Ekiti 2018: Who will be the next Governor of Ekiti State?

No fewer than 50 aspirants on the platforms of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are struggling to succeed Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose whose tenure expires next year.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are warming up for next year’s governorship election in Ekiti State. Many aspirants for the exalted seat have signified their intentions on the platform of the two parties. Though very few of them are bold enough to set up structures in support of their ambitions they have really commenced underground moves in support of the actualisation of their dreams.

Aspirants itching to succeed Governor Ayodele Fayose include his Deputy; Professor Kolapo Olusola, the former Wema MD Bank; Bisi Omoyeni, the former Attorney- General and  Commissioner for Justice; Barrister Owoseeni Ajayi.

The Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District; Senator Biodun Olujimi, Former Minister of Work; Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the former Ambassador to  Canada; Ambassador Dare Bejide, and the former personal Assistance to Hon Titi Akindahausi; Mr. Sunday Adeusi. The aspirants are presently pursuing their ambitions on the platform of the PDP and all PDP aspirants are from Ekiti South Senatorial District zone. The zone has never produced the governor since the creation of Ekiti State.

Though, some stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP including governor Ayodele Fayose, in the state have adopted the Deputy Governor, Kolapo Olusola, from Ekiti South Senatorial District, as the preferred candidate of the party.

And not less than 36 chieftains of the Ekiti state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are jostling for the party’s ticket for the 2018 governorship election. Some of the aspirants have not officially declared their interest, but the majority of them are intensifying their efforts in wooing party leaders.

APC in Ekiti State has revealed that it only recognizes 25 aspirants showing interest in its ticket to run for the 2018 governorship election

Those that want to actualise their dreams under the All Progressives Congress, APC include the two former governors of the state; Engineer Segun Oni and Dr Kayode Fayemi, Special Adviser to the President on Political matters and former senator; Senator Babafemi Ojudu, former Senator representing Ekiti North Senatorial District, Senator Ayo Arise, Former House of Representatives; Hon Bamidele Opeyemi, Hon. Bamidele Faparusi and Hon. Bimbo Daramola, the Former Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District; Senator Gbenga Aluko, the former speaker of the House Assembly in the state; Rt Hon. Olufemi Bamisile, the son of the former governor of Old Ondo State; Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua.

Others are; Mr. Kola Alabi, Dr. Oluwole Oluyede, Dr. Makanjuola Owolabi-Akindele,  Olumuyiwa Coker, Victor Kayode, Kayode Ojo, Sunday Adebomi, Adekunle Esan, Bayo Ogunkayode, Dr. Adebayo Orire, Ishola Fapounda, Diran Adesua, Folorunsho Akinyele, Dele Okeya, Chief Sesan Fatoba, Yinka Akerele, Kole Ajayi, Debo Ranti, Oluwole Oluleye, Femi Ajepe, Hon Bisi Aloba and Ayo Ariyo.

The incumbency remains a big factor in determining who clinches the ticket as virtually all aspirants, particularly those on the platform of the PDP are closely reading the lips and body language of the state governor, Ayodele Fayose. They patiently look on to him to make his choice and thereafter pull his weight and all the resources of the state as well as his political structure behind his “anointed candidate.” But the situation is different in the opposition campaign as the aspirants have started campaign work. The major obstacle for APC aspirants is Tinubu and Buhari factions. Also, All APC aspirants from South Senatorial District clamour for zoning.

While the two major parties – the APC and the PDP contend with different challenges, it is very clear that a party that manages its affairs well will get the favour of the electorate. Before now, the APC has been enmeshed in the struggle between members advocating for the choice of an “home-based” candidate instead of the “Lagos/foreign” candidate. The clamour has already been established with many believing in the advocacy. The party has been very silent on the issue and some members also consider the matter to be a non-issue. For example, the Director of Publicity Secretary for the party in the state, Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun asked what defines someone as Lagos/Foreign politician and another a home-based. He said: “As long as you are a citizen of the state and you meet other constitutional requirements you are qualified to run for the election. What should be important is how capable and prepared for the job are the aspirants so that the state would not suffer a retrogression as a result of bad governance.

Also in PDP, the incumbent governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, no doubt has laid a foundation for continued and future development which need a consolidation by the right choice of candidate to succeed him and further increase the fortunes of the state.”

On zoning, it is not very clear the stands of the two political parties, the APC and the PDP on the matter. But the popular belief is that zoning as a matter of convention should be recognised. For APC, the clamour among the members is for the governorship seat be zoned to the Ekiti South Senatorial Districts which comprises Ikere, Ise/Orun, Emure, Gbonyin, Ekiti East and Ekiti South West council areas, because the zone has never ruled for the state since the creation of the state in 1996. But Ekiti Central and Ekiti North has ruled the state for 21 years since the state was created in 1996. From Central, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo was in the saddle from 1999 to 2003 and Ayodele Fayose from 2003 to 2006, and 2014 will remain there, all things being equal, till 2018 when his second term tenure expires. From Ekiti  North, Engineer Segun Oni from 2006 to 2010 until he was sacked by the Court of Appeal in Ilorin and Dr. Kayode Fayemi from 2010 to 2014.

It is rather different for those that believe that the Lagos/foreign politicians are favoured by the godfatherism and well positioned to take over the power. They insisted that they may be indigenes of the state but they argued that they don’t know or understand the yearnings of the people.

The PDP also shared the opinion that the good works of Ayodele Fayose must be sustained, therefore, believe that search for a credible candidate that can do the job must limit to a particular zone who has never produce the governor since the creation of the state if the future of the state will not be jeopardized.  A source within the party, who preferred anonymity, said those “shouting home-based are supporters who are ready to compromise the state development on the altar of selfish gains. They are the ones, who want to appropriate the state resources and they believe selling the idea of an home-based candidate will help them achieve their aims.” Also, the disadvantage of PDP is the federal might that likely to favour APC. The payment of worker salaries is also another problem for the PDP since the state is a civil servant state despite that Fayose government has performed in term of infrastructure and others purpose.

 

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