As Ex-Minister, DAYO ADEYEYE, Battles Gov. FAYOