- At least 259 aspirants from various political parties in Ekiti are jostling to occupy seats at the federal and state level
- Many of the aspirants have also flooded the state’s major cities with their campaign billboards, handbills and posters
- INEC has directed that the political parties must conduct their primaries between September and October, to determine which aspirants become flagbearers
No fewer than 259 aspirants have so far declared their interests in senatorial, House of Representatives and state House of Assembly seats, in the forthcoming 2019 general elections in Ekiti.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prospective candidates would contest for the three senatorial seats, six House of Representatives’ seats and 26 seats in the state House of Assembly come 2019.
NAIJ.com gathers that no fewer than 40 persons are currently seeking the nod of their various political parties for the national and state assembly seats from the five most visible parties in the state.
The number of aspirants is expected to increase as the build-up to the 2019 polls continues to gather momentum.
The prominent parties in the state are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LP), MEGA Party, Accord Party (AP) and the Peoples Party of Nigeria, (PPN).
Many of the aspirants under the platforms of the parties had already flooded Ado Ekiti and other major towns of Ikole-Ekiti; Ikere-Ekiti; Ijero-Ekiti; Emure-Ekiti; and Ifaki-Ekiti, with their campaign billboards, handbills and posters.
The aspirants include: Senators Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, Biodun Olujimi, Ayo Arise and Olubunmi Adetumbi.
Also, the former secretary-general of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Obafemi Adewale, and a former member of the House of Representatives, Opeyemi Bamidele had indicated their interests.
Others are the former chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state, Tai Oguntayo; a former chief of staff in the state, Chief Yemi Adaramodu; and the former special adviser on documentation in the state, Hakeem Jamiu.
The list also includes: Dr Segun Osinkolu, Demola Oladaiye and Abayomi Lostay, among others.
Opeyemi, who was a former commissioner for information and strategy in Lagos state, said that he was in the senatorial race. He said that this was because the people of Ekiti central senatorial district considered him worthy of the office.
Also, Senator Ayo Arise said he was the best for the job of representing the people of Ekiti north senatorial district, considering his previous experience in the Senate, business background and track record.
Also, Tai Oguntayo, the former NUJ chairman, who is at present the chairman of the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA), said that he planned to bring his vast experience in unionism and public service into the legislative chamber in the state assembly. Oguntayo was also a former secretary to Ekiti west local government.
The chairman of PPN in the state, Chief Dare Adekolu, confirmed that many of his party members were, indeed, interested in one elective post or the other.
According to him, the party has no problems with the number of aspirants, saying it shows how democratic a party can be in accommodating all shades of opinions and aspirations.
Adekolu said the INEC had directed that the political parties must conduct their primaries between September and October. He said the outcome of such primaries would determine who would become the flag bearers of the various parties during the 2019 general elections.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that a chieftain of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) revealed why the party failed to do well at the Ekiti governorship election.
The former minister of education, Tunde Adeniran, said the party lost the election because it did not buy votes from the electorates like other parties did on Saturday, July 14.
Heavily armed female police officers show readiness for Ekiti election - on NAIJ.com TV: