NIGERIA: Oni’s Ex-aide, LP Chieftains, Others Defect to APC

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The Former Special Adviser to the former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, on Policy and Strategy, Mr. Ben Oguntuase, yesterday led other chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ikole Local Government of the state to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Oguntuase led other members of his former party including Mr. Ayo Owoseni and the Secretary of the women wing of the Labour Party (LP) in Ikole Local Government Area, Mrs. Remi Agunloye, to the new party saying  the move was because of their resolve not to allow the former party which is a minority take the state to slavery.
According to Oguntuase, the Oni group was the pillar of the PDP in the state, saying Fayemi must be re-elected so that Ekiti's development would not be put on reverse gear.
Another PDP stalwart in the area, Chief Olusola Ayodele, who defected alongside his supporters said he was leaving the darkness for the light.
Owoseni who served as a councillor during the Segun Oni administration said he had worked against Governor Kayode Fayemi in the past and was among the former local government officials who instituted a legal action against the state government.
Addressing the rally, Fayemi expressed joy over the new members coming in from other political parties saying it was in appreciation of a government that knows the value of the people.
He said his administration still had more to do despite the work already done in Ijesa-Isu which include Ijesa-Isu-Ode Road, Ijesa-Isu-Iluomoba-Ado Road which are five kilometers roads. He noted the renovation of the general hospital, the secondary school and ongoing work on the Obanla's palace.
He expressed his readiness to work harder for the people of the state in key sectors to make the state that the envy of others in the country.
The APC candidate said there was nothing he promised Ikole that he had not fulfilled so far, urging the people to continue to vote for the governor they can trust.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the PDP, Mr. Ayo Fayose, yesterday assured teachers in the state that they will continue to enjoy the benefit of being appointed as Permanent Secretary and Tutor General if elected in the June 21 election.
This came as the LP governorship candidate in the state, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, also promised to make pension payment a first line charge if elected governor of the state in the governorship poll.
Fayose, who spoke yesterday at a rally in Ise Ekiti in Ise/Orun Local Government Area, said he initiated the programme when he assumed office in 2003 but expressed regret that the succeeding administrations scrapped the privilege.
The Former governor also advised Fayemi to stop his alleged fire-brigade approach in policy implementation, particularly in the education sector, saying this could affect the future of the state.
Earlier, Fayose had visited the palace of the Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti, Oba Samuel Adegboye Akayejo, where he officially presented his running mate, Dr. Olubunmi Olusola Eleka, to the traditional Council.
He said, “Governor  Fayemi who had insisted that he won’t pay the 27.5 percent teachers pecuniary allowance nor reverse the teachers competency test, now suddenly rushed into action because of the election and promised  to pay the allowance and also canceled  the test.
“This is a matter that deals with the identity of Ekiti. Education is very dear to us in Ekiti and needs to be critically assessed before making any sensitive pronouncement.
Fayose said his return to government house is inevitable considering the colossal damage the present APC-led Government had done to the people.
Describing the APC as undemocratic, Fayose declared that none of the states under the control of the party had enjoyed the conduct of local government election since 2011.
“The APC always claims to be democratic, but it is not. A party that has no respect for the people at the grassroots cannot claim to be democratic. A party that has not conducted elections for the people in the last five years cannot claim to be democratic,” Fayose said.
He urged the people of the State to reject the party in the coming election, saying it had failed the people in all facets of the economic sectors.
Fayose urged the members of the party to close ranks and form a common front to be able to defeat the APC, saying “the infighting in the PDP made Fayemi to come to power in the first instance. So we have to be united this time to overcome them.”
Also, the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, yesterday promised to make pension payment a first line charge if elected governor of the state in the June 21 governorship election.
Bamidele stated this in Ado-Ekiti during an interactive session with members of the Ekiti State chapter of Nigeria Union Pensioners (NUP).
According to him, the move which would be a budget provision was aimed at making the delay in the payment of pension and gratuities a thing of the past in the state
The member of House of Representatives who decried backlog of pension arrears owed the people said the pensioners would be accorded topmost priority in the Labour Party government.
While declaring that over one billion naira would be required to pay up the arrears, he said N112 million would be committed to the cause within the first eleven months of his administration.
" The delay in the payment of pension will be addressed through the budget  by making it a first line charge."
Describing pensioners as critical stakeholders in the state, Bamidele said he would tap into their advice to develop the state. He said: "I will work with you as stakeholders and tap into your sincere advice"
The federal lawmaker who promised not to politicise job allotment in the state, said children of the pensioners would be given special consideration in all employment process.
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