Three women and 14 men have so far obtained expression of interest and nomination forms as governorship aspirants on the platform of Peoples’ Democratic Party in Ekiti State.
Findings by a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday showed that the figure increased from initial 12 aspirants to 17 at the midnight of Monday.
Each of the aspirants paid a non-refundable sum of N11 million, being cost of expression of Interest and nomination form respectively.
But the amount was waived for women, who paid only N1 million to the coffers of the party.
With the latest development, 22 aspirants among 39 previously jostling to become candidate of the party might have technically opted out of the race, since the closing date for forms expired on Monday.
Mr Femi Omolusi, spokesperson of the Chairman of the party in the State, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe ,confirmed the figure to NAN.
Names of those who were able to beat the deadline from the Southern Senatorial District of the State were given as: former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Bode Olowoporoku, former Nigerian Ambassador to Canada, Chief Dare Bejide and Sen. Gbenga Aluko.
Others from the District are former deputy Governor in the state. Abiodun Aluko, Bisi Omoyeni, former Afenifere spokesperson, Mr Dayo Adeyeye and Chief Ropo Ogunbolude.
Those from the Central Senatorial District are former Gov. Ayo Fayose, immediate past Police Affairs Minister, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, former Personal Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr Bodunde Adeyanju, Alhaja Habibat Adubiaro, Chief Reuben Famuyibo and Mrs Bola Olojede.
The aspirants from the North Senatorial District are Dr Peter Obafemi, Mr Wale Aribisala, Mrs Bosede Bamisaye and Mr Deji Ajayi.
NAN reports that the party had equally fixed March 15, as the date of its primaries.
Meanwhile, former Gov. Ayo Fayose has vowed not to leave the PDP for another party again, even if he loses the party’s ticket to another person in the primary.
He said his pre-occupation was to see PDP takes over power from the ruling APC on June 21, date of the governorship election in the state.