2019: APC must field popular candidates – Olofin warns

A House of Representatives Aspirant and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, Hon Sola Olofin, has said the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) won’t make any impact in the 2019 general elections in the State, saying the party’s popularity has waned with its defeat in the July 14 governorship election.

Olofin, who is questing to represent Ado/Irepodun/Ifelodun Federal Constituency in Ekiti Central Senatorial District, added that the defeat suffered by Governor Ayodele Fayose and the party’s governorship candidate, Prof Kolapo Olusola, in the recent election has made the party more vulnerable to defeat in 2019.

The Ado Ekiti born politician also appealed to the leadership of the party to consider party loyalty and consistency of aspirants to field candidates for the 2019 State and federal legislative elections, saying this would help in ensuring that members become more committed to serve the party.

In a chat with journalists in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday on the 2019 general elections and the stand of the party, Olofin said, though, over 15 candidates are gunning for the House of Representatives in Ekiti Central Federal constituency I, insisting that he remains the best among the contenders in terms of loyalty and consistency.

According to Olofin, Fayose no longer pose any threat to APC having suffered defeat in the July 14 election, in spite of his consistent boasts that he remains invincible and indomitable in Ekiti, advising that this should not form a basis for his party to take people for granted in the choice of candidates.

“With the mood in Ekiti now, APC stands a good chance of clinching all the 26 House of Assembly, Nine House of Representatives and three senate seats in Ekiti. The PDP has not recovered from the shock of the July 14 governorship election, so I don’t see it posing any serious challenge provided our party fields popular and acceptable candidates.

“Ekiti electorates are sophisticated people, they go for a candidate they can access in election and what they believe he could offer in terms of democratic dividends, they don’t vote by emotion and that is why our party should get good and acceptable candidates for these coming elections.

“The July 14 governorship election was won because our candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi was not only popular but acceptable to the generality of Ekiti people. His performance in his first term actually convinced the people that the choice they made in June 21, 2014 governorship election that produced Governor Fayose, was a wrong one.

“It marvels our people that Governor Fayose could only undertake two or three projects in Ado and Ikere Ekiti for four years, while Dr. Fayemi did a minimum of three projects in each of the 133 towns and villages in four years.

“So, I want to say that APC has a good chance in the 2019 elections in Ekiti but this will also be bolstered by ensuring that the choice of the people is allowed to prevail in the primaries, because the people own the sovereignty”, he stated.

Olofin, an Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) expert, promised to coalesce efforts with Fayemi as a governor to upgrade the knowledge of Ekiti youths in ICT through training and exposure to modern computer expertise that can guarantee career progression.

The APC Chieftain added that he would also strive hard to attract federal presence to Ekiti in the area of agriculture, where the state has a comparative advantage.

If elected as a federal legislature, Olofin said apart from giving effective and efficient representation through contributions to debates on the floor of the House and sponsoring landmarks bills that will palliate the people’s sufferings, his main focus would be to fight poverty through robust empowerment programmes and create jobs for the youths.

“The world is now going digital. We are in the world of ICT and only those that are savvy will be able to operate under a 21st century economy. So, I will work hard with the state government to improve our youth’s knowledge in ICT.

“We have to expose them to modern technology that can guarantee good earnings and this I will achieve by building ICT centres in some wards across the constituency for free training and where you can get access to internet”.

Olofin appealed to the party’s leaders to finetune arrangements for the conduct of free and credible primaries that will foster unity, rather than the one that will create crisis that can elicit protest votes from electorate.

“I am at home with Direct, Indirect or consensus options provided the right things are done. We shouldn’t do it in a shoddy manner that can create crisis. We must not Allow the July 14 victory to go into our heads or to make us exhibit pride that can make voters to revolt against us.

“That is why it is necessary for APC to be transparent in whatever option it adopts, so that we can be on the same page with Ekiti voters, who will definitely take the final decision”, he counseled

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