Notable All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders from Ekiti South senatorial district, on Tuesday insisted that the State must comply with the principle of federal character, which stipulated even distribution of appointments among zones.
The leaders, under the auspices of Ekiti South For Governor’s Forum, said aspirants from Ekiti North and Central senatorial districts must concede the governorship slot to the south to ensure “fairness, justice, equity and fair-play”.
The body warned that the State risked an imminent breakout of internal crisis if the South district was relegated in the politics of the State at a time when Nigerians were clamouring for total restructuring to correct some imbalances.
Former Governor Segun Oni on Monday declared his interest in the race, while unconfirmed reports revealed that his predecessor and Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi was also interested.
Ekiti south comprise Gbonyin, Ikere, Ekiti East, Ise/Orun, Emure and Ekiti Southwest local government areas.
At a press conference in Ikere Ekiti, the Forum’s Chairman and former Commissioner for Labour, Mr Oluwole Ariyo said it would negate the doctrine of fairness for the south to be shut out of power 21 years after the state’s creation.
Expressing disappointment with the lukewarm attitude of the party’s top hierarchy on the issue of zoning that was gradually getting attentions and currency in the State, Ariyo said such tendency was capable of creating a serious cleavage in APC before the 2018 governorship election.
“I heard some people saying there is no zoning in the constitution , but article 20 Section 5 of APC’s constitution makes provision based on rotation in line with the principles of federal character, gender balancing and geographical spread for even distribution of the commonwealth.
“Let me say expressly that it will be wrong for the proponents of these grandiose impunity to think that it will be reasonable relegate the South even when the Central and North had each had two shots for the governorship position.
“The pertinent question to ask is why is the APC crying for restructuring even when we can’t ensure equality in our party.
“Our believe is that we must approach the next election as a united body and we shouldn’t create atmosphere of acrimony and enmity among our people, because Ekiti is homogeneous.
“This attempt to relegate the South is an unnecessary load and burden the APC must avoid. We are pleading to the sensibilities and senses of our people from other zones to allow good reasoning to prevail in this matter.
“We are not going to go to war with other zones but we are just pleading that they should consider any of the aspirants from this zone for the APC’s ticket. We have competent and acceptable number of them”, Ariyo pleaded.
The leaders urged the aspirants from the zone to align with their belief on this contentious issue and form a strong synergy that would make their agitations a reality.