Ekiti APC Primaries: What South West Leaders Ought To Have Done
Nigeria News takes a look at the Ekiti APC Governorship primaries.
Leaders in South-West All Progressives Congress, APC might be in for a rude shock if they allow the current arrogance of ‘The Mighty’ in the Ekiti State chapter of the party to continue. One cannot kick against the monetisation of the political process at this late hour. But the state former Governor and the current Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi needs to be advised, and seriously too.
While in good conscience one cannot question his decision to run and the attendant boost it has given the local economy of the state, the reality today is that unlike what took place in Ondo State that of Ekiti might be very different.
One, the former Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko was undermined by moles in Peoples Democratic Party, who hijacked his platform at the last minute. His supporters were confused. That has failed to happen to the Ekiti State Governor Mr Ayodele Fayose so far.
PDP remains united in Ekiti State. Fayose, with the recent victory of his deputy Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka as the PDP candidate for the coming governorship election, remains as popular as ever. And talk of using ‘Federal Might’ through the Police, DSS and soldiers could backfire. Nobody has the monopoly of violence. Fayose appears ready for that.
An inclusive process, where each aspirant does not feel cheated would be good for the APC in Ekiti State. There is no doubt Fayemi is Abuja’s preferred candidate. He also has more than enough financial war chest to repeat the Aketi ‘magic’.
But, and that is my second point, there is need to see beyond the primary. Winning the primary and losing the election proper will have a negative effect on the party’s fortunes in 2019. It will also certainly seal the political fate of Fayemi at an age when he is just about starting to make it politically.
APC leaders should prune the number of candidates. 33 is an unwieldy figure in a state like Ekiti. There is no way the candidates will not feel cheated when the federal is backing one person.
This will damage party unity towards election proper. A consensus candidacy would have been good. But from feelers at the just-concluded meeting, it was gathered that Fayemi stormed out of the meeting. Lagos should not have undue advantage over Abuja. Same applies to Abuja’s protege too. The meeting, which was put together by the APC leaders, including the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the former Osun State Governor, Chief Bisi Akande and his counterpart for Ogun, Aremo Olusegun Osoba may not necessarily produce a consensus candidate.
But, there are indications that the elders may favour a one-time journalist and the current Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Mr Babafemi Ojudu.
Perhaps, that was why Fayemi shunned the meeting. He had since denied the allegation, adding that he did not quit the meeting abruptly but had to leave due to an urgent national assignment.
The way forward? the leaders should persuade other lightweight aspirants to withdraw from the race. Of the 33 aspirants, only three of them can be considered as serious materials. These are, Fayemi, Segun Oni and Babafemi Ojudu. To me, once these three are the only ones running, the race to the Ekiti governor’s house will be shorter.