In an interview with journalists in Ibadan at the weekend, Shittu boasted that he’s the only aspirant, who could win the gubernatorial poll for the party, adding that once he gets the governorship ticket, all the political heavyweights who have defected to the opposition would return to the fold.
“I cannot but assure you that once I get the ticket of the party for the governorship election, that all these members who have left will certainly come back into the APC fold. I can conclude with all sense of responsibility and humility that as the APC stands today, I am the only aspirant who can win for APC, Oyo State in the general election.
“I can assure you that if I am able to get the ticket of the party, like I have told our leaders, APC in Oyo State has only two options: either I get the ticket or the party loses to the opposition, and since I enjoy the confidence of the generality of our people in Oyo, I will be able to win the state over for the party. The only other option, I will say, although I stand to be corrected, by the election result when it comes, is that if I don’t get the ticket, then APC can forget about Oyo State. It is clear.
“You see, our people especially in Oke Ogun of Oyo State, feel so cheated. When the 2015 election was held, the people of Ibadanland who are the majority did not vote for Governor Abiola Ajimobi. They rather voted for Senator Rasidi Ladoja, my former boss.
“But, we in Oke Ogun, of the 10 local governments, nine voted massively for Ajimobi, and in appreciation of that when he was going round on a thank-you tour, he did promise Oke Ogun that, indeed, it was now their turn because they did what was so unthinkable; that they showed patriotism; they showed commitment to the success of APC.
“Unfortunately, after he had won, it would appear that he is reneging on that commitment. All our people are waiting to see what will unfold and so consequently, I am restating that if I get the ticket of APC for the governorship election, I am 90 percent sure that APC will win Oyo State. If I don’t get the ticket, no other person of the current aspirants of the APC can deliver Oyo State for APC.”
Shittu, who is a member of a breakaway faction of the party in the state, APC Unity Forum, however, said he would never leave the party, but would fight within to ensure justice and internal democracy in the party.
“I concede to the fact that those who left for African Democratic Congress (ADC) had good reasons to do so, particularly because when the then leadership of the party messed us up as members of the ‘Unity Forum’ then, one expected the leadership of the party to take a proactive step of bringing all of us together and discuss with us. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
“So, those who left had good reasons to leave because of the clear injustices that were meted out to us. A lot of the people who left were members of the House of Assembly and the National Assembly.
They still have aspirations and with what happened at that time, it seemed as if they were at the end of the road.
“Of course, I too have my ambition, but I believe as a strong fighter who will not run from fighting, I believe in fighting for justice within the system, and that was what took me to court to fight for justice.
“So, I am still a member of the party and I will remain a member of the party under President Muhammadu Buhari. And I am very confident that I and others who remain, will triumph,” he said.