Ekiti Election: Who Takes The Crown?

Ekiti Election: Who Takes The Crown?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 4:58 pm

On 21 June, the governorship election will hold in Ekiti State. At the end of the event, the incumbent governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Party, APC, will know whether he would retain his seat for the next four years or give way to Mr. Ayodele Fayose of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, a former governor who was impeached; Bamidele Opeyemi of Labour Party, LP, currently representing Ado-Ekiti/Irepodun-Ifelodun Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives; or any of the 17 other contestants.

Governo Fayemi


Dr. Fayemi, Mr. Fayose and Opeyemi at different fora have boasted of winning the all important election. While Fayemi is counting on his good works in the state in the past few years speaking for him, Fayose believes he is a populist and is on the promissory note of President Goodluck Jonathan, while Opeyemi seems to be banking on faith and goodwill.

According to Fayemi, “I am running on a track record of the last three years. If the election is by the people of Ekiti voting, I will win by 70 per cent.”

Fayose said, “I ousted Niyi Adebayo, the political godfather of Fayemi, so, it will not take me anything to oust Fayemi, a godson out of office. But I won’t ask the Federal Government for appointment if I fail to win this election. Let the Federal Government not consider me or any member of my family if I fail to send Fayemi packing.”



Opeyemi said, “I neither had the opportunity to govern the state before nor an incumbent factor, which tends to give both Governor Fayemi and former Governor Fayose the leverage and advantage, so to say. I have chosen not to work by sight. If I am to work by sight, I probably would have withdrawn from the race. However, I am working by faith, and this faith is driven by my conviction that someone is in charge, who is bigger than all of us.

“Secondly, it is a faith driven by conviction that by the grace of God, Ekiti State, at this point, needs a critical intervention. I am also convinced that I have the cognate experience and exposure to be able to provide the kind of leadership that is needed by a state in pain.

“Thirdly, I will emphasise that at the end of the day, what will matter the most will not be how much money any candidate can put on the table for this election. To an extent, I am trusting God that at the end of the day, integrity will count; issues will also count if we are able to make it a campaign of issues and ultimately, God will ensure that His will is done.”

Of utmost concern is that election has always been explosive in the state. This one seems not to be deviating from this trend as it has been characterised by series of violence. Just like the past elections, since the commencement of the political campaign and rallies, members of the opposing parties have been violently tackling one another, destroying posters and billboards, engaging in fisticuffsm freely using dangerous weapons and at times, claiming the lives of rival party members. One of such victims was Mr. Foluso Ogundare of Ekiti Bibire Collation, EBC, who was shot dead in Emure-Ekiti,  in Emure Local Government Area on 3 November 2013. Another, Mrs. Beatrice Ige, was shot but survived.

Also, some political hoodlums, on 24 May 2014, attacked some members of the media at Ikere-Ekiti during a campaign rally held by LP for its candidate, Opeyemi. Badly affected was the crew of African Independent Television, AIT, who were severely beaten and their vehicle and equipment badly damaged. Strongly condemning the attack, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Zone-B, described the event as a dangerous dimension to political development in Ekiti State. The union held that the political class in the state seemed not to have learnt anything from the country’s political history, especially Operation Wet ti e in the defunct Western Region.

The most recent attack was allegedly launched by PDP against APC. On Sunday 8 June, members of APC led by its state interim chairman, Chief Jide Awe, and Senator Babafemi Ojudu, representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District, were attacked by suspected PDP thugs and mobile policemen led by their commander, Selenkere Michael. The attack resulted in one death and several others seriously injured. According to information gathered, for more than an hour the mobile policemen shot in the direction of the governor’s convoy. Apologising later, the state commissioner of police, Mr. Felix Iyanna, who denied knowledge of his men misbehaving, claimed that he rushed down to the scene of the violence. Irked, Governor Fayemi replied, “You are here to protect me and your men were shooting at me. I am the Chief Security Officer of this state and your men were firing at me. You have killed someone now! You have killed someone! Whose interest are you protecting? Whose interest are you protecting?”

Many notable Nigerians have condemned the attack.

Proffering what needs to be done to ensure a crisis-free election, Governor Fayemi, in an interview with this magazine, urged the Federal Government never to think in any way of rigging the election, stressing that attempt to use federal might in any way to thwart the wishes of the people of the state will be massively and violently resisted. He said once no party attempted to rig, the election will be peaceful.

Professor Lanre Adebayo of Ekiti State University, EKSU, and Dr. Stephen Lafenwa of University of Ibadan, UI, are of the view that as long as politicians do not take the election as a do-or-die affair, it will be peaceful. Dr. Lafenwa said, “Why will anybody fight over election? Is it not about offering service and its acceptance or rejection? The politicians need to know that as long as they desist from imposing themselves on people, there will not be crisis. My appeal to all the stakeholders is that they should play the game according to the rules. They must desist from election malpractices and they must not endanger the lives of innocent Nigerians, especially their followers.”

Professor Adebayo urged security operatives not to be partial but be professional during the election, pointing out, “Security personnel have a great role to play. If they do their job well, they will be able to curtail crisis and nothing disastrous will happen.”

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