Ekiti Guber Poll And The Impending Violence
Nigeria News takes a look at the forthcoming gubernatorial poll in Ekiti and the looming crisis.
In less than a month, precisely July 14, 2018, Professor Kolapo Olusola of the Peoples Democratic Party and Dr Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress will slog it out in the Ekiti State governorship election.
Ordinary, looking at the antecedents of the two candidates as peace-loving personalities and erudite scholars, one will easily conclude that the polls will be peaceful, free and fair.
But judging by the volatility of the state since the incumbent Governor Ayodele Fayose took over, there are signs that the coming election may come with some irregularities and violence.
The violent signs are very visible now as supporters of the two strongest parties in the state are silently beating the drums of war. About four days ago, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu were in Ado-Ekiti to flag off the campaign for Fayemi.
Their ultimate message was that the residents of Ekiti should return to the progressive group by voting for Fayemi.
Asiwaju Tinubu said that Fayemi is a close friend of President Muhammadu Buhari and that his election would open doors of prosperity for the residents.
This is what Fayose would never agree with. The governor had singlehandedly played the opposition role and ensured that his deputy, Olusola emerged as the PDP candidate for the coming election.
To him, only Olusola, a professor will be able to stand toe-toe with Fayemi. Both are intellectuals. But the Ekiti gubernatorial poll is not going to be a battle of wits but funds, thuggery and about who has the higher capacity to use the law enforcement agents in his favour.
This may be payback time for Fayose, whom many had alleged of rigging the 2014 election to become the state governor. The governor was accused of using the military during former President Goodluck Jonathan to rig the Ekiti election in 2014.
Fayose knows very well that the present APC-led Federal Government will likely use the soldiers to counter his crook plan in the coming election and this may generate confusion, subsequently violence.
There is need for the Department of State Service to begin strategizing on how to ensure peace before, during and after the election.
I believe the DSS should move a special team into Ekiti State to assist the Police towards the election in that state. The violence taking place in the last two weeks is not a good sign at all.
Why the DSS? If the job is done professionally devoid of partisanship, the DSS has a database of Boys everywhere. Once the key leaders are picked up, their lieutenants will relocate.
DSS does not wait for violence to happen before moving in to contain same, especially on political issues like this. Of course, instructions are often given to stay away. But it should not be so now. A serious crisis in Ekiti can snowball to affect Ondo State and of course the Southwest.
We must recall how election violence of 1983 led to so many death and loss of properties in the old Ondo State.