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By Lere Olayinka

Governor Segun Oni of Ekiti State on Monday afternoon at the Wadata House National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja paid N5.5 million in bank draft to the party to run for a second term in January next year general election.

The amount paid represents N2.5 million for the Expression of Interest and N3 million for the Nomination form.

The State Deputy Governor, Dr. Sikiru Tae Lawal, accompanied by the Sate Commissioner for works, Chief (Mrs) Abiodun Olujimi, Chairman, Water Corporation, Chief Dapo Alibaloye and Chief (Mrs) Mope Akerele, who obtained the forms on behalf of Governor Oni said that he had the mandate of his boss to sign for the forms.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday at Ado Ekiti, the State capital by Mr. Joseph Ogunsemi, the Senior Executive Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Engr. Oni decided to obtain the forms to run for a second term without prejudice to the cases at the Appeal Court, saying “ much as we have confidence in the judiciary, coupled with the fact that we have good cases at the appellate court on the rerun polls and tenure of office, we cannot afford to take chances in as much as we know that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed its time table”

The deputy governor said that Governor Oni would beat any aspirant in the party's primaries on account of his performance in the last three years and some months in office, stressing “we have been tested and trusted”

Dr Lawal added that “ we are not bothered that some aspirants in the PDP have also obtained forms for the governorship, it is good for democracy, the more we are the merrier. We are all members of the same family. But I am sure, none of those parading themselves as aspirants can beat us in the primaries. Governor Oni is passionate about the development of Ekiti State and he is known to be a man of peace, ditto those of us working with him”.

The trio of Olujimi, Alibaloye and Akerele also spoke about the sterling qualities of Governor Oni, saying “Governor Oni is a good product to market at the PDP primaries and during general elections. This is why we want nhim to run for a second term. If he wins the tenure of office, he will continue the good work till 2013; if he stand for the 2011 polls, he will surely win”

Meanwhile reports indicated that two other members of the PDP, namely Yinka Akerele, who is yet to apply for waiver to run; and Mr. Bodunde Adeyanju, former aide of Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo had obtained forms to contest the primaries, just as the former Commissioner for Finance in the State, Mr. Tunji Adeniyi had resigned to also contest for elective position.