The All Progressives Congress, APC, Deputy National Chairman (South), Olusegun Oni, has denied holding secret meetings with leaders of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to achieve his 2018 gubernatorial ambition in Ekiti.
Mr. Oni, also a former governor of Ekiti, said his while addressing a news conference in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday.
He said that he had never had a one-on-one with the PDP National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi, in his life.
He also denied holding any secret meetings with Governor Ayodele Fayose at any hotel in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Oni was reacting to rumours that he was holding secret meetings to discuss the possibility of crossing over to the PDP to realise his 2018 gubernatorial ambition.
Mr. Oni had recently declared his intention to contest the next gubernatorial seat in the state, as the tenure of the current administration will end in October, 2018, while the election is expected to hold by mid-2018.
He decried what he called “attacks from within” by those allegedly uncomfortable with his ambition to vie for the governorship seat next year.
He alleged that some people had been assigned to pull him down by all means, saying the alleged attacks were only making him become more popular.
Mr. Oni, who said he was not desperate to become governor again, stressed that the fate of all aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket would be decided by delegates at the party’s primary.
He also denied holding any meeting with the PDP National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi, in Ifaki-Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area.
The former governor urged his supporters and the people of the state not to believe the rumour and hate campaign being mounted against him by people he described as “faceless individuals” on the social media.
He said that such rumours would not distract him, but make him to be more focused on selling his ideas on how he intended to make Ekiti better to the electorate
“Some individuals have written a petition against me to the party’s national secretariat demanding that I step down immediately as Deputy National Chairman (South).
“But, it is like these individuals have forgotten that the party’s constitution allows me to remain in that post until one month before the primaries.
“The attacks are from within the party and most of them are coming from the social media, but I am not bothered at all because whatever that will be good will be rough initially.
“I am very much aware that some people have been given the assignment to pull me down, but I put my trust in God and at the end, good will triumph over the evil.
“I want to say categorically that I will not be discouraged.
“Anybody who does not want Oni will either contest against him or support any aspirant. I am not desperate to be governor, and I will leave (my post) when the (party) constitution says I should leave.
“By saying that I met Fayose in a hotel in Lagos and Makarfi in my house in Ifaki-Ekiti, these people are over-rating me and I feel honoured.
“The last one-on-one I had with Gov. Fayose was a day after Gen. Adebayo was buried when I brought the invitation from the Borisade family to officially notify him of his demise and to also congratulate him on the honour done Baba Adebayo.
“I have never had a one-on-one with Makarfi and if they are saying he was in my home, I feel honoured.
“Those saying this have nothing to sell, but I have told my people not to abuse or attack anybody; if they have the product that is sellable, they should continue to sell it,” he said.