal will be an opportunity for everybody to prove we have an authentic result. I wonder why people don’t want the tribunal to sit. This shows we should put our mind to rest. In our pursuit, we are going to overtake, we are going to recover.”
Chief Sam Jaja, the leader of the national delegation which supervised the congress, congratulated the newly-elected APC officers in the state. “You are not cowards. I know that come 2015, you will come out with your supporters to vote enmasse for the APC.”
However, Fayose, through his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, said the “The APC leaders, especially, in Ekiti State are only deceiving themselves. If they think they are progressives, they are not because they are pretenders. They are wolves in sheep skin. PDP has won in Ekiti State; so, the APC should forget it.
“I want the Ekiti APC to know that by 2015, APC will exist only in name, especially in this state. It will have no structure because its members would have defected to the PDP.
“We are going to do this with landmark projects. Laudable programmes to be embarked upon by Fayose would make them to defect. For them to be saying they will recover Ekiti is just an imagination. They are daydreaming; it will never come to reality. For the next 50 years, APC will not come back to Ekiti State.”
Also, the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Kola Oluwawole, said it was wrong for progressives that make up the PDP in the state to be referred to as strangers
He said, “We don’t have any trouble with the tribunal because the election was free and fair. What we are complaining against is the procedure adopted by the judge in the case by the Ekiti 11.
“On the contrary, we (PDP) are the progressives. APC members in the state are not progressives; they are retrogressives. If they are progressives, they will know how to accept defeat.”