How Fayemi led Ekiti APC, Buhari to trounce PDP
Call it ‘vote buying’ or what you may, or even election malpractice or federal cum state might, Fayemi repeated what he achieved in the July 2018 governorship election when he dusted the candidate of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Professor Olusola Eleka.
The governor led Ekiti All Progressives Congress (APC) to successfully corner the three senatorial districts, the six seats of the House of Representatives and the presidential election for President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, there were insinuations that beyond what happened on the surface, there were other factors that helped Fayemi to rout the electoral machineries of PDP in the state.
While declaring the results across the three senatorial districts yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Prince Dayo Adeyeye of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of Ekiti South Senatorial District election, former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele as winner of Ekiti Central Senatorial District election, and Olubunmi Adetunmobi as winner of Ekiti North Senatorial District.
Bamidele, who was in the lower chambers of the National Assembly between 2011 and 2015, scored a total of 94,279 to trounce PDP candidate, Obafemi Adewale who polled a total of 48,707.
INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Laide Lawal, announced Adeyeye who defeated PDP candidate Biodun Olujimi as winner. While the winner scored 77,621 votes Olujimi polled a total of 53,741 votes
Apart from APC and PDP, the other parties that participated in the election were Democratic Alliance (DA), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN), NAC and others. The APC candidate won five out of the six local councils that make up the senatorial district.
Similarly, INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Sunday Abayomi Fasina, declared Senator Adetunmbi of APC the winner of Ekiti North Senatorial District poll. Adetunmbi polled 60,689 votes to defeat the incumbent Senator Duro Faseyi of PDP who recorded 49,209 votes.
However, the candidates of APC in both Ekiti South Constituency 1 and Ekiti North Constituency II, Yemi Adaramodu and Olarewaju Ibrahim were declared the winner with a wide margin of victory respectively. Adaramodu of APC emerged with a total number of 41864 as against the candidate of PDP, Mr. Segun Adekola who polled 24, 707.
While APC candidates in Ekiti North Constituency II, Olarewaju Ibrahim polled 29,388 votes against PDP flagbearer, Arch. Olusola Omotosho who had 23,684 votes. In the presidential poll, President Buhari had 219,231 to beat the former Vice President and candidate of PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who scored 154,032.
The polls were relatively violence-free throughout Ekiti State and appears to be free, fair and credible.
Fayemi, while hailing the peaceful conduct of polls in his state, urged the winners to be humble and remain grateful to God for the peaceful conduct of the exercise. He also expressed gratitude to Ekiti people for their peaceful conduct during the election, which he said made the exercise peaceful and orderly in the state.
Governor Fayemi spoke at Government House Chapel, Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, where he worshiped along with Prince Dayo Adeyeye (Senator-Elect for Ekiti Central District) and Hon. Sola Fatoba (member–Elect, House of Representatives Ekiti Central 1) and Prof. Dupe Adelabu, a former Deputy Governor of the state.
The governor, who recalled that the congregation had two weeks ago prayed for the peaceful conduct of the general elections in Ekiti State, said God had indeed answered the prayers of the people as the elections were held in a peaceful atmosphere.
He, however, sympathised with the families of victims of election violence as reported in some parts of the country, while urging Nigerians to always seek for peace at all times.
He urged winners in the election to be humble and focus on service delivery. He advised them to see their victory as a product of God’s grace and not as a result of their power or might.
According to him, “We have every reason to thank God for the peaceful conduct of the election in Ekiti State.
The elections held in a peaceful atmosphere in Ekiti. Validation by God and the people in itself is an admonition to continue to do good, and to exhibit generosity of spirit.”
While the polls were adjudged to be peaceful and orderly in Ekiti despite the volatile situation in the state a few weeks ahead of the exercise, The Guardian learnt that Fayemi did not leave any stone unturned as he successfully defined the means to cow identified notorious politicians and hoodlums and ensured they were kept out of circulation during the election.
In analysing the reason for the serene environment in Ekiti, a member of the Joint Task Force (JTF), which comprises of joint personnel from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Police, Civil Defence, Immigration and intelligence services, who craved anonymity, said the governor applied a proactive approach by ensuring that all known and notorious hoodlums who have been causing security breaches and murder of politicians in the state before the election were apprehended and kept in custody.
According to the source, “Over 200 combined armed personnel from the security agencies were deployed to Ekiti to arrest notorious criminals and election thugs.”
Another source in the ruling party also alleged that billions of naira were invested in the polls by the ruling party, adding that not less than N million was dispatched to each polling units to induce voters ahead of the exercise.
It would be recalled that the same method was to be adopted in Lagos when national leader APC, Bola Tinubu, openly urged supporters of the party to vote Buhari and come back to him for settlement.
But beyond the insinuations, the incumbent governor, who actually understands the politics of his state, having run its affair before now and also as a former federal minister, took advantage of the division in PDP to ascertain victory for his party.
Another reason Fayemi was said to have put everything in the election to ensure victory, not only for candidates of the senatorial and House of Representatives but particularly for Buhari, was as a result of the rivalry in Southwest APC.
With the development, the incumbent governor not only redeemed the bad reputation he suffered when immediate past governor, Ayo Fayose, defeated him as incumbent in 2014.
Now, he can also bask in the euphoria of being the godfather of Ekiti politics ahead of the 2023 political calculations.