Nigeria’s political landscape has a way it shapes itself away from what many politicians who operate on that terrain think. In Ekiti, this is going to be the situation as brand new governor will emerge in June of this year for the South West’s most predictable, controversial state, where people took poison in 2014 just because they hated to have re-elected, a sitting governor they considered as very arrogant and very unredeemably distanced from the people.
Then, they dumped Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who came to office on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (Nigeria) and later metamorphosed to being All Progressives Congress (APC) governor when the merger ahead of the planned onslaught to dislodge the obviously corrupt and economy draining People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was formed by the General Muhammadu Buhari-led Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Ogbonaiya Onu-led All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Rochas Okorocha-led faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). They dumped Fayemi, whom they considered was too arrogant to continue as their governor, and chose a more dangerous Peter Ayodele Fayose, who election, as it has now become uncoverably clear, was bought by $35 million provided by then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, just for the PDP to win Ekiti State on a promise that he (Jonathan) would come in immediately after installation of Fayose and develop the South West’s most controversial state. It is now left to watchers of events to confirm whether one year after Fayose’s installation as governor Jonathan looked at the side of the state. It got worse that many PDP leaders and their followers began to consider their decision in support for Fayose as a “deliberate poison” they took to prove a point against the person of Fayemi though it turned out to be their greatest mistake in the life of Ekiti State.
It is the reason, this season, not only the state will be going into another governorship election with hearts full of the need to rid themselves of the political poison they took in 2014 but, more importantly, most of the PDP strong men and women who could help the umbrella party to success (if still possible in the face of very highly disgusting revelations of corruption and insecurity now revealed to be result of engineering contributions of the former ruling party) are now in the APC. Not only that, they are now saying that whoever will emerge this time as their governor must be a man of exceptional dignity and integrity.
Kayode Fayemi, as if he would say he is less concerned about what the people think and say about him, has indicated interest to come back. He was governor for four years after being installed through a court judgment that sacked Engr. Segun Oni also of PDP at that time. He is the current Minister of Solid Minerals in Nigeria. Engr. Segun Oni much later as 2015 thickened had availed himself, away from the influence of the New PDP that joined APC after the merger had concluded before the election, of the opportunity and was therefore considered fit to emerge as Deputy National Chairman (South) of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He too is in high spirit staging a return to Oke Isha as governor of Ekiti State. There is also the very unassuming successful businessman and youthful looking man also being in the hearts of a section of Ekiti people of the APC, Engr. Kayode Ojo. He too has indicated interest to be given the chance to govern the state from stomach infrastructure level to the level of real and physical development. Opeyemi Bamidele also has intention to contest.
And the man who defeated Governor Ayodele Fayose by a very wide merging to clinch the seat of Senator representing Ekiti Central at the 7 Assembly in 2011, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, is not carrying last in the struggle for the soul of Ekiti. Although intentions for individual candidate may vary, it is clearly written everywhere that Babafemi Ojudu, a tested, trusted, loved representative of the people is coming to the stage not only to ensure development but also to engender a statehood in Ekiti where industrialization and commonsense will thrive. Ojudu, an exemplary senior journalist with clear effort he contributed to the demilitarization of Nigeria during the Abacha era, is currently the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters. There are other contestants among whom is Yinka Akerele who hope to, at individual level, hope to get the mandate of APC as flagbearer of the party in Ekiti State as primary election approaches.
But Ekiti State people of the APC are looking beyond what politicians would ordinarily consider as they say the candidate they want not only must be of proven integrity but also must have the capacity to defeat help dislodge the “monster on the throne” and really bring desired development to their state. Away from the thinking of many also, people that matter in the state APC are saying that the talk about how much a candidate can be able to spend to win the hearts of delegates at primaries will not arise this time as, according to one of them who spoke to
The DEFENDER under strict condition of anonymity, “Those who give votes to people on the basis on whether they are moneybag or not are the very enemies of our state. This time, let them call any of our candidates a stingy man or woman, we are less concerned. We will vote for person of our conscience. If you think he that is able to spend money for your individual good is he that wins your vote as candidate and by extension as governor of the state, when he gets to the office and is incapable of performing due to the need for him to pay back the loans he took to satisfy your wicked stomach before election, you will never be on better standing to complain. But this time, we will vote for person that we have tested and have trusted to be capable of doing the job,” he said.
It is however gathered that the APC in Ekiti is already zeroing down on one particular candidate who they know is capable of doing the job. Our source said, “Yes, the candidate is an Abuja Boy but definitely not one who has been governor before. That is just the only thing I can tell you for now.” It will be recalled that the Ekiti State Governor has indicted Kayode Fayemi over a corruption issue and has banned him from contesting for public office in the state.