One time member of the House of Representatives and governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Hon. Bimbo Daramola, has described the agitation for zoning of governorship slot to Ekiti South Senatorial District as errant nonsense, saying Gov. Ayodele Fayose, despite the zoning crisis defeated Dr. Kayode Fayemi in 2014 because Ekiti people had confidence in him (Fayose) as a former governor.
Daramola, who was the Director General of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation during the 2014 poll, said the arrangement was a complete constitutional infraction, which has no recognition in the 1999 constitution and the APC’s constitution.
Aspirants of the South descent, like Bamidele Faparusi, Senator Gbenga Aluko , former Speaker Femi Bamisile, Hon Funminiyi Afuye and others, had consistently been canvassing for zoning of the ticket to their district, which has never produced the governor since 1999, to entrench equity, fairplay and justice in the state.
But speaking in Ado Ekiti on Thursday on the contentious zoning issue, Daramola , who is from Oye Ekiti in Ekiti North senatorial district , said APC had no reason to embrace zoning being a party that has enormous respect for the constitution of the land.
The former federal lawmaker added that what the populace needed was good governance not minding where the personality that is able to give the people a new lease of life hails from.
“The issue of zoning is arrant nonsense. In a civilized clime, what the people always clamour for is good standard of living as reflected in the economy and not where the person who governs comes from.
“Ekiti is an homogenous society that plays little or no recognition for zoning. We see ourselves as one and politicians should refrain from causing division just because they wanted power at all costs.
“In the last governorship election, Governor Ayodele Fayose, who came from the central that had produced himself and Otunba Niyi Adebayo defeated someone from the North. So, the idea of where you came from is inconsequential to our people provided they have implicit confidence in your personality and ability to deliver”, he said.
Daramola warned Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee against breaching the party’s constitution by overtly supporting zoning in the party, saying this could create unnecessary cleavage in the party and submerge the party into litigations.
“Nobody can abridge the rights of any citizen to contest political positions provided he met the constitutional requirements as stipulated in the 1999 constitution. APC must allow all interested aspirants to go into the primaries and whoever wins will be supported by the party.
“None of the elections ever conducted since 1999 was zoned to any zone. In 1999, Otunba Niyi Adebayo of the Alliance for Democracy defeated aspirants from Central and other zones , like Otunba Reuben Famuyibo, Obafemi Adewale and Chief Paul Alabi, who later became his deputy to emerge the candidate and he won.
“Prior to 2007 governorship poll, Dr Kayode Fayemi from the North defeated the likes of Chief Bode Olowoporoku, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, both from the south , Senator Ayo Arise and others to become the candidate of the defunct Action Congress without applying the zoning being bandied around.
“Going by these trajectories, no election had ever been zoned based on agitation for zoning and the forthcoming election must follow the same procedure to avert trampling on the constitution,” Daramola noted.