By Joseph Undu
Former member of the House of Representatives, Engr. Bamidele Faparusi is one of the aspirants for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the forthcoming governorship election.
In this interview he speaks on alleged foibles of the incumbent governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose and his readiness for the contest. Excerpts:
What is your assessment of Governor Fayose’s political standing in Ekiti?
As we talk now, Fayose does not have a political party. The faction of PDP he belongs to has been nullified by the court in Ekiti State. The faction which he has been working against has been declared as the authentic and constitutionally recognized faction of the party. So, Fayose does not have control over the structure of his own party in Ekiti State. The PDP in Ekiti does not recognise him. And I am looking up to the time the state chapter of the party will summon the courage to expel him from the party.
That shows the level of leadership he has provided. He cannot manage the affairs of his party; he divided the party at state level. So, tell me how a fellow like Fayose with poor leadership quality can manage the affairs of the entire Ekiti State satisfactorily. It is quite unfortunate that we have to manage this misadventure till 2018.
I do not know which political party he is going to join next, because he does not have any voice in PDP again both at the national and the state level. I call on the PDP in Ekiti state to expel him formally to save their drowning party. He is a party less governor already.
He is just parading himself as the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum when he has no control over the party structures. He was part of the confused PDP stakeholders that dragged Senator Modu Sheriff from his bedroom in Maiduguri into this needless PDP crisis.
What is your assessment of the governor’s succession plans?
Even though Fayose is not going to seek re-election, anybody he presents will fail woefully because he does not have quality people around him. All of his political associates are mediocre. They are all mediocre. Ekiti people would not allow mediocre to rule them again.
How prepared are you to tackle the Fayose factor in Ekiti?
The Fayose factor in Ekiti politics today is not positive, it is negative and an opportunity for the APC to take over the helms of affairs in Ekiti comes 2018.
He has performed woefully. He deceived the people and the people have now seen that he is a master deceiver. All we need to do is to continue to enlighten our people on the danger of allowing Fayose to succeed himself through the backdoor.
Ekiti people have seen clearly that he has no plans for the future of the state and having him as the governor of the state is quite unfortunate. We are very hopeful that when the time comes for the people of the state to decide again, they would decide in favour of the APC.
Are you contesting the 2018 governorship election?
I have yielded to the call of my people to run for governorship seat of Ekiti State come 2018. It is a clarion call that I cannot afford to deny them. Haven served them for four years at the National Assembly; they are satisfied with my performance and the passionate interest I have for the development of the state and its people. So, asking me to run this time is a clarion call I have yielded to.
What qualifies you for the contest?
I served the good people of Gboyin/ Emure/ Ekiti East Federal Constituency for four years between May, 2011- May, 2015 in the House of Representatives, Abuja where I served meritoriously in various committees. I was able to deliver dividends of democracy to my constituency, hence their call on me to serve them in a higher capacity.
I was quite surprised during my consultation across the state that people expressed their satisfaction about my performance while in the National Assembly. People across the state laid credence to the fact that they heard my performance was excellent.
What is the place of zoning in the forthcoming contest?
I want to say that zoning is very essential for peace, unity and the progress of the state. So, Ekiti south senatorial district has not had the opportunity to govern the state since the return to civil rule in 1999. We want to believe that it is a valid call that the seat be conceded to the zone. Fortunately for us, all the stakeholders in Ekiti politics have been calling on all politicians across the state to concede the governorship position to Ekiti South senatorial district. Also, stakeholders in APC like the Elders Forum of the party have resolved to support any credible candidate from the Southern Senatorial District.
Do you envisage the Ondo debacle happening in Ekiti?
There can never be a perfect democratic system anywhere in the world. Therefore, there can never be perfect primaries. Anything can happen but we are hopeful that what nothing that will divide APC in Ekiti would be allowed to happen.
If there is no preferential candidate from the leadership of the party and if the votes of the people are allowed to count, I am sure the kind of crisis we had in Ondo would not occur in Ekiti.