Ekiti, After The Polls
Nigeria News takes a look at the just concluded Ekiti governorship election.
After the governorship election in Ekiti on July 14, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, Dr Kayode Fayemi polled 197,460, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Professor Olusola Eleka polled PDP 178,114.
It was a keenly contested poll with 19,346 margins separating the winner from the loser. Too close to call but Fayemi emerged the winner. It was a peaceful, free and fair election as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
However, the PDP candidate, Eleka has vowed to contest the results in court over the allegation of some malpractices in some local governments.
He said that some polling units were militarized and that some of his supporters were afraid to come out to exercise their voting rights.
Nevertheless, the good people of Ekiti state have elected a new governor in an election that has all the trappings of a medium scale war.
Normally, the often quoted term of politics being war by other means, resonates more with the eastern axis of our ethnic nationality, now known as Ondo and Ekiti states, than any other part of the Yoruba nation.
While the Northern axis, Kwara, Oyo and Osun, tend to be more diplomatic and the southern axis, Lagos and Ogun, more pragmatic, the people from that axis take that statement, literally.
Not in terms of violence, which cuts across, but in their reaction to the fallout of such contests, especially if the results announced were against popular expectations.
It was here that “operation wet e riots” were most ferocious, where an “elected” governor supported by federal might had to escape on a bicycle.
Where a governor took the list of his commissioners to an outgoing assembly, instead of waiting for a couple of days for the inauguration of the assembly that was elected the same day as he was.
And it was also where a minority party of seven members sacked the majority of 14 in the house and exiled them for about a year until their tenure expired.
Ekiti has been here before. On more than one occasion actually. A contest between two contending forces of a party in power at the state level and another coming with the full complement of federal might.
Sometimes the people resist, and sometimes they rejoice. It all depends on the prevailing sentiments of the period.
This time, however, they have a Hobson’s Choice. They settled for Fayemi. The results of Saturday election reflected the minds of the Ekiti people in that they still love Fayose but his candidate Eleka.
They know Fayose very well and what he can do. They also know Fayemi but Eleka.
On one hand is an ex-governor they voted out overwhelmingly four years ago, citing his aloofness and elitist tendencies and they have brought him back.
They voted out Fayose and refused to bring in his candidate, Eleka who has reduced governance to a comedy skit and the state to a butt of jokes, trying to cover his tracks by handpicking his successor.
Either way, they must realise that being the most homogeneous state in the country, they owe future generations of Ekiti kete the duty to ensure that this does not degenerate into unnecessary bloodletting.