Former governor of Ekiti state, Chief Segun Oni, has joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to contest the June 18 governorship election in the state.
Oni who was governor between 2007 and 2010 in the state was defeated in the January 26 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary by former chairman of the party, Bisi Kolawole, but subsequently dumped the party over alleged electoral malfeasance and irregularities during the primary.
Oni, while speaking on a private radio in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday revealed that the necessary paper work by the national leadership of the SDP for him to be the party’s candidate and his running mate would soon be concluded with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He noted that his decision to move to the SDP was as a result of the continued call by the people for him to contest the June 18 poll as a third force, saying that aggrieved politicians in the two dominant political parties are supporting him in the new political party.
The Ifaki-born politician disclosed that no fewer that four aggrieved governorship aspirants in the All Progressives Congress (APC), members of a factional group in Ekiti APC, the South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023 (SWAGA); members of the repositioning group in the PDP and others are forming what he described as a grand collation to win the election.
“I have chosen to advance my ambition in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) because we are looking at the future not the present. The party has been around for years and won elections in this country, it is a well known party, that is the reason I chose SDP to contest the June 18, 2022 governorship election in Ekiti state. We have seen the potential in SDP because we believe it is easier to sell as a third force for Nigerians. The process to make me candidate is on going and will soon be completed,” he said.
When asked on how the SDP will win without a known structures less than four months to the election, the former governor maintained that the will and aspirations of the people is the most important structure needed to defeat the APC and PDP in the state.
He expressed optimism that his achievements when he was governor coupled with the alleged impunity and injustice in the two dominant parties would sway the votes in his favour
According to him, “I want to say without any forms of contradictions, that we politicians are coming together for this project couple with the opinions of people in the streets. We are looking at a familiar terrain and a party with a potentials and also we are getting supports from people that are well known in Ekiti’s political terrain.
“Let me say that for those who are in APC, four aggrieved aspirants are working with us. In PDP, the people called repositioning group , majority of them are working with us. Also, we are working with SWAGA members, SWAGA is a strong force in APC with strong membership base.
“It is going to be a grand collation that will definitely benefit the people of Ekiti. I believe the goodwill of repositioning group, SWAGA and Segun Oni is almost enough to win election in Ekiti”.
In a swift reaction to Oni’s claim on SWAGA, the Ekiti SWAGA Coordinator, Bamigboye Adegoroye described the former Governor’s statement as untrue
According to Adegoroye, “That is not true. Members of SWAGA cannot form a coalition with Segun Oni to win any election”
Speaking further, Oni said, ” We must come to reality of how a party is properly managed, if it is not properly managed, it won’t attract good people, that is the fact. I believe whatever is right is right . I have been around for sometime, my antecedents is there for us to see, I am not looking for what to eat but service to the people, that is how I see politics.
” It is the people that will challenge the parties, the people are superior than the APC, PDP. It is what Ekiti people want not the political parties, we are listening to what the people are saying in the streets.I worked for the people with everything I had between 2007 and 2010 when I was governor and the citizens can testify to my achievements.”
Oni who advised the people of the state to reject vote buying and other forms of inducement ahead of the poll, stated that everything possible would be done to discourage voters from trading their future on the altar of peanuts.
“We are ready for Ekiti election. We will campaign against vote-buying because it is illegal. We are not going to fold our arms and allow it work here. This condemnable act is against the people and our people must learn from what happened in the past. We must support those who can help our society to develop.
“Will the people still be eating what they got on election day for four years ? It is bad and we will campaign against it because the people are not better now in the last four years in the state, ” he said.
On what transpired during the PDP primaries, Oni reiterated that the party’s guidelines on the secret ballot system were violated, adding that he reacted to the injustice by leaving the party.
“The PDP primary election was manipulated and devoid of known guidelines in any democracy in the world. What is bad is bad, and we must not be afraid to say the truth at all times.
“The guidelines say it is a secret ballot but the ballot is being shown to the former governor, Ayodele Fayose by the delegates.
“Let me say, If a party cannot manage their processes, it is the party that should be blamed, not the people reacting to injustice. We are only reacting to the obvious injustice.”
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