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Ekiti 2022: Battle over who takes over from Fayemi gathers momentum

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Kayode Fayemi

By Olusesan Laoye

With the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s June 18 2022 date for the governorships election in Ekiti State, the battle for who succeeds the incumbent, Dr. Kayode Fayemi is daily gathering momentum, as gladiators for the plum position are increasing by the day.

As expected, the hot contenders jostling for the ticket of their political parties are more in the two leading political parties, of the All Progressives Congress(APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

With the latest count, 17 aspirants have declared their intentions, for the governorship ticket in PDP, while the list in the APC are also endless, since that is the party that is heavily factionaized in the State.

This was evident in all the congresses held in the state recently as there were parallel ward, local government and State Congresses, which have been subject of litigations and yet to be resolved.

What has made the governorship contest glamorous and interesting, this time around, was the entrance of numerous women, a situation which has never happened before.

In fact, it was said that Ekiti State is Making history to have recorded 9 nine women this time around, bold enough to come out to challenge men in the governorship contest.

Although there had been women contenders in the past, even for the Presidency, the figure has never been this high, as it was recorded in the Ekiti PDP for the governorship.

With this, it was said that the Ekiti governorship race has taken a new dimension and peradventure one of them wins the ticket of the party, there is likelihood of Ekiti being the first to produce a female governor in Nigeria.

The bold move by Ekiti women led by Senator Abiodun Olujimi has made the contest highly competitive and the political atmosphere very hot, therefore this makes the search for Fayemi’s successor to be a serious matter.

Al those who have come out are projecting themselves as capable to drive Ekiti State beyond what Fayemi is doing at the moment. As such, they have been saying and doing things for the people to show that they meant business.

The governorship issue in Ekiti State over the years, has been an open contest and not based on zoning. Since the State was created, all the geopolitical zones have been coming out and this has made the Ekiti Central and the North to dominate the seat at the expense of the South, now clamouring that for fairness, equity and Justice, it is high time for the zone to come on board.

This was the argument during the first and second terms of both Former Governor Ayodele Fayose and the incumbent Kayode Fayemi who are from the Central and the North Senatorial zones of the state.

Since the State, was ushered into political and democratic governance, the central had ruled for 12 years. Four years of the first civilian governor, Niyi Adebayo and eight years of Ayodele Fayose. The North had almost four years of Engineer Segun Oni and the eight years that will be completed next year 2022 by Kayode Fayemi.

The argument therefore, is that the Ekiti South Senatorial District has been marginalized and that should be the reason why, the governorship be allocated to Ekiti South, without any controversy.

But right now, all those who have come out in both the PDP and APC are from the three zones. As one of the political leader in the State and former Deputy Governor, Chief Abiodun Aluko said, the next governorship should be zoned to Ekiti South Senatorial district “because they too has very competent people who can rule successfully in Ekiti State.”

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Going by what is happening in the states, apart from the zoning issue, there were other factors that would come into play to determine who rules the State next.

The factors are leaderships, tussle and infighting in the parties.

For instance, in APC, the likes of Babafemi Ojudu, Dayo Adeyeye and loyalists, who are in SWAGA are fighting with Governor Fayemi and don’t believed in his leadership.

They are ready to tow a different line. and if the rifts between them and that of Fayemi’s group are not resolved, the Party my end up producing two candidates.

The issue in PDP is with a slight difference, their own is not too deep because right now, the PDP in the state regard themselves as one, but in a power tussle as to who gets what. All the leaders are working on their own and after their separate political interests.

The Senator Abiodun Olujimi, Engineer Segun Oni, Ayodele Fayose, and professor Olusola Eleka among others, are working separately for the ticket of the party. I was however believed that at the end of the day, since they are working for the same goal of pushing APC out, they would close ranks and arrive at a consensus arrangement, which is likely to favour the South Senatorial District of the State that has been crying of being marginalized.

However, hot contenders in the two political parties are

APC:
Olawale Fapohunda, Femi Bamisile, Makinde Araoye, Ademola Popoola

PDP:
Former Governor Segun Oni, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, former Deputy Governor to Fayose, Professor Olusola Eleka, Kayode Adaramodu and Otunba Bisi Kolawole, said to be backed by Fayose.

Although in the SWAGA group, there were speculations that the Senior Special Assistant on political matters to the President Babafemi Ojudu is interested in the governorship, it is not also sure whether he too, has obtained his nomination form like others in both APC and the PDP who have openly shown their intentions.

At any rate, it was argued that since the nomination has not yet closed, more people would still come out from both parties.

Commenting on the governorship, in the state, Senator Olujimi said that he was coming out to bail Ekiti State out of the woods. She said she is well prepared for the job.

She was optimistic that the PDP at the end of the day would come out with an experienced and capable candidate to kick APC out of the state.

Also Ekiti State, Coordinator of APC Youth for Continuity, Mr Alade Emmanuel has said that Governor Kayode Fayemi will support every legitimate process that will guarantee free, fair and hitch-free primary in the All Progressives Congress.

He debunked the rumour that governor Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, are determined to impose a candidate, by “muzzling and arm twisting other interested aspirant”

He pointed out that Fayemi is a strong advocate and believer in justice, fair play and the rule of law and won’t take any step that would muzzle anyone or pose in manners that would circumvent or short circuit the laid down standards set by APC.

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Meanwhile, high-wired politicking are currently going on, in the State, generating waves in all the political parties, as the people are very keen and eager to know those who will come out in the primaries to represent their parties.

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