The National Working Committee (NWC) of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said there would be no imposition of candidate or display of impunity in its primary election for Ekiti governorship race.
National Organising Secretary of the party, Col. Austin Akobundu (retd), made the pledge while receiving Nomination and Expression of Interest Forms from two aspirants to the governorship seat at the party’s National Secretariat, Abuja, on Friday.
The aspirants are former Deputy Governor of the state, Sen. Abiodun Olujimi and Prof. Kolapo Olusola, incumbent Deputy Governor of the state.
Akubundu assured that the party’s primary poll scheduled for May 8, would be free, fair and credible.
He said that the mandate given to the NWC was sacred and that it would be demonstrated in the conduct of the primary.
“I want to assure you that there will not be imposition of candidate or impunity. We will respect the wish, expectations and aspirations of the people as one of the mandates given to us is to do what is right.
“The guideline of the party has stipulated the process to follow; we will follow it.
“I assure you that the primary will be free, fair and credible in Ekiti, which is the first state we are going to conduct it,” he said.
The organising secretary called on the aspirants and their supporters to play by the rule so that whoever emerged would be supported.
Akubundu told Olujimi, a female lawmaker representing Ekiti Central at the Senate, that PDP would give equal opportunity to all aspirants, including women, saying that PDP was a gender-friendly family.
“This is why we feel exited whenever we see any woman contesting in any election,” he said.
Speaking to newsmen after submitting his form, Olusola appealed that Gov. Ayo Fayose should not be crucified for supporting him, saying “he is my mentor and leader.
“It is not just human backing; I also have God’s backing.”
Olusola denied knowledge of any governorship aspirant in the state being harassed or intimidated, saying that he would not be part of any process of the primary that would not be free and fair.
The deputy governor, who expressed optimism that he would win the primary, however, pledged to support any other aspirant who emerged at the primary.
He promised to diversify the state’s economy, adding that he would encourage investors to come to the state.
On her part, Olujimi said that as the only woman among the four aspirants who had indicated interest in the race, she would win the primary “if it is free and fair’’.
Olujimi said that she had been involved in Ekiti politics and programmes over the years.
She said that she had used her positions as Commissioner for Works, House of Representatives members and now senator, to influence the execution of many projects in the state.
These projects, according to her, include construction of drainages, roads, provision of over 124 solar power boreholes and electrification of communities as well as empowerment programme.
“If I win the party primary and eventually, the election, I will work for Ekiti.
“I will use my connection to bring investors to Ekiti to set up factories and develop agricultural sector to generate more income for the state,’’ Olujimi said.