Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Monday stated that he had no favorite among the huge number of governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
“The issue is not that I prefer some gubernatorial aspirants than the other,” he said. “Indeed, I encouraged all of them to join the race. They are all my people and they are all equally qualified.
“Let me assure you once again that I will never impose any candidate but we will support any candidate who has the capacity to win.”
He assured aspirants contesting for various offices on the party’s platform that they would have a level-playing field, stressing further that the party will not impose candidates for the elective positions in the 2019 general elections.
The governor, who was speaking at the Oyo South Senatorial District meeting of the party, held in Ibadan, also informed that the APC leadership would support the best among all the governorship aspirants to become the next governor of the state.
The meeting was attended by aspirants for various political offices and party faithful from the senatorial district housing nine local governments – Ibadan North, Ibadan North-West, Ibadan South-West, Ibadan South-East, Ibadan North-East, Ido, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa North and Ibarapa Central.
Ajimobi disclosed that the meeting was aimed at intimating members of what transpired at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party in Abuja last week.
He said that the meeting was hinged on how to reposition the party for victory at the 2019 general elections.
The governor dismissed beliefs that the party had been greatly battered by the defections of some members.
He said: “We also realized that some faceless people were behind the crisis that we experienced recently in our party in Oyo State that they were the one sponsoring the dissident group.
“I am, however happy that despite the insinuations that our party membership has been depleted because of the actions of the group, we still have this huge presence of members here. This is an indication that we are on top of the game.
“It is very obvious that our party parades the best of aspirants, especially in terms of individual accomplishments, academic backgrounds as well as their respective loyalty to the party. Let me assure you all that the party leadership will create a level playing field for you all”
He commended the state party chairman, Chief Akin Oke for holding the party together in spite of the crisis that recently rocked it.
In his own remarks, Oke stated that Ajimobi’s successes in leading the state obviously encouraged more aspirants to show interest in succeeding him.
Oke said: “If we look at the noise from our detractors, one would think this gathering would not be this big. We have seen so many aspirants jostling for positions. It is an indication of the good work of the governor and his good leadership style.”
He appealed to the contestants not to see the race as a do or die but rather, accept the outcome of the party primaries in good faith.