- Says, party may not win 2018 Ekiti governorship contest
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress , APC, in Ekiti State, Chief John Filani has raised the alarm that all is not well with the party which he says need urgent reorganisation to be an election-winning platform.
Filani, who expressed fear that unless the national leadership of the party intervened and put things right, the party might again lose the next governorship election scheduled for 2018 to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti.
He also advised party leaders to consider fielding a “home-based candidate” in the next governorship poll, saying party members were yearning for a candidate who is accessible and ready to listen to them and Ekiti people.
Speaking to newsmen in Ado Ekiti yesterday on the state of affairs of the party, Filani regretted that Ekiti APC could be likened to a flock of sheep without a shepherd, as key leaders and those holding party positions and political offices had abandoned the party to fate.
He called on the APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and other well-meaning leaders to intervene and work together to reposition Ekiti chapter of the party.
Filani called on the three former governors who are members of the Party – Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Chief Segun Oni and Dr. Kayode Fayemi to come together and convoke a “solemn assembly” that would involve all members to resolve their perceived grievances.
He said the alleged “siddon look attitude” of the leaders must stop, calling them to come home very often and interact with party members ahead of the next elections.
Filani said, “An average member of the APC in Ekiti State is not happy the way the leadership of the party is being run. The state executives have disconnected themselves from the masses; we need to do more work if we want APC to regain power in Ekiti in 2018.
“Going by the present situation of our party, if the APC is not careful, the PDP may win again in 2018. We have 177 wards in the state and hardly can we boast that our members are happy in 160 out of the 177 wards.
“At the moment, PDP has more members in the grassroots than the APC in Ekiti and if election is held today, 16-0 may repeat itself because the executive members are not making party members happy.
“The APC leaders in the state are very selfish and they are pursuing personal interests and that is why I am scared that unless we put our house in order, we may lose the governorship election again in 2018.
“The reality is that PDP members are more than us and we claim that we are the party at the centre but there is no reflection at home. The party is not on ground contrary to what they are making our leaders up there to believe.
“We want the national chairman, Chief Odigie-Oyegun, national leader, Asiwaju Tinubu to hear this: Ekiti chapter needs their intervention and majority of our members in the grassroots are aggrieved; they are not happy with the way the party is being run and there must be genuine reconciliation,” Filani said.
He explained that preparations for the next governorship election must start now if the party hoped to win the governorship seat, adding that 2018 is very much around the corner hence the party must get it right.
Filani warned against imposition of candidate in the next election, advocating what he called a “home-based candidate” as the flag bearer in the next gubernatorial poll.
“We need a home-based candidate for the next governorship election and there should be no imposition. Party members must be allowed to vote for the candidates of their choice.
“We want a home-based candidate, a home-grown governorship candidate. That is what Ekiti people want now; if you come with millions of pounds from outside few weeks to the primary and you hope to win, Ekiti people will reject you.
“The truth is bitter, we must say it so that our party will regain power and Ekiti people will enjoy good governance they are being denied by the ruling PDP administration,” he addede.