The governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State was a huge success Tuesday, May 8, 2018 as it ended peacefully. No one expected it.
Deputy to the incumbent Governor Ayodele Fayose, Professor Kolapo Eleka Olusola, will be the flagbearer of the party, having defeated his close rival, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, a former minister of state for works during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Unlike the primary of All Progressive Congress (APC), which ended in fiascoes, PDP comport itself by holding a rancour-free election.
That has sent a strong signal to the people of the state, and the entire country as a whole as the state prepares for Governorship Election July 14, 2018.
Number of accredited delegates was 2,086, only 1,968 were eligible after others were disqualified. Seven votes were voided.
Eleka scored 1,190 votes, while Mr. Adeyeye got 771 votes.
One of the contestants Senator Biodun Olujimi, who is also senate’s deputy minority whip at the National Assembly had stepped down, thereby rooting support for Adeyeye.
It’s a political calculation targeted at defeating Fayose’s annoited man. Adeyeye and Olujimi with their supporters were said to have met in an undisclosed location in Ekiti before Tuesday.
That didn’t stop Eleka from emerging the winner, and flagbearer of the party.
Adeyeye’s performance, despite defeat, has received accolades from across the state considering the fact that Eleka got the unquantifiable support of his boss, Fayose.
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who was the chairman of the primary committee commended the maturity both contestants played before and after the election.
“By the power vested in me as the Returning Officer, I hereby return Professor Kolapo Olusola as the duly nominated gubernatorial candidate of the PDP for Ekiti State governorship election, having scored the highest number of votes cast in this election.”
“I want to congratulate Professor Kolapo Olusola for his victory, I wish him well.
“If you think this exercise was not peaceful, just look back and examine what happened in the past.”
“Just before the commencement of voting, Senator Olujimi stepped down and this reduced the number of contestants to two.”
“It was a very tough contention and just before Adeyeye left the hall, he came to tell me he was satisfied with the conduct of the exercise.
“I thank the members of the panel and PDP NWC for reposing confidence in us.”
The man, Kolapo Eleka Olusola, who has 50-50 chance of becoming the next number one in Ekiti was elated after the election. He’s a professor at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
In his speach, he said:
“I want to thank the doggedness of my co-contestant, Prince Adeyeye. History will have it that he put in his best for a better Ekiti.
“I am determined to move Ekiti forward by sustaining those legacies that were started by our amiable governor.
“We are aware of the plans of the interlopers who wanted to grab power through the backdoor. Whether they like it or not, we shall give them another 16-0 again with the support of Ekiti people.
“I thank Governor Fayose for standing firm behind me despite all odds, I shall eternally be grateful to you for this love.”
What does it mean for Fayose?
Governor Fayose, who has been described as controversial in the state and Nigeria, is definitely the man of the moment.
He has sent a strong signal to the entire state and APC in Ekiti that the battle ahead is for real. Fayose knows the implications of having his own anointed candidate “installed” as a successor.
Infobase.com.ng reported Saturday, May 5, 2018 how Fayose mocked APC primary, which ended without result, and was postponed indefinitely, the heavyweights of the APC has picked another date though.
While APC was holding its primary in Ado-Ekiti, the governor had his ears on the ground back home while he surprisingly stormed a PDP Mega Rally in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
At Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, venue of the meeting, Fayose was quoted as saying, “I’m a stakeholder in Ekiti. If there’s no limit to number of term a governor can rule, I’ll rule Ekiti again.”
He may be a politician, but Fayose has a unique way of sending powerful message for his political rivals.
Before the last election that brought him into office, he confidetly said he’d rule Ekiti again. Some people called him a joker, but he sent an incumbent Governor, Kayode Fayemi, packing.
Before yesterday, it was speculated that the national body of his party was not happy with him for single handedly “raising hands” of his deputy as the “next” governor of the state.
His choice of his duty is hinged on two things:
1) To have a firm grip on the structure of the party in the state
2) To continue to be in government, that’s according to his critics.
The second isn’t peculiar to Fayose alone, it’s the number wish of all state governors in Nigeria who have ruled for eight years.
But there could be more to that.
The selection of Eleka by Fayose is strategic
1) Eleka hails from Ikere, second largest town after Ado. Some indigenes of the town (Ikere) have even pointed out that the town is bigger than Ado in terms of land mass.
2) Fayose had issues with one of the traditional rulers in Ikere, where his deputy hails from.
If Fayose picked another candidate outside Ikere, it’d be a total failure for him both in the primaries and the MAIN Governorship Election in July.
Fayose, by his decision , has thrown the coins to Ikere people, most of who are angry with him over his handling of traditional title in the state.
Ethnicity played a major role in political decision of electorates during elections in Nigeria.
The question for Ikere people will now be: “Should we vote against our own son?
Fayose had also be quoted as urging Olusola Eleka to do all he could to win the forthcoming election.
Should we vote against our own son?
They will decide in July 14 Governorship Election.
But we do know that Fayose has shown APC that he’s in control of Ekiti, and APC will have to do more to push Fayose out of office.
Political analysts say APC might rely on Federal Power. But Fayose, popularly called Osokomole” is gathering all machineries to prove to his critics that he’s in charge.
Infobase will continue to keep you updated.
What’s your takes on the conduct of the primaries in Ekiti?