By Remi Koleoso
Ikere-Ekiti – An APC House of Representatives aspirant in Ekiti, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, on Friday announced his withdrawal from the race fews days before the party primaries.
Muyiwa, son of a former Governor of the old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, made his decision known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ikere-Ekiti shortly after the meeting of leaders and elders of the party.
He said that this was to pave way for Mr Kayode Babade, the immediate past Ekiti South Senatorial District Chairman of APC, to emerge as the sole aspirant from Ikere-Ekiti to contest the party primaries.
“My withdrawal is to allow Ikere-Ekiti people to stay united and speak with one voice to ensure victory at the poll,” he told NAN.
Babade is vying for the House of Representatives ticket of Ekiti South Federal Constituency 1 along with other aspirants from Ise/Orun and Ekiti South-West Local Government areas.
Olumilua said that the ticket should belong to Ikere-Ekiti, after it has been denied of the slot over the years, noting that two other council areas have had two terms each, with Ikere-Ekiti having just one.
He pledged to support Babade to ensure that he emerged as the candidate for the federal constituency seat at the party primaries.
“I am not under any pressure to step down; I just took the decision because I realised that Ikere-Ekiti has not been acting as a family when it comes to politics.
“It is, however, unfortunate that we still have people vying, especially from Ekiti South-West, Ilawe-Ekiti precisely, which I believe it is not fair, but this is democracy; we should still allow for a level play field.
“I realised that we need to put our House in order, so, this decision of mine is for Ikere people to put their house in order.
“If we continue to have two aspirants from Ikere-Ekiti, we will end up splitting the votes, that means we open our flanges to infiltration.
“If we all come together and stand behind an aspirant, the likelihood of winning is much higher than when we have many aspirants, that informed my decision, no pressure from anybody, “Olumilua said.
Going down the memory lane, he said: “There are three local government areas that made up the Federal Constituency, Ekiti South-West; Ikere and Ise/Orun; the two other local governments have had eight years each at the House of Representatives.
“Ikere-Ekiti was first to occupy that seat through Hon. Francis Aladejebi from 1999 to 2003, one term of four years; after him, we have Akindahunsi for eight years back-to-back from Ise/Orun.
“From there, it went to Ekiti South-West, where we had Dr Ifeoluwa Arowosoge and Mr Segun Adekola, making their eight years, we are now saying it is our turn in Ikere.”
Responding, Babade appreciated the team spirit of Olumilua.
According to him, his actions will forever be remembered in the history of Ikere-Ekiti, promising to do everything possible to attract the sympathy of other local governments at the primaries.
He urged members of the party and people of Ekiti to shun divisive tendencies and give maximum support to the governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, as he takes over affairs of the state on Oct. 6.
NAN reports that two other aspirants vying for the seat from Ilawe-Ekiti are Mr Yemi Adaramodu, former Chief of Staff to Fayemi during his first term and Mr Makinde Araoye.