By OLUSESAN LAOYE
The All Progressives Congress(APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries have been held with the emergence of the their candidates for the coming June 2022 governorship, election, the frosty challenges created in both parties, in the State and generally in the country, are now creating more worries and apprehensions than imagined.
Just as it was predicted, two anointed candidates of the immediate past governor and the incumbent, emerged from the two leading political parties.
While Bisi Kolawole, who is the political anointed son of Mr. Ayodele Fayose emerged from PDP, against all odds and opposition from other members and aspirants, Biodun Oyebamiji, the former Secretary to the Ekiti State Government (SSG), under the incumbent governor Kayode Fayemi and who has been rumoured to be the favourite of the governor, picked the ticket of the APC; while in the same controversial manner, as that of his PDP counterpart.
The two primaries were alleged by other aspirants to be marred by irregularities, causing disenchantments and forcing other aspirants to back out from the primaries in the two parties.
The PDP primary, which was conducted with statutory list of delegates, generated issues just as that of the the APC, in which open option A4 direct primary was adapted.
The Akwa Ibom governor, Emmamuel Udom, was the Chairman of the PDP primary committee in Ekiti, while his counterpart in Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, was that of the APC.
The challenges before the conduct of the parties primaries began when there was infighting among the aspirants and their supporters.This also led to allegations of death threats on both sides.
In APC, Niyi Adedipe and Babafemi Ojudu who is the Special Adviser to the the President on political matters, accused governor Fayemi of threatening their lives over the governorship contest.
Also, the Dayo Adeyeye’s group accused the governor of sidelining all other aspirants to favour Oyebamiji. Although the grouse of Senator Opeyemi Bamidele and others who withdrew from the race at the last minute, was not centered on threats to their lives, it was based on fact that they believed that the primary, from the way the list of delegates was compiled, would not favour any other person than the anointed candidate of Fayemi, which they argued was doctored across the 177 wards, forming the 16 local governments in the State.
That of PDP, before the primary was the fight for supremacy among the aspirants and this led to the intervention of the National body of the party which made the Senator Biodun Olujimi and Fayose’s groups, to go into an accord of teaming up to produce both the candidate and running mate, either ways, depending on the group that gets the ticket.
At the last minutes, Olujimi and other aspirants withdrew from the race on grounds that the contest would not be free and fair, because the winner who is the favourite of Fayose has been predetermined.
It was on these note of disagreements here and there, that the two parties went into their primaries, which now opened up more issues to tackle.
The major crisis confronting both the PDP and the APC is where the candidates are from. Contrary to the expectations of the people of the state that the Ekiti South Senatorial district should produce the next governor because they have never been so opportune to, since 1999, that the state started democratic rule. Those who emerged from the two political parties are from Ekiti Central Senatorial District.
For the past years, the governorship has been rotating between Ekiti North and central. Niyi Adebayo, the first executive governor is from the Central, followed by Fayose, Central, Segun Oni from the North, Kayode Fayemi from the North as well; while Fayose who was sort of removed unceremoniously in the first term, came back to defeat Fayemi, He too came back to rule and he is about to complete his second term in office.
This scenario of both parties presenting their candidates from the central, has not gone down well with the people of the South Senatorial District of the State, and they have vowed never to receive the slot of a Deputy from any political party and their candidates.
It was argued that the only way the South could be pacified is for the parties to give them the position of the Deputy Governor, which they are unlikely to receive based on their stand.
The Ekiti Concern citizens organisation from the South had warned that the zone will not play a second fiddle to any other zone. The Chairman of the group Mr. Babalola said that any son or daughter of the South who picked the Deputy governorship position would be regarded as Judas Iscariot of Ekiti South.
He said they were serious about this and that the zone has been deliberately been edged out since 1999.
“Honesty one of the considerations the South gave to Fayemi for his second tenure when he came back was the fact that he promised to support us in the south during this election, but he at the end of the day let us down.”
With this, both parties, would have a big task in wooing the South to vote for them because the stand of the people is that they would not go back on what they have agreed upon as they saw Feyemi and Fayose as betrayals.
The arguement therefore, is what becomes the agreement reach between Fayose and Senator Olujimi. Will Olujimi who is from the South go back on the deal to follow her people or will she will go with the accord reached with Fayose.
It was also argued that Dr. Olusola Eleka who was Fayose’s Deputy, and other aspirants from the south in PDP and APC, who are now aggrieved to work for their parties or they would seek the platform to contest elsewhere or team up to produce a consensus candidate and work with others in the state who are sympathetic to their plight of being marginalized.
Already one of the aspirants from the South Senatorial district, Mr. Wole Oluleye angry with the APC has moved to the African Democratic Congress (ADC) to realise his ambition. It is however not yet clear and too early in the day to know if the people from the zone would queue behind him.
What the primaries have also opened up is a big political fight and supremacy battle between Fayemi and Fayose.This would determine the most powerful politically between them because both are presenting their favourites and would like to ensure that they fight to beat each other in the election. This will also determine the beginning of the conquest of the South west between the APC and the PDP.
As the National chairman of the PDP, Dr. Iyorcha Ayu, said, the Ekiti election “means a lot to the PDP and it will be the beginning of the party to take over the South West after which it will be the turn of Osun State. As such we would need the cooperation of all the stakeholders to work towards achieving this.”
Both Fayose and Fayemi have promised to deliver the governorship to their political parties, an indication that the contest would be a survival battle between the duo who have been arch rivals.