Some top stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State have endorsed former House of Representatives member and Commissioner for Public Utilities under Governor Kayode Fayemi, Bamidele Faparusi, for Senate.
The APC stakeholders said they took the decision in response to former Governor Ayodele Fayose’s anointing of his former deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti South.
The stakeholders, under the aegis of Ekiti South APC Mandate Group, said after expanded consultations with APC leadership in the six local governments in Ekiti South, they found Faparusi apt, fit and popular to rescue the party from imminent defeat.
In a statement in Ado-Ekiti yesterday by the group’s Chairman, Femi Adeleye, the stakeholders said the body had issued one-week ultimatum to Faparusi to declare for the Senate and salvage the APC from losing the district to opposition parties.
Adeleye said Faparusi could serve as a magnetic force to rally the six councils in Ekiti South for the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, in the June 18 election.
He added that the ex-commissioner, who served as the deputy director general for Fayemi Campaign Council in the district during Governor Fayemi’s re-election bid in 2018, exhibited political dexterity and wizardry by winning four of the six councils in the area.
The group’s leader said picking Faparusi from Ekiti South Federal Constituency 2 would inject political balancing, since the APC deputy governorship candidate, Mrs. Monisade Afuye, had emerged from Ikere-Ekiti in Federal Constituency 1.
Adeleye said Faparusi remained the most experienced and politically-savvy APC politician from the Southern zone that could defeat other contestants and win votes for APC in the governorship election.
Reeling out Faparusi’s political and administrative experience, the leader said: “In 2018, he was among the 32 governorship aspirants who aspired to govern the state, but lost the primary to Governor Fayemi. He served as a commissioner before he resigned to join the 2022 governorship race.
“Looking at the political architecture of that zone, Faparusi is one of the few leaders with executive and legislative experience, having at different times served as a member of the House of Representatives and commissioner.
“There is a common deep-seated belief that since South Federal Constituency 1 has produced the deputy governorship slot, the Senate seat occupier should emerge from Ekiti Federal Constituency II. The APC leaders in the zone have conceded to this highly equitable idea.
“Faparusi is a household name in Ekiti South Senatorial District, with strong grassroots appeal that can help the party in the June election.”