2022 guber: Olanipekun blames Ekiti South political leaders for marginalization
A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, has blamed the politicians from the Ekiti South Senatorial District of Ekiti State for the alleged political marginalisation and misadventures of the zone in the state’s governance structure.
Olanipekun, who argued that the political leaders of southern extraction were architects of their political misfortunes, accused the leaders of being too timid to speak out for the zone in its quest to produce a governor.
He spoke in Ikere-Ekiti on Sunday during the annual Wole Olanipekun’s Christmas Carol against the backdrops of vociferous agitations for power shift to the south and allegations of political marginalisation of the zone in the state’s governance structure.
Recall that Ekiti South has not produced the governor of the state since 1996 that the state was created out of the old Ondo State whereas North and South had since been rotating the coveted seat between themselves.
The legal luminary attributed the alleged political misadventures of the district to the disunity among the ranks and files of its politicians who he said were working at cross purposes, thus, making the struggle to produce governor impossible.
Olanipekun, who was visibly embittered by the development, pointed fingers at some prominent politicians in the south who he called “midgets” for betraying the zone’s cause to mount the governorship seat in exchange for “political tokenism”.
He said that some Ekiti South politicians have made themselves willing tools in doing the dictates and biddings of those from the North and Central zones solely for their parochial and selfish interests.
“I pity those who say they are politicians from the Ekiti South. They want to play second fiddle because they think they are inferior. That is the way I see it. But if you say I want to be deputy governor and I want to play a second fiddle, then, they will treat you as a second fiddler.
“To me, I don’t blame the people from the North if you so-called politicians from the South feel inferior and they give them political tokenism and they will accept it. They see themselves as nugget and see those from the North and Central as the giants. And they behave like zombies”, he added.
He expressed displeasure that the zone had been relegated to the background in the state’s convoluted political equations despite its humongous electoral weight in terms of population, the calibre of political actors and the number of local government areas.
He regretted that the district which was reputed for being an anchorage of giants in all spheres of endeavours has become a laughing stock in the politics of Ekiti and victim of political chicaneries since the beginning of the state’s democratic journey.
Olanipekun stated that fairness, equity and justice demanded the plum position should be the turn of Ekiti South in the next political dispensation, adding that the marginalisation must stop to foster the indivisibility and homogeneity of the state.
“I am a lawyer and I thank God for what He has done for me but assuming Obasanjo did not become the president for two-term of eight years how would we, the Southwest feel. Look at what happened in 1999, when the two leading parties yielded the tickets to Obasanjo and Falae both from the Southwest.
“To me, whether you are APC, PDP, APGA or YPP they should say this time around the Ekiti South should produce the next governor come June 18, 2022. You see I hate cheating and God doesn’t even like it. When you look at your Bible after the people of God entered the promised Land and Moses was trying to share the land, he started with all the tribes.
“So, what are we talking about the power shift to the South come 2023 if we can’t practice what we are agitating against right from our home. We must not allow Ekiti state to become a state of landlord and tenant that some people are tenants and others landlords. Everyone is equal”, Olanipekun said.
He called on Ekiti South political leaders irrespective of party affinity to close rank and work together to actualise the zone’s cause, adding that the age-long jinx can only be broken with unity of purpose and togetherness.
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