No fewer than 259 aspirants have so far declared their interests in Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly seats, in the forthcoming 2019 general elections in Ekiti.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prospective candidates would contest for the three senatorial seats, six House of Representatives’ seats and 26 seats in  the State House of Assembly come 2019.

NAN observes that no fewer than 40 persons are currently seeking the nod of their various political parties for the national and state assembly seats from the five most visible parties in the state.

The number of aspirants is expected to increase as the build-up to the 2019 polls continues to gather momentum.

The prominent parties in the state are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LP), MEGA Party, Accord Party (AP) and the Peoples Party of Nigeria, (PPN).

Many of the aspirants under the platforms of the parties had already flooded Ado Ekiti and other major towns of Ikole-Ekiti; Ikere-Ekiti; Ijero-Ekiti; Emure-Ekiti; and Ifaki-Ekiti, with their campaign billboards, handbills and posters.

The aspirants include: Senators Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, Biodun Olujimi, Ayo Arise and Olubunmi Adetumbi.

Also, the former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Bar Association, (NBA), Mr. Obafemi Adewale and a former member of the House of Representatives,  Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele had indicated their interests.

Others are the former chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state, Mr Tai Oguntayo; a former Chief of Staff in the state, Chief Yemi Adaramodu; and the former Special Adviser on Documentation in the state, Hakeem Jamiu.

The list also include: Dr Segun Osinkolu, Mr. Demola Oladaiye and Mr  Abayomi Lostay, among others.

Opeyemi Bamidele who was a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, told NAN that he was in the senatorial race.

He said that this was because the people of Ekiti Central Senatorial District considered him worthy of the office.

Also, Sen. Ayo Arise said he was the best for the job of representing the people of Ekiti North Senatorial District, considering his previous experience in the senate, business background and track record.

Also, Tai Oguntayo, the former NUJ chairman, who is at present the chairman of the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA), said that he planned to bring his vast experience in unionism and public service into the legislative chamber in the state assembly.

Oguntayo was also a former Secretary to Ekiti West Local Government.

The chairman of PPN in the state, Chief Dare Adekolu, confirmed to NAN that many of his patyu members were, indeed, interested in one elective post or the other.

According to him, the party has no problems with the number of aspirants, saying it shows how democratic a party can be in accommodating all shades of opinions and aspirations.

Adekolu said the INEC had directed that the political parties must conduct their primaries between September and October.

He said the outcome of such primaries would determine who would become the flag bearers of the various parties during the 2019 general elections.

NAN reports that the parties in the state had kept the names of their presidential aspirants close to their chests.

However, the state governorship election was concluded on July 14 with the emergence of Dr John Kayode Fayemi as the governor-elect. (NAN)

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