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GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION: EITHER 2011 OR 2013, WE ARE READY – ONI

By Lere Olayinka

With a tone of finality, yesterday, Ekiti State Governor, Engr Segun Oni spoke on his political future, saying that; “Even when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has no say as to whether governorship election will hold in Ekiti State 2011 or not, we in the Peoples Democratic Party are prepared for elections anytime, anyday.”

Governor Oni, who addressed a mammoth crowd of supporters at the Party secretariat along Ikere Road, Ado-Ekiti upon his arrival from a foreign trip said that either way, he would be contesting the governorship election on the platform of the PDP anytime the court says the election should hold.

“People have been phoning and sending messages, asking what the difference his between 2011 and 2013. I want to assure everybody here that the issue of whether governorship election will hold in Ekiti in

2011 or not is a constitutional matter, which can only be determined by the Supreme Court.

“We have capable lawyers, who are already working on the matter. On this issue, INEC cannot have any position at all. It is preposterous for INEC to take any decision on it. INEC is also a party to the outcome of whatever the Supreme Court says on it. INEC should therefore no play to the gallery.

“I only urge the courts to act expeditiously on the matter so that is can put to rest soonest.

“But whichever way it goes, whether INEC is holding governorship election in 2011 or 2013, we in the PDP are ready and I can say it categorically here that I will contest and honestly, I am not new to contests.

“In 2006, I came in just two weeks to the primaries and despite the manipulations here and there, I came third before God came with His own verdict. If just two weeks to the delegate contest then, I had 978 votes; the person who came first had 1,200 while the second position had 1,028 votes, I don't think anyone in his right senses would believe that he can defeat a sitting governor to get his party ticket, ” Oni said.

While urging aspirants in the PDP to conduct their campaigns in a peaceful manner, the governor noted that; “PDP is a party of peace and development. It is the party to beat here and that explains why so many people are jostling for position under the party. As at today, we have close to 400 aspirants and we are still expecting more people to declare.

“If you want to gauge a strong party, find out how many people are vying for its tickets. The number of people that are vying for PDP ticket in Ekiti State is enough indicator that the party is a force that will continue to win elections in the State.

“However, it is important that we carry on with our electioneering campaigns as one big family, bearing in minds that after the party flag-bearers must have emerged, all of us will still have to work for the success of the party and its candidates at the general elections.

“In this case, I can assure all the aspirants that no one is going regret vying for the PDP ticket for whatever position. We have an umbrella that is big enough to accommodate and provide for everybody.

“Therefore, right now, let us continue to work in unity. There should be no fighting, no ill-feelings and no quarrelling.”

Calling on PDP members to mobilise the people for the coming voters registration exercise, Governor Oni said; “all indigenes of the State, who are of voting age must register and it is our duty to mobilise our people, both at home and outside the State to take part in the exercise.”