By GBENGA ARIYIBI
ADO EKITI — THREE All Progressives Congress, APC, governors, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and their Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi have pleaded with the aggrieved members of the party in the state to sheathe their swords and come back to the fold to ensure victory for the party in next year’s governorship election.
They made the plea at Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, during the ‘Meet the People’ mega rally to mark Fayemi’s third year in office.
Fayemi came to office on October 16, 2010 after a long drawn legal battle which saw the ouster of his predecessor, Engr. Segun Oni through the Appeal Court judgement in Ilorin, Kwara State.
At the ceremony which witnessed a mammoth crowd which included virtually all members of the National Assembly in the state led by Senator Babafemi Ojudu and other groups.
Fayemi’s arch rival, Hon. Bamidele Opeyemi of the House of Representatives, who has expressed his ambition to dislodge the incumbent governor in the forthcoming guber election, was, however, conspicuously absent.
The governors, who spoke in turns, insisted APC remains the best option for the people of the country, even as they used the forum to dispel the insinuation that the party came into being by political exigency.
Apparently referring to the protracted feud between him and Bamidele, over the 2014 governorship ticket, Fayemi said he was extending hands of friendship to others who are still nursing some animosity.
Fayemi, who likened those that were threatening defection to the biblical prodigal son, said: “Nobody should be harassed over the current crisis in APC. But I want to say that I am ready to forgive and embrace those that are aggrieved because Ekiti belongs to all of us.”
In their own speeches, both Oshiomhole and Aregbesola noted that the three years of Fayemi had brought a paradigm shift in the state, saying Ekiti people have moved away from the era of lamentations to a period of abundance due to the commitment of the incumbent Governor Fayemi .
Also, the former Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and the legal icon and senior citizen of the state, Chief Afe Babalola, enjoined all patriotic Ekiti persons to support whoever is at the helms of affairs and committed to the development of the state.
Babalola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN and one of the founding fathers of the state described Ekiti as his own project, said; “Every reasonable , patriotic and rational Ekiti indigene must have interest of whoever is committed to the development of Ekiti at heart and that is why the Governor is my friend.”