Less than 48 hours after saying he was waiting on God for the choice of his successor, Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose may have settled for his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, as his successor.
Stakeholders in the state’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including party leaders, political office holders and supporters of Fayose, yesterday adopted Olusola as “the sole candidate” for the 2018 governorship poll.
At a meeting at the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the governor’s loyalists said adopting Olusola as the “PDP sole candidate” did not preclude other aspirants from competing for the party’s ticket at the primary.
Olusola, who was recently appointed Professor of Building Technology by Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) at Ile-Ife in Osun State, hails from Ikere-Ekiti in Ekiti South.
His adoption may have ended the governorship ambition of Senate Deputy Minority Whip Abiodun Olujimi; PDP’s national spokesman Dayo Adeyeye; former Deputy Governor Sikiru Lawal; former High Commissioner in Canada Dare Bejide and former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Owoseni Ajayi.
Olujimi and Adeyeye have resisted Fayose’s insistence that they drop their ambition.
Party sources said Fayose anointed Olusola after receiving a field report that his preferred candidate and former Commissioner for Works, Mr. Kayode Oso, “may not be sellable” to the electorate.
One of the sources said the governor briefed prominent indigenes of Ado-Ekiti, Oso’s hometown, including a prominent lawyer and a traditional ruler, at a meeting Tuesday night.
The source added that Fayose called a stakeholders’ meeting where he announced his decision to endorse Olusola.
The meeting was said to have been attended by 177 councillors, 177 ward chairmen, 16 local government party chairmen, 16 local council chairmen, chairmen and members of boards and corporations.
Others at the meeting include State Executive Council (Exco) members, House of Assembly members, serving and former members of PDP State Working Committee (SWC) and the ex-deputy governor.
A communique was issued at the end of the meeting.
After Olusola’s adoption, Oguntuase said the party’s organs would abide by the decision of the stakeholders in the interest of the party and people of Ekiti State.