FORMER Governor of Ekiti State and National Deputy Chairman, South, All Progressive Party, APC, Chief Segun Oni, has stated that he would return Ekiti State to an APC-controlled state if he is given the chance of becoming candidate of the party ahead of 2018 gubernatorial election. Oni made the remark during a press conference held at his IfakiEkiti country home to herald his official declaration and expression of interest coming up today, in Ado Ekiti. He boasted that he would defeat the incumbent, Mr Ayo Fayose and whoever is his anointed candidate in the PDP in all the 16 Local Government Council Areas, the same way he, Fayose, defeated the immediate past governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi of the last election. According to him, there was nothing so spectacular in the acclaimed political wizardry of Fayose who twice defeated two former incumbent governors of the state, at different times, describing the misery being mild around Fayose as product of sentiment. “About Fayose, this is not a game of arrogance. He is not larger than life as being speculated “He, along with others once deployed their political machinery against me in certain political contest but if you recall, I still emerged victorious, so what are you talking about”? Oni, who blamed irregular payment of workers’ salaries in Ekiti state on wrong prioritization of government’s policies and programmes, saying it was irrational for a state governnor to be building multi-billion naira overhead bridge where workers welfare and Mwellbeing are left unattended. He explained that his interest to contest the state’s number one position, was in response to the growing clamour for his candidature by many residents and major stakeholders, who he claimed told him his services were earnestly needed. He pointed out that he would use his return to power to instill a new social and economic order in the state as well as correct certain mistakes and errors he made during his first tenure, which was later terminated by the Appeal Court. Besides, he said his love to take the state to the next level, rescue it from poverty, and make it rank as one of the best among the comity of states was his major driving force. Oni declared that though his current position as a deputy national chairman of the ruling party commanded respect, glamour and high volume of honour, he preferred to be a state governor, so as to be able to use the platform to uplift lives as well as build the right type of social infrastructures. “Though I am not hungry for power, I prefer to be governor of my state than being something else. I am not the types who prefer glamour to service,” he said. He warned those who might think he would get back to office and shift ground on his well-known character of not throwing government money around to bury their thoughts, saying prudent management of state’s resources remained sacrosanct on his plans for the state. He promised to make doctrine of fairness, empowerment of local contractors, worker’s welfare, youth development and capacity building, as well as massive turn-around of infrastructure, the hallmark of his administration if voted into power. On whether his ambition would not cause frosty relationship between him and one of his successors who is also current Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who is equally believed to be interested in re-contesting the gubernatorial poll, Segun Oni claimed ignorance about such ambition by Fayemi. According to him, Fayemi had never told him that he was coming into the race, but he said he would gladly welcome him whenever he does so, saying every qualified individual has the legitimate right to aspire to any office in the land without inhibition. The APC chieftain said contrary to fears being expressed in some quarters, especially among several other aspirants of the party that the national secretariat of the party had concluded arrangements to impose him as candidate, the former governor said he was ready to face open primaries, and that the constitution even required him to alsoN first resign his current appointment before the primaries.

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