Former member of the House of Representatives, Bimbo Daramola on Thursday picked a nomination form to contest for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Daramola, who was the Director-General of the APC governorship organisation, when the former governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi contested against Governor Ayo Fayose, seemed to have defied Fayemi by picking the form at the APC national secretariat, weeks after the former governor declared his intentions to run.
Fayemi, who is the minister of Steel and Solid Minerals Development, announced to journalists earlier in the month in his country home, Isan-Ekiti, that he was contesting to save Ekiti people from policies that had increased poverty in the state.
The minister is scheduled to hold his declaration rally in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday.
Regardless, Daramola posted pictures of his visit to the APC national secretariat to obtain the governorship forms, along with a text that read: “Another Step Forward- no kidding ! No looking back …Ekiti is worth it. Let’s do this together , Ekiti will not remain the same with our vision of restoring our pristine identity, with God and you the people , we shall overcome”.
His post was well received by his supporters, who posted comments urging him to forge ahead with his ambition.
“At last, the process to electorally shift the much condemned paradigm in Ekiti State Government has formally been activated.
“It is over to stakeholders in #Ekiti2018, APC leadership, delegates, opinion moulders and electorate to think positively and act progressively.
“For you and I, we must support Bimbo Daramola as next #Governor. . . Nitori Ojo Ola Wa”, one of Daramola’s supporters posted on Facebook on Thursday.
The schedule for the APC Ekiti governorship election as released by the national organising secretary of the ruling party, Sen. Osita Izunaso, shows that sales of forms commenced on Monday 9th April and will end on Tuesday 17th April. Screening of aspirants will hold between Monday 23rd-Wednesday 25th April. This is while primary election will be held on Saturday May 5th.
Political pundits speculate that the May 5th primaries will be keenly contested as a long list of new faces and other top players in the APC such as another former governor, Segun Oni, ex-lawmakers, Sen. Ayo Arise and Opeyemi Bamidele are also in the race.
Please find bellow Daramola’s interview with journalists, including Frontline News Online, correspondent last November.
Ekiti 2018: APC needs experienced candidate to beat PDP, Fayose- Daramola
Former member of the House of Representatives, Bimbo Daramola is one of the leading aspirants for the Ekiti governorship under the All Progressives Congress (APC). Daramola who was the Director-General of the APC governorship organisation, when the former governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi lost the election to Governor Ayo Fayose, has been consulting around Ekiti State. In this interview, the former lawmaker speaks on his chances, why the APC which he says has about 46 aspirants must quickly unite against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Daramola who says competence and acceptability, should come before zoning in the decision of who is picked as APC candidate, also dispelled rumours that he is still single.
You are aspiring for the highest office in Ekiti State, what convinced you to throw your hat into the ring?
I am not a frivolous person. I am somebody does things after weighing the options. Before I make critical decisions, I first and foremost, check what my motivation is. If my motivation is right, then I am comfortable with moving forward with the decision. When I lost my bid to return to the House of Representatives and also riding on the fact that we lost Dr. (Kayode) Fayemi’s election of which, I was the Director-General of his campaign, I was very humbled. I was humbled in the sense, that I thought, ‘oh is this the way Ekiti people’s morphology has so changed, that people would look at what is good and decide to go down south’? So my first gut reaction was that, ‘oh Bimbo, it’s over for politics’. I thought to myself, that I had to return to the private sector and earn an honest living. I began to watch the political scene, because I knew that no matter how evil lasts, it will become apparent…
(Intercepts )Are you saying Ekiti people made a mistake by voting in Gov. Fayose?
Well, I will come to that. What I am saying right now is that I have checked my motive and my motive is that Ekiti State cannot continue with that (evil). I have the sense that we need to give ourselves the opportunity, to go on the road of retrospection and we are convinced beyond reasonable doubt, be it a PDP man, APC, or Labour Party man, that what we have right now is not the best for Ekiti. So if I agree with everyone, shouldn’t we do something about the situation? And in doing something about the situation, having seen what this man (Fayose) was able to do in three years and it’s not in tandem with who we really are, we need to bring in someone who can re-organise the system. My aspiration is not a flight of fantasy. I’m convinced that I have enough credentials to show the world, I can re-organise the system to make it work for the people.
So you are not using the governorship aspiration to negotiate for the Senate or to return to the House?
