Political pot in Ekiti state is steaming. Politicians from all political parties are adding pressure to it to have a delicious meal after July 14 governorship election. Many aspirants have fallen in the course of the journey, many left their political parties to seek greener pasture in another land. Friends of many years have turned arch-enemies over night, siblings are at loggerheads with one another over choice of candidates.
Although 35 candidates will be going to war, 913,334 registered voters, only 630,000 collected their permanent voters card (PVC), 2,195 polling units, 177 wards, 16 local government areas. Out of all the 35 candidates going to this battle, two voices have been loudest, two personalities have dominated public discourse and attracting media attention, they are the incumbent Governor Ayodele Fayose of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Kayode Fayemi. Both gladiators are going to battle with their lethal weapons.
They have brought their party leaders to the state to canvass for votes, to woo electorates for votes and to beg for votes. President Muhammadu Buahri and his vice Yemi Osinbajo appeared in Ekiti to support Fayemi. Fayose invited his Party leaders to sing sonorous lyrics to the hear of Ekitiketes for votes. The shout of Change and Continuity have dominated the scene depending which one anybody wants to dance.
Fayose is not contesting in this election but he will be the armour bearer for his anointed candidate and his deputy, Kolapo Olusola Eleka who will be slugging it at with Fayemi.
This election by observers has been tagged ”a replay of 2014 governorship election” in the state when Fayose unseated fayemi from office to stage a comeback to office after his 2006 controversial impeachment.
Fayemi with his slogan ”reclaiming our land” a story of his self believed sterling performance of 2010 to 2014 which promises to revive his policies and programmes. He has proved to Ekiti people that he is a change man by apologizing for mistakes of the first term, dropped his robe of academic, urbane and far from his people attitude and determined to finish his unfinished business in Ekiti state.
Campaigns have been devoid of developmental issues and both camps resulted into name callings, character assassinations and allegations. Fayose/PDP raised alarm of harassment, arrest and intimidation of party members with Wednesday alleged assault on him taking center stage. Fayemi/APC called him a man running away from his 2014 misdeeds and afraid of his shadow.
Stomach infrastructure that used to be synonymous with Fayose has been embraced by Fayemi to woo electorates. Fayemi shared rice and gift items in all 177 wards irrespective of political affinity. He also distributed fuel to all Okada riders to bring his supporters to his campaign.
Each camp has suffered pocket of attacks with accusing finger pointing at rival. An APC Willy Ayegoro was killed by suspected assassin in Igbehin area in Ado Ekiti. Gun attack that same day in a hotel owned by former APC governorship candidate Wole Oluyede same day. Ayo Ayodeji (Omo Ijoba) an APC member was shot dead around Ori-Omi in Ado Ekiti.
PDP has raised raised alarm of arrest of his members by security operatives working for APC. Stakeholders meeting having Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Momood Yakubu was disrupted by party supporters.
PDP candidate, Olusola Kolapo Eleka a university Don before he was picked as Fayose’s running mate in 2014 will be banking on his Ekiti south vote bloc for victory. This is the Zone that has been agitating for power.
He will also be relying on his boss, Fayose popularity and incumbency to coaster home victory. Fayose is a political enigma and colossal in the state which he gained from his down to earth attitude and political sagacity.
Eleka will have to contend with fund paucity in the state which has made the state civil servants being owed some months salary. This has been used by opposition to launch attack on the government.
All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Kayode Fayemi will be banking on support from the Federal Government. Governors, Ministers and Party leaders will rally round him financially and politically to emerge victory.
He will be using his achievements in his first four years to sway electorates to his side. Some of his contenders for the party’s ticket have been solidly behind him to emerge victorious. He has also received to his camp a former PDP governorship candidate, Dayo Adeyeye to his camp which is a boost.
Fayemi will have to fight with his far from people attitude believe. He is not closer to the ordinary man on the street like Fayose which might work against him at the poll.
APC abysmal performance at the Federal level will be a clog on the wheel of his dream. Herdsmen and Farmers crisis, insecurity and bad economy experience in the country will be factors electorates will think before casting their votes.
Editor note: Kaakaki News will be giving you update of the election tomorrow.