I’ll succeed Aiyedatiwa, says Oke after APC screening

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One of the 16 aspirants jostling for the All Progressives Congress governorship ticket in Ondo State, Olusola Oke, on Friday boasted that he remains confident that the state Governor, Lucky Ayiedatiwa, will hand over the mantle of leadership to him in 2025 after he wins the November 16 governorship election.

Oke said this after he was cleared by a seven-man screening committee put in place by the ruling party to vet the credentials of all the aspirants.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who promised to make agriculture the mainstay of the state’s economic activities, also faulted the incumbent governor over his ‘no vacancy in Government House,’ statement, saying he will hand once his tenure expires.

A few minutes after the party’s screening committee cleared him, Aiyedatiwa noted that the governor’s seat was not vacant.

While fielding questions from newsmen at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, Oke stressed that even Aiyedatiwa knows he has only one year left for him to leave.

He said, “The essence of this exercise is to ensure there will be vacancy after one year term. After that, somebody else will occupy the seat. With regard to my wide contact with the people, I believe that I’m succeeding him. The phrase ‘No vacancy’ is an aphorism from all incumbent persons. I have heard this even in Lagos when Ambode was there.

“Ambode also said ‘no vacancy’, but he had to leave when he needed to leave. It is a statement of wish and desire by the governor, and it is a statement that is intended to undermine a democratic exercise. If we are going to primary and the people will have to determine, how would anybody have the guts to say there is no vacancy?

“There is no vacancy between now and February next year, no doubt. But after February, his one-year term will be exhausted, and then there’ll be a vacancy. I don’t intend to take over from him before the expiration of his one year in office.”

He also praised members of the screening committee for diligently executing their duties.

“They have done their job the way they ought to do it. I had no reason to anticipate even before the screening that anything would come up. I am a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and I have no certificates issued. Their own is merely to confirm what we have claimed. I’ve been a member of the National Assembly. They won’t deny me that. I’ve been a national officer of a political party, and they will not dispute that.

“So everything that I’ve given in my forms is true to the facts. I know no screening committee can disqualify that in the first place. But they’ve done their job thoroughly diligently, and I like that,” he stated.

Punch

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