A former governor of Ekiti State and governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Chief Segun Oni has announced that he and his supporters are not leaving the APC in reaction to the outcome of the party’s congress, in which he came second.
Chief Oni, who had an interaction with newsmen in his Ifaki-Ekiti home, on Tuesday, said rather than leave the party, he was ready to stay and cultivate a change of mindset among politicians, saying “we want this to be an example and become a new thinking that when you lose the primary, you must stay in your party even when you are popular.”
He said: “I am still in APC, we are loyal party men. I decided to contest to give our party the probability to win. The contest was not about me. Our people must learn a new lesson that when you enjoy goodwill and you lose a primary, the next thing is for you to move to another party, with a thinking that you will win.
“Even if you enjoy goodwill, it is not good to expend it that way. So, we are not leaving APC. But I have a responsibility to protect my supporters. But this habit of winner-takes-all and what we are hearing that Segun Oni boys will be in the cooler for four years if APC wins is what I won’t tolerate.
“We are approaching a windstorm, which is the election and I believe we need to take caution on both sides. As much as we are ready to work with the winner, they too must be receptive and be trusting.
“But if they continue to harass my supporters, I may quit the party, because I have a responsibility not only to protect them but ensure that they are not taken for a ride.”
On the outcome of the primary election, the former National Deputy Chairman (South) of APC said it was time his party and others did away with delegates primaries, saying “it has become horrendous and it has become totally out of sync with normal thinking and normal expectations. I will hope our party will never tread this path again.”
According to him, “I would be deceiving you if I say money did not play a role. Money played a role and more money played a role and much more money played a role. But it’s not also illegal. When money was going to be applied in an illegal way, the first time round, some people reacted.
“But this one, I cannot see much of the illegal way of applying it. I don’t know if there were also processes to mask whatever. However, talking seriously our party and every political party that is serious, should not touch again delegates primaries, even with a long pole.
“We know that the primary is an imperfect election. But then, the way delegates primaries is and the extent to which we push it here, it has gone beyond mere imperfection.”
He said “I’m sure if you ask all the aspirants, including the aspirant that won, if you ask them questions, I’m sure it is not a game they enjoyed.
“So, we should better ensure that a new agenda would be pursued to make every member of the party able to vote in the primaries of the party so that it would be more representative of the thinking of party members, which is what it is supposed to be; than when you have a handful of people who turned opportunists overnight, and could not see any objective other than the objective of maximising their returns.” (News Express)