Published On: Sun, Jul 15th, 2018

Ekiti poll: How Fayemi outsmarted Fayose, PDP

 

From SESAN LAOYE, Ado-Ekiti

Less than two months before Saturday’s governorship election day in Ekiti State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) candidate, Prof. Olapo Olusola, held a clear lead in the polls and it looked like his campaign was trying to run up the score — just as the race was about to turn upside down.

Fayemi vs Fayose
Photo Credit: dailypost.ng

On Monday, July 2 — with 8 days left to the election — the campaign trail of the PDP blasted out a warning that the All Progressives Party (APC) and its candidate in the poll, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, would be crushed, as a prelude to the final and ultimate push for the presidency in 2019.

They had every right to be confident.

The result of a survey by the nation’s leading pollster, NOIP, had showed Prof. Olusola leading Fayemi by nearly 20perecnt, while polls conducted by most media houses also gave the election the PDP. Only few gave a verdict of ‘too close to call’.

In retrospect, however, the race was never as stable as predicted. A contest featuring perhaps the two most popular candidates in the history of governorship campaigns in Ekiti (Fayemi and Fayose), made the political terrain unpredictable — and more susceptible to sudden shifts.

At the end of the day, the candidate of the APC, Kayode Fayemi, emerged winner of the contest by defeating his closest challenger, Prof. Kolapo of the PDP by 197,459 to 178,114 votes. None of the other 33 candidates had up to 10,000 votes.

He was declared winner in the early hours of Sunday by the chief returning officer of the election, Idowu Olayinka, a professor and vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan.

While declaring Fayemi the winner of the election, the returning officer said he (Fayemi) had satisfied the requirements of the law to be declared governor-elect of Ekiti State.

“I certify that John Olukayode Fayemi of the APC has satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes and hereby declared go While declaring Mr Fayemi the winner of Saturday’s election, the Returning Officer, Idowu Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, on Sunday said Mr Fayemi had satisfied the requirements of the law to be declared governor-elect of Ekiti State.

“I certify that John Olukayode Fayemi of the APC has satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes and his hereby declare governor-elect.”

Fayemi won in 12 of the 16 local government areas in the state while Olusola won in four local governments.

The local governments won by Fayemi include Ekiti West, Ekiti South West, Ekiti East, Ise Orun, Ikole, Gboyin, Ijero, Moba, Ilejemeje, Oye, Irepodun/Ifelodun and Ido Osi local governments.

Other results declared by Olayinka include Accord, 250;  Action Alliance, 41;  ACD, 1149; AD, 216;  ADB, 1082;  ADA, 107;  AGAO, 31; ANRP, 125;  APA, 1199;  and APDA, 464.

Also declared were  APGA, 70;  ANPP, 14;  DA, 14;  DPC, 147;  DPP,181;  FJP, 42;  GPN, 20;  I.D, 31;, KOWA, 23;  LP, 280;  MMN, 35;  MPN, 23;  NDLP, 44;  NPC, 353  PANDEL, 74;  and PGC, 1242.

Others are DPA, 632;  PPN, 107;  SDO, 367;  UDP, 29;  UPN, 33;  YDP, 31 and YPP, 49.

A total of 403,451 votes was cast with 384,594 valid votes. A total of 18,857 votes were rejected.

The election witnessed pockets of violence and ballot box snatching. But the incidents, according to observers, fell short of the fears and concerns raised just before the election.

However, there was large-scale vote-buying by supporters of the two major political parties.

The results of the election mark a remarkable rebound for Fayemi, who as the incumbent governor, was roundly defeated four years ago by Fayose.

In his acceptance speech, the governor-elect of Ekiti, Dr Kayode Fayemi, described his victory in Saturday’s governorship election as one “for reclaiming the land and restoring Ekiti values.”

Fayemi spoke on Sunday while addressing the newsmen in Isan-Ekiti shortly after he was declared the winner of the governorship election.

“The victory of this election, I believe, is for reclaiming the land and restoring the values of our people. Our values in Ekiti are respect for our leaders, commitment to our people, non-brigandage,  non-criminality and so on.

“This victory is a victory for all, it is not a victory for only Gov. Kayode  Fayemi, it is a victory for all the Ekiti people.”

Fayemi also described his victory as  significant to the future of democracy in Nigeria.

“This was just not an Ekiti election, I want people to understand that this election has a lot of significance to the future of democracy in Nigeria.

“The fact that we have witnessed a free, fair and transparent election process  has huge importance for similar exercises  like Osun State next door to  us and eventually the national elections in February 2019,” he said.

The  governor-elect  thanked all the APC leaders, including President Muhammadu Buhari, National Leader of the APC,  Sen. Bola Tinubu; former governor of Ogun, Chief Segun Osoba; former interim Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande,  as well as  party leaders in the state.

He also thanked his family members, especially his wife, Bisi, for their support  during the election campaign.

Fayemi is expected to take over from the incumbent, Mr Ayo Fayose,  on Oct. 16, 2018.

Fayose loses local govt

The APC candidate, Fayemi,  emerged victorious in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area.

He polled 13,869 votes in the local government of the outgoing governor, Ayodele Fayose. The PDP had 11,456 votes.

Even though the PDP won in Fayose’s polling unit and ward, the votes in other wards were not enough to secure victory for his party in his local government.

The local government has 11 wards and results from each ward were collated at the headquarters of INEC situated in Igede. A total of 66,162 electorates are registered in the local government while 27,306 were accredited.

Of the 27,211 votes cast, 25,849 were valid while 1362 were rejected. Only party agents of APC and PDP present at the centre signed the result at 11:06p.m.

