Senator Babafemi Ojudu, an adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on political matters, has quit the Ekiti state governorship race.
Ojudu was one of the 33 aspirants in the aborted All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary on Saturday, May 5.
At a press conference in Ado-Ekiti today, he said he has decided to withdraw from the election because he does not want to be part of a mess, an election that has a predetermined end, skewed to favour just one aspirant.
The APC has rescheduled the election for Saturday.
I know some of you are in shock that we are withdrawing from the race.
I know many of you are surprised that we didn’t have a chance to debate our options as we have done on most issues since this journey began.
A lot was and is still in play. In due course, you will hear and understand the full story.
I came into this race to help in rescuing our state from poverty and years of poor administration. I did not come into this race to walk on the blood of others to become governor. I will never allow people to be maimed or killed just for a personal ambition. I am not desperate to be governor. I am desperate to rescue Ekiti people.
I am walking away from the race but I am not walking away from serving the people. If they will not allow Law and order to reign, we will let them hear the voice of the people.
We know where we are going, they’ve just made us take a detour. Please ignore the rumors out there. Very soon we will decide on our new course.
Thank you for all your support. But the journey continues. The real fight has just started. Ekiti will be rescued.
In an earlier statement, he said:
“From what has happened since May 5 to date, it goes without saying that this is an unfair contest where the National Working committee chairman has clearly demonstrated that he does not care what happens to our dear party now and in the nearest future. We saw a chairman who has conspired with one of the aspirants in the race to unleash mayhem on others, wreak havoc and violence on ordinary citizens and exposed the state to great embarrassment on national television. We saw an aspirant so unpopular to the extent that delegates called him unprintable names at the voting arena now being imposed on our people, not minding if this means we lose this state forever.
“We do not believe in engaging in an unfair contest and I am not ready to step on blood to get to power. As I have reiterated at different times in the course of the campaign, this was never about me. It was not about an ambition but a mission to give a new lease of life to Ekiti State and the people. It was about safeguarding the future of our children, our grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even generations yet unborn. There is no doubt that we all love this land, that everyone of you had best hopes and aspiration for this beautiful state we call ours and that above all, this state should wear a new look, be adorned with a new reputation and have a new image of itself.
“All my life, I have fought injustice and sought the good of the whole. Therefore, this injustice perpetrated against Ekiti people by the NWC Chairman cannot be allowed to stand. This is why the fight will continue, not as an aspirant but as a party reformer. As a leader and party chieftain, I will inspire a new generation of leaders – of young professionals, businessmen and technocrats to re-enter our politics and change this state. Only then can we have men and women of honour who will take Ekiti out of the wilderness and restore her to her pride of place.
“At the national level, I will continue to support Mr. President in ensuring party reforms. I will work hard to ensure that never again is our party thrown to desperate men who feed on monetary inducements and undermine their own party. This movement continues but I would be stepping down immediately as a governorship aspirant to focus on this new mission.”