Ahead the 2019 governorship election in Oyo State, chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Akin Oke, has disclosed that the party has recognised 10 aspirants seeking to contest the election on the ticket of the party in the state.
He made the disclosure at the state party secretariat on Tuesday when an APC governorship hopeful, Professor Adesoji Adejumo, made a formal declaration of his intention to contest the election on the platform of the party.
Contrary to widespread insinuation that over 30 aspirants were jostling for the APC ticket, Oke disclosed that said only 10 aspirants had so far formally declared their intention to contest the governorship election on the party’s platform.
Nigerian Tribune quoted Oke as saying: “The state leadership of APC have attended to just 10 aspirants who were seeking to contest the governorship election. We have not seen the others, but we are only hearing that they have been dancing on the streets. We wish them best of luck.
“We have been hearing about several aspirants who are seeking for the party’s ticket. But we will narrow them down to three or five, among whom the party members will now decide and pick their candidate,” he said.
Oke, however, attested to the character of Professor, even as he asked the aspirant if he had sought for and obtained the consent of the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, bring the APC leader in the state, before making known his intention to contest.
Speaking earlier, Adejumo, who said he consulted with and got the consent of the governor in respect of his ambition, advised the leadership of the party in the state to ensure that a strong character emerges as the successor of Ajimobi.
Adejumo, former chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said the governor would need a strong successor to build on the achievements recorded during his eight-year administration, noting that doing so would enable the state to survive the nationwide economic downturn without relying on what he said was the monthly handouts from the Federal Government.
The APC governorship aspirant said he left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by choice in 2016, adding that he was the best person to take over from the incumbent governor in 2019.
“Governor Abiola Ajimobi needs somebody with strong character to succeed him. Oyo State can survive by electing a determined and dedicated successor to the governor. Such a person must be bold and intelligent,” he said.
“The two of us may not do things the same way, given the fact that Governor Ajimobi and I are from different backgrounds. He came from the oil and gas sector, while I was from the education and agriculture sector.
“It is wrong and insulting on the collective intelligence of the people to say that to be a governor is a sacrifice. It is not. Rather, seeking to be a governor is a privilege that must be honoured and sustained,” he said.