NBC shuts down Ekiti broadcasting commission over fake results

The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC has ordered the immediate shut down of Ekiti Broadcast Service for breaching provisions of the Broadcasting Code.

The commission took the decision to curb the continued breach of the Electoral Act and the Broadcasting Code on Political Broadcast.

The commission was irked by the unauthorized declaration of results by the state governor, Ayo Fayose,  in the state broadcast station.

This is after he went on air to make malicious and unsubstantiated comments against INEC, the Police and the SSS. According to NBC, the station will remain shut down until further notice

How the election was won and lost

Though, the ground began to move under the incumbent deputy governor of the state, who was hoping to succeed his boss, Ayodele Fayose, who had campaigned vigorously for him, the real tale was how preceding events turned a race that seemed out of reach on July14 into an upset decided by a total of 19,345 votes in several states. To tell that story, Business Hallmark was in Ekiti to investigate the underlying volatility of the race, combined with the way the final days unfolded and produced a most unexpected result.

Crack in PDP

Unlike in the PDP where aggrieved aspirants and party members angered by the alleged imposition of the deputy governor on them by Fayose, APC contestants demonstrated accepte defeat by congratulating Fayemi.

“We all won,” said Bamisile, former Speaker of the House of Assembly, who called for unity and cohesion. We haven’t got to the finish line. We have a great assignment ahead, so that we can secure victory against the PDP and other contending parties,” has said after the primaries of the APC.

However, the PDP primary generated bitterness, although only Olusola, who polled 1,191, and former Minister of State for Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, contested. Adeyeye, who got 771 votes, discredited the supposedly free and fair contest, saying that delegates were induced. He later decamped to the APC. Fayose, who did not managed the crisis well, dismissed his vituperation as the ranting of an ant. He said the PDP will win without the former PDP caretaker publicity secretary and other aggrieved parties like senators, house of reps members and others who left the PDP. National leaders of the party tried to reconcile the aggrieved with the governor without success.

Fayose’s clash with Ikere monarch

One of the reasons why the PDP candidate lost the election, it was learnt, could also be the fallout of a fight between the governor and the traditional ruler of Ikere, The monarch had rejected the emergence of Olusola as the town’s candidate and in the process incurred the wrath of Fayose. He was allegedly detained on trumped up murder charges which infuriated his subject and other traditionalists in the state.

Fear of third-term (Godfatherism)

Another major factor that played a part in the loss of the PDP candidate is the fear that the governor is trying to come back through the back-door by imposing his own ‘puppet’. The deputy governor was not able to extricate himself from the toga of a weakling before the election held on Saturday, with many voters deciding to vote for an ‘independent’ candidate.

Federal might

Not a few believe that the election probably offers President Muhammadu Buhari the best opportunity to pay Fayose back in his own coin for perhaps being the most vocal critic of his administration. The governorship poll was therefore viewed by some people as a ‘proxy war’ between the President and the Ekiti State governor.

BH gathered that Buhari did everything possible to clip the political wings of Fayose who has never hidden his hatred for the APC-led administration.

Buhari and Fayose’s political differences started during the electioneering that preceded the 2015 presidential poll as the Ekiti governor threw his weight behind his party’s candidate, former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Fayose had described Buhari then as unfit to be Nigeria’s president and gone to the extent of publishing controversial advertisements in some national dailies, questioning the health status of President Buhari. Even after Buhari won the 2015 presidential election, Fayose did not stop being one of the most unrepentant critics of the President’s administration.

Money

Another factor that largely decided the election is money. Both at the parties’ primaries and the general election, the candidates and parties deployed massive funds to buy votes. It was garthered that the APC outspend the PDP. While APC allegedly gave out between N1,000 and N4,000 to induce voters, APC, it was observed share at least N5, 000 to voters. Vote buying was done in the full glare of security agents.

Security

The massive deployment of security personnel comprising the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Units, Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), the Special Protection Unit (SPU), the Anti-Bomb Squad (EOD), Conventional Policemen, the Armament Unit, personnel of FCIID and the Sniffer dogs section, and the military, to a very large extent, worked in the favour of APC. Many supporters of the PDP, particularly their alleged thugs were arrested and detained before and during the election, while those belonging to the APC reportedly had a field day.

Fayose’s foot soldiers, transport unions (Okada, tricycle, buses, trucks) members were monitored and incapacitated by security personnel who denied them access to election centres.

Nigerians react

Ekiti people have spoken loud – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated his former Minister of Mines and Steel Development,  Dr.  Kayode Fayemi, on winning the Ekiti State governorship election held on Saturday.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President commended the All Progressives Congress’ candidate and all party supporters for what he described as his hard-fought victory after a dignified campaign.

“In all this, the people of Ekiti State have spoken loud and clear, and democracy has won again,” the President said.

Buhari urged the governor-elect and APC members to be magnanimous in victory as the incoming administration prepares to unfold a new lease of life for the people of the state through purposeful and responsible governance.

He commended the people of the state for their matured and peaceful conduct as they made their choice using the power of the ballot.

The president also lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission for adequate preparations and for displaying impartiality throughout the process.

He applauded security agencies for creating the right atmosphere for the relatively peaceful conduct of the polls and urged them to sustain the peace.

Buhari also commended local and international observers and monitors for their vigilance and contributions towards the relatively hitch-free exercise.

A former Delta State governor and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, also congratulated Fayemi on his victory.

“Congrats to my friend,former colleague and co-director at the NIPP, Gov Kayode Fayemi”.

The message on the Facebook wall of the former Delta state governor, who administered the state from 2007-2015, is likely to cause murmuring in the Delta state PDP, amidst report that he is planning to defect to the APC.

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