A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Hon Funminiyi Afuye, has said that the party lost the last governorship poll because people felt alienated despite former Governor Kayode Fayemi’s efforts to turn around Ekiti’s economy.
Afuye, who is also a former majority leader in the Ekiti State House of Assembly, also appealed for unity in the Ekiti State chapter of the APC, describing factionalization of the party into various groups as capable of robbing the party of victory during the 2018 governorship poll.
Speaking with newsmen in Ikere Ekiti, his country home, Afuye said that Fayemi worked tirelessly to give Ekiti a facelift in all sectors of the state economy, but agreed that some members of his cabinet did not connect in most expected ways with the people and said this accounted for the colossal loss the APC suffered in the election.
“Nobody can doubt the fact that Governor Fayemi worked so hard, but regrettably some of the people in his cabinet did not connect with the people and that brought the seeming alienation on the parts of our people.
“We all know and we can see that the person voted for, I mean Governor Ayodele Fayose is not a better alternative, but we cannot blame Ekiti people because they have the right to vote for whoever they think could represent their interest”, he concluded.
According to him, the party faithful would have to sacrifice personal ambitions for the party to be able to wrestle power from the Peoples Democratic Party and Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The former Commissioner for Information under Fayemi-led government, advised that party members must owe their allegiance to APC by seeing themselves first as committed and staunch members of the party, rather than being loyal to the groups they belong.
Afuye appealed to Fayemi to use his ministerial position to bring every member of the party on board and refrain from being used by egocentric individuals to further widen the already existing gulf in the party.
“As we speak now, the party has various groups and most pathetic is the fact that some members are owing allegiances to these groups than the party. This is dangerous for our survival as a party.
“I still hold the strong view and position that the Ekiti APC has what it takes to defeat Governor Fayose and the PDP. The last presidential election and even other elections went to show the real strength of our party.
“Despite that we didn’t campaign the way we were supposed to, the PDP beat us narrowly in virtually all elections and that was the bandwagon effect of the defeat we suffered during the last governorship election. We didn’t expect such a serious defeat, but it came and it demoralized some of our members.
“We just have to forget about the past and think of the future. Our case is better off now with APC at the centre, so we must put our house in order before 2018 for us to reclaim Ekiti back from the PDP”, Afuye said.