By Wole Olujobi
The convoy of supporters of foremost governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, rolled in to Omuo-Ekiti, a cold semi- savanna north town of Ekiti South senatorial district Friday morning in a blaze of pomp that also saw the team visiting Gbonyin Local Government in consultation visits that ended in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
It was the fifth in the six-day consultation stops to seek support for his ambition in the January 22, 2022 governorship primaries ahead of June 18, 2022 governorship poll.
He is described as the best aspirant by party leaders who join him in a statewide tour to drum support for his aspiration.
Led by Mr Samuel Abejide, former State Chairman of APC, Chief Jide Awe; former Vice Chairman, Mrs Kemi Olaleye; former APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun; Rt Hon Dapo Karounwi, Folorunso Olabode, Prof Adio Folayan, Cyril Fasuyi and Soga Davis, among other leaders, the team was received by drumming and dancing supporters of the party in the three local governments.
Significantly, a beautiful array of women in uniforms made a colourful show in Omuo, singing in praise of Oyebanji.
Abejide said Oyebanji was considered by the party leadership as the most suitable to succeed Governor Kayode Fayemi considering his vast experience, track records of performance and popularity among Ekiti people. He said he was presenting Oyebanji to the three local governments on behalf of APC leaders.
In Omuo, Aisegba and Ado, Awe took a roll-call of all the wards executives, expressing delight at their impressive attendance and willingness to ensure Oyebanji’s success. He said Oyebanji was the choice of the party leadership and urged the local governements leaders to respect the party’s supremacy in ensuring Oyebanji’s success.
A member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Lateef Akanle Kongo, presented Oyebanji to Ekiti East leaders for endorsement. In thunderous ovation, the hall burst into songs accepting Oyebanji as the candidate of Ekiti East Local Government.
Oyebanji expressed delight for the unique reception accorded him, specifically requesting Alhaji Shittu Tiwon to make a speech.
Explaining that he had worked with APC leaders in the past, Alhaji Shitu singled out Oyebanji as a humble leader who would not keep leaders waiting before attending to them.
Oyebanji called for a minute silence for the fallen members of the party, including Hon Juwa Adegbuyi, Baba Temiodara, Sanya Adesua, Elder Samuel Oluwalana and Hon Ademola Atobaje.
He said the state party leadership saw special qualities, including diligence, brilliance, hard work, compassion and commitment, among others, in him and pressured him to accept the challenge of leadership and he accepted.
Going memory lane, he spoke about when he as a 26 years old he went to join Ekiti leaders on the Committee on the Creation of Ekiti State at the Ewi’s Palace in Ado-Ekiti with a position paper, saying that at first, the leaders never took him serious until they read his paper, which, he said, the leaders adopted and then chose him as the Secretary of the committee.
He added that it was the committee job that allowed him to know Otunba Niyi Adebayo who he later worked for in different capacities before performing the same feat under Governor Kayode Fayemi.
Oyebanji added: “I have spent 11 years working with Ekiti State governments led by the progressives since its creation 25 years ago and so I know the terrain and I understand what our people need. I have learnt the ropes from Governor Niyi Adebayo and Governor Fayemi and so if anybody is deceiving you that he will fix Ekiti State, ask him where he got his experience.”
He said that was the quality seen in him by leaders that made them settle for him. He urged a violence-free contest, promising to deliver a quality leadership for Ekiti people.
The leaders in attendance in Ekiti East are
Adesua Oladiran, Hon Foluso Daramola, Hon Ajidara Rotimi, Hon Ogundana Ebenezer, Hon Akande Oluwole Kongo,
Chief Clement Ojo, Chief M.O Kumuyi, Hon B. A Oni, Chief M.O Ajisafe, Hon Adebayo Daramola, Hon Kayode Idiowo, Hon Akinyemi Akinloye, Hon Foluso Ogunmulede, Hon Mrs Anthonia Omonusi,
Hon Olusegun Olugbogi, Hon Ayewa Joseph, Alhaji Shittu Hello Tiwonloju, Chief Oguntuase Emmanuel, Chief Awoyemi Olatunji, Mrs Rotimi Monisola, Hon Omotehinse Olaseinde and Mrs Boluwade Yetunde.
