As part of continued efforts to prevail on political parties in Ekiti State to pick candidates from the South Senatorial District ahead of the 2022 governorship election, a cross-section of youths, women and politicians from the south have again staged a peaceful demonstration in Ikere Ekiti.
The protest, which was carried out under the umbrella of the Ekiti South Developmental Agenda, was one out of such demonstrations held in recent times.
The protesters, who were members of different political parties, expressed their displeasure over the failure of the two major political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ekiti State to endorse any aspirant from the South who have shown interest in the governorship race.
The people carried placards and banners with various inscriptions baring their minds and agitations.
They called on Governor Kayode Fayemi, former Governor Ayodele Fayose and other party leaders from the PDP and APC to back aspirants from the south or prepare to lose the election to any party that aligns with their demands.
According to them, they are ready to vote massively against major parties that fail to pick candidates from the south.
Speaking with newsmen, the convener of the Ekiti South Development Agenda Movement, Comrade Idowu Afuye, berated the leaders of various political parties in the state over what he called the marginalisation of the region by their North and Central counterparts.
He maintained that the south can no longer settle for less and will not fold its arms while the region continued to be relegated in the affairs of who governed the state.
“We believe it is high time Ekiti south produced the next governor of the state. It is unfortunate that the North and Central Districts are the ones rotating the seat of Governor in Ekiti and this is why the youths of this region have come out to say enough is enough.
“We are here to appeal to the power blocs in Ekiti that the Governorship ticket is zoned to Ekiti south this time around. This has nothing to do with PDP or APC but we want both parties to present their candidates from our region.
“On whether the South will boycott the elections peradventure a southern candidate is not picked, Comrade Afuye said though the election will not be boycotted for any reason the people of the south will not hesitate to vote the opposition massively in the forthcoming elections.
“We will not boycott the elections but we can assure the ruling party of our readiness to vote against them if our demands are not met.
“We will hold them responsible with our votes to show them how serious we are,” he said.
“They said we are not united now we are, no more deputy governor, no more speaker or commissioners what we want and desire is for one of us to be governor.”
He also used the medium to warn politicians from the south to desist from the attitude of lobbying for positions from the other candidates of the region a move which he said can truncate the dreams and aspirations of the people of the south.
Earlier, an APC chieftain, Barrister Olu Aluko, said it will not be fair if the two parties fail to pick their candidates from the south. He said it will be unfair of Fayemi to support any candidate outside the southern region since it was the same formula that produced him the first term.
”Fayemi contested against nine candidates from the North and two from the south and after the primaries, we closed ranks to give him a landslide victory which we are also expecting the same from him,” he said.
“We have capable hands in people like Eleka, Kayode Adaramodu, Olujimi, Femi Bamisile, Aluko and a host of others.”
While giving kudos to Fayose for giving the south a chance in the last gubernatorial elections by presenting Eleka, he chided the APC for not doing the same this time around.
”We are grateful to Fayose when he presented Eleka and I was even expecting him to back Eleka again but irrespective of anything, if APC fails to produce their candidates from the southern region then I won’t have a choice than to vote the PDP or any party that pick a candidate from South,” he said.
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