The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has downplayed the power-push by the All Progressives Congress (APC) against it in Ekiti state.
This was in the reaction to the comments made by the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun that “Ekiti state is a must for the party to win”.
The PDP insisted that it remained the only choice of the people in the upcoming governorship election in the state, saying “Ekiti is a no go area for APC.”
It said the National Chairman of the APC, Chief Odigie Oyegun, should perish his thought of making any appreciable impact in the July 14, governorship election in the state, not to talk of winning.
It would be recalled that the APC had lost the state to the PDP in 2014 governorship election when Ayodele Fayose defeated then incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi but Oyegun during a visit to Ekiti state on Monday, gave the party’s members assurance that the number one seat will be reclaimed in the state.
In his reaction, while addressing newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday, the chairman of the PDP in Ekiti state, Chief Gboyega Oguntuase, said the people of the state will resist any attempt to manipulate the outcome of the governorship election.
He said, “If Oyegun believes that the federal government instruments can be used to manipulate the election in favour of the APC, Ekiti people are well prepared to resist the party and its rigging plot.”
He called on the International Community as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in the country to “focus their attention on the processes leading to the conduct of the Ekiti governorship election, so as to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducts an election that truly represents the will of the people.”
The PDP chief asserted the dominance of the party in the state, noting that members of the main opposition are well aware of their limited chance at securing electoral victory in any of the 16 local councils in the state.
He appeared not to be bothered by the APC threat to seize power from PDP in the state, boasting that the PDP will retain Ekiti, no matter who presides over the conduct of the governorship election.
“Every single APC member here in Ekiti knows that the party is nowhere near any chance of winning just one out of the 16 local councils in the State.
“The only thing they have been saying is that, Governor Ayodele Fayose has been giving President Muhammadu Buhari problems and he (Buhari) has vowed to go to any length to take Ekiti from the governor so as to serve as payback for his persistent criticism of the President.
“To us in the PDP, we can begin to draw correlation between the yesterday’s ‘we must win Ekiti election by fire by force’ comment of Chief Oyegun with the way APC members and leaders have been boasting of using federal might to take Ekiti.
“However, we are sure that even if President Buhari is brought to Ekiti as INEC Returning Officer for the election, APC will still fail.
“The international community and CSOs in Nigeria should therefore begin to focus their attention on the election from now and beam their searchlights on INEC and other agencies of the federal government that will be involved in the election.
“This is because the election will be an indicator as to the readiness and willingness of INEC to conduct free, fair and credible presidential election in 2019,” he said.