Others are Alhaja Funke Bello, Hon Sunday Are, Comrade Aliyu Sikiru, Hon Rotifa Olasehinde, Hon Olaoyenikan Sunday, Hon Daramola Morris, Hon Kehinde Olatuyi, Hon Bosede Oluwaseyi, Hon Adeniyi Adekunle Samadek, Hon Esan Ogunjobi, Fatoba Oluwole, Chief Mrs Adetiba Aina, Mrs Ipinmoroti Bukola, Hon Sunday Ogundana Ekus and Ibitoye Ajayi.
In Gbonyin, leaders in attendance include B.J Abegunde, Wole Olujobi, Remi Osabusua, Femi Awe,
Ayodele Fadumiye, Damilare Ajayi, Tokunbo Akinyeye, Ademuwagun Opeyemi, Ilesanmi Oguntuase, Lad Ayegboka, Rotimi Orewole, Lekan Ijidale, Moses Orimoloye, Faluyi Omojola, Okunola Abiodun, Adebayo Adegoye, Dele Ojobanikan, Femi Ajayi, Tayo Olagunju, Bosede Adesote, Dare Ojo, Awolusi Lawrence, Chief Lawrence Adeyanju.
Ado leaders in attendance include Sola Elesin, Tade Aluko, Remi Oguntuase, Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu, Olumuyiwa Fatoba, Jumoke Olaniyan, Bosun Osaloni, Abayomi Akogun Lustay, Michael Akinleye, . Hon Omodara, Taye Alagba, Tope Okunlola, Alhaji Tunde Onipede, Taye Fasuba, Dr Abibat Adubiaro, Tosin Aluko, Babatunde Omotoso, Yemi Afolabi, Bolaji Kowe, Gbenga Akinwumi, Bolaji Gbenga Okito, Cecilia Oluwadare, Tokunbo Adeparusi, Tope Olanipekun Tugere, T.S Salami, Barrister Tunji Lawal, Oluyemi Esan, Odunayo Arinka, Rasak Olowoyo, Sunday Ibitoye, Femi Aduloju Oja One and Ademola Adetola Papa.
Others are Hon Toyin Lucas, Hon Kemi Balogun, Motunde Fajuyi, Funmilola Adeyemo, Ayo Adegbite, Sunday Adu, Chief Taye Adegboro, Ademola Bello, Kudirat Jimoh, Kehinde Olanipekun, Funke Owolabi, Bolaji Egbeyemi-Olagbaju, Samuel Ogunsakin, Hon Taiwo David, Fayoke Orilele, Yomi Oso, Kagode Akakinyede, Engr Toyin Ojo, Mayowa Adeusi and Dele Owoju.
Others from other local governments are Febisola Adewale, Prof Adio Folayan, Oluwole Ariyo, Bunmi Awotiku, Chief Moji Fafure, Kayode Fasae, Oluremi Ajayi Babington, Cyril Fasuyi, Soga Davis, Amire Kolade, Bunmi Talabi, Gbenga Omole, Mrs Aderemi Oluwatayo, Ikulayo Kolawole, Brig-Gen Ogundana, K.K Ajobiewe, Hon Kola Bode-Adeoye, Dele Owoju, Engr Tunde Fakoyede, Erelu Dupe Ogundipe, Mrs Bola Solanke, Hon Yemisi Ayokunle, Adekunle Mayegun, Fola Richie-Adewusi, Biodun Akin-Fasae, Gbenga Agbeyo, Alfred Ologuntoye, Bola Alegbeleye, Tunji Oyinloye, Mrs Lolu Adejuwon, Lanre Fasuan, Jimlas Ogunsakin, Ademola Adeusi Oosha, Hon Kayode Fasakin, Azeez Awolokun, Deji Olayiwola, Kayode Olaosebikan, Idowu Sodobe, Adunbi Ayodele, Babatola Ogundana and Ayeni Abiola.
* Wole Olujobi, reporting from Omuo, Aisegba and Ado-Ekiti