The Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has appealed South-West aspirants for national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to unite and work together in order for the region not to lose the highest seat of the party.
Adding that the region must be able to choose a candidate before the national convention in Abuja and present a candidate would brighten the region’s chances.
Fayose suggested the conduct of a shadow election among aspirants to enhance the zone’s chances of winning the position.
According to The Nation Newspaper, the governor spoke at the weekend while hosting one of the aspirants, former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel, at the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
He noted that presenting one contestant will brighten the chances of the zone to clinch the position on December 9.
Daniel, who supported Fayose’s suggestion of a primary among aspirants from the zone, said he had the exposure, experience, contacts and acceptability to occupy the office and lead the party to victory in elections.
Fayose said: “We need to get a consensus candidate from our zone to clinch the post. We should not go to the convention as a divided house.
“I see nothing bad if we get all delegates from the Southwest to vote in a shadow election for their preferred candidate. Then, whoever emerges would be supported by all during the convention.
“If we propose that and majority of aspirants agree, whoever does not agree would be seen as having no follower at all. I can’t work against you or your interest.
“We have too many aspirants from our zone, and it is not only us (Southwest) that will decide who becomes the national chairman of our party. It will be decided by every member from across the country.
“As for my position as the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, I am only a voice there. Agreed that the governors will play a crucial role in determining who wins, but if I say something, I can’t force it down my colleagues.
“It is only advisable that we get our house in order. All aspirants from our area, apart from dividing the votes in the region, are also dividing the votes in the North too. We all know that our party is the party to beat in the country.”
The governor promised not to work against the interest of Daniel or any other aspirant in the zone or work against interest of the zone.
Daniel said: “Fayose’s suggestion is a good idea. If our party leaders and members support it, I am ready for it. Majority of aspirants only have the experience of being political appointees. I have contested and won elections twice.
“As a governor, you know what it is to contest and win elections. I have traversed all nooks and crannies of this country, and I am well accepted.
“Our party needs somebody like me, who has the contacts and the experience to lead it. We are going to contest against incumbent in many states and even at the presidential level. So, we must be up-and-doing. I am assuring our members that I will lead the party to victory in coming elections.”