Former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Sikiru Lawal, has advised those agitating for zoning of governorship to the Southern Senatorial District to forget the advocacy, saying the best man should be allowed to govern to fast track development in all facets.
In the same vein, Lawal, who is the Baba Adini of Ekiti Land, has urged the People’s Democratic Party to adopt him as a candidate for the June 18, 2022, governorship election in the state on account of his scintillating qualities in terms of education, politics and fraternity with the grassroots.
Lawal boasted that he has a better chance of defeating the All Progressives Congress(APC) and returning the PDP to power than other aspirants, including his former boss, Engr. Segun Oni.
He spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday while formally declaring interest in the 2022 governorship on the platform of the PDP.
Lawal, who was Oni’s deputy between 2007 and 2010, described Ekiti as a homogenous state without political boundaries, saying amplifying the concept of zoning will destroy the long existing tie of oneness and togetherness among Ekiti citizens.
He said though he still maintains a cordial relationship with Engr. Oni, clarifying that the clash of interest between them on the issue of governorship ticket won’t make him drop his ambition .
Lawal revealed that the fact he worked harmoniously with Segun Oni in government without rancour and delivered, had further reinforced the friendship and political tie between them.
However, Lawal insisted that the fact that he was Oni’s former deputy doesn’t mean he can’t have ambition since his intention is to govern this state, while also dispelling the thought that his governorship project was being engineered to galvanise support for Oni ahead of the PDP primary.
Lawal stressed that it was sad and appalling that Ekiti hasn’t got the correct leadership since the advent of democracy, disclosing that Ekiti needs a leader that understands the concept of leadership because of the state’s uniqueness , peculiarity and homogeneity.
Herubbished the concept of Zoning and branded it as a mere political demarcation, maintaining that Ekiti is one by history and politics from the pre-colonial days
He posited that what he had always wished for has been a situation whereby the best candidate would be allowed to govern, whether from the South, Central or North for quick socio-economic development.
Lawal maintained that the party remains formidable and party to beat in 2022, despite the divisions, assuring that immediately the PDP has a candidate, all other aspirants will rally round him.
He insisted that there is no party without cleavages, stating that whoever is threatening that he would leave if his candidate doesn’t emerge was just making an empty threat.
He told the public and those bragging around to be humble and succumb to party supremacy, saying the PDP is too big a party to be controlled by a person while also clarifying that nobody has all the delegates in his pocket, contrary to insinuations in some quarters.
Lawal said he would focus on education, Health, Industrial Development and Agriculture, if given the opportunity to serve as governor, adding that before Oni and himself left office in 2010, they were building Yam Barn in Ilasa Ekiti, but bemoaned that this is yet to be completed up to now.
He added that Nigeria has the highest comparative advantage in yam production , but regrettably the yams were being branded Ghana yams in London, describing this as one of the greatest undoings of the Nigerian nation.
Speaking about the current APC government in Ekiti, the elder statesman rated Governor Kayode Fayemi as trying his best, but restated that the best is not good enough for Ekiti.
He said he and other like-minds need to improve on the current pace of development and that is the task he is coming to achieve for the people of the state.
He regretted that all the landmark projects he and Oni left behind are still being abandoned in a state that is economically challenged like Ekiti, branding this as one the reason why the state is backward in terms of economic development.
Lawal assured that all the projects initiated by the past governments would be completed under his watch, saying the sordid idea of abandoning projects of the predecessors was affecting the fortunes of the state.