No. Please if I wanted to go the Senate, I will pitch myself for the Senate. I am not doing this to being relevant politically or for personal aggrandizement or for pecuniary reasons. I am doing this for altruistic reasons, the nobility of my intentions are not in doubt. Go and check my background. I have twelve years of unbroken service to the progressives. It’s not a matter of pride, there are 46 individuals jostling for this (APC ticket) and I have challenged everybody, including the former governor (Segun Oni), like the Bible says, ‘come with your strong reasons”….
Don’t you see the APC imploding, with the number of aspirants seeking to fly the party’s flag? People still even mention the name of your former boss Dr. Fayemi as being interested, though he’s been quiet.
Months back, I wrote letter to well meaning leaders and elders of the party, seeking to explain my humble view point, that there is no way, 46 people will be running rings around themselves in a state of about two million people and we won’t have to deal with the backlash. Some people went to town, saying the large number of aspirants is good for democracy, that people have a constitutional right to aspire. But your constitutional rights must be sitting on accepted norms and practices. The fact that you have the right to freedom of expression, would you have come to this office naked? Will you drive against traffic because you enjoy freedoms under the constitution? We should situate our rights on the reality in a state, where you have a governor with a strong personality, like Dr. Ayodele Fayose. I tell you 80 percent of these people (aspirants) are just knowing that there are 177 wards in Ekiti State. Some of them are moving around with exercise books, writing the names of wards and how to get there, not even the names of personalities to meet. Some of our revered elders in the party are just being introduced to these men, who want to be their governor and the fact is, we will have a new governor in our state in the next eight months to a year.
What kind of candidate do think can confront the PDP which is being led to the election by a governor you described as having a strong personality?
Oh yes, the man (Fayose) has the advantage of time. He has money. I have said it elsewhere, that Governor Ayodele Peter Fayose, has political mastery working for him. But he doesn’t have political mystery. There is nothing mystical about him. Nevertheless, he has elevated the political mastery to the level of mystery, to the level that when you mention, ‘Ayo Fayose’ people are afraid, but not Bimbo Daramola. Now, it is time for us to quickly understand that we have to stand behind a candidate that doesn’t fear him. A good example of his political mastery is his going ahead to pick a candidate for his party on time. This is aside from the fact that he has incumbency working for him, that he has the instrumentality of state at that level, he picked the candidate months back, giving him ample time to reconcile those against his pick. But look at our picture in APC.
The viability of a state is one issue anyone who wants to be governor would have to deal with. Ekiti isn’t one of the wealthy states, some even say a state like yours should consider a merger to make it more economically stable…
I dare say suggestions upon which you based your questions are superficial. Anywhere, you create value, money will come. It’s because people haven’t created value, that why investments aren’t coming to the state. Do you know that 20 years ago, we had an industry in a place called, Ise-Ekiti where I did a vacation job. Beyond industries, if you look at Lagos State, you will see that the over 60 percent of VAT, which comes from the state alone is from the service industry. The VAT is coming from commerce and enterprise. Let me give you the baseline, if you turn Ekiti to a place where enterprises can thrive, money will come. That’s why I have pointed out, that there are other important issues we should be talking about beyond the agitation that, ‘oh it is the turn of the South’. I have said it many times, that the least of the required credentials for the next governor of Ekiti State should be zone where he comes from. While I respect the sentiment around the place of extraction of the next governor, I dare say, this doesn’t cure illness, which can be handled in a good hospital. This factor doesn’t ensure that you can put food on your table.
Like you mentioned, you ran the campaign for Dr. Fayemi but you lost.
How do you intend to win this time around?
What did I do wrong during in the last governorship election in Ektiti State as Director-General of the Fayemi campaign organisation? Nothing! How can you win when you contested against the system? I have a slipped-disc to show for that election. My 90 year old father, who was 87, now has the memory of how he was beaten black and blue in the name of election. Captain. Sagir Koli’s tape contains the things that happened during that election. In five minutes of the recording, my name was mentioned 12 times. But these things won’t happen this time around.
So, you don’t agree with those who say your candidate lost touch with the people and that’s why it was easy to defeat him?
Well, I will leave that suggestion to history. But when it comes to performance, I can say it anywhere, that Dr. Fayemi performed creditably well. There might have been gaps, there is no perfect human being or system. But in terms of tangible development, I can stand anywhere to say Dr. Fayemi did a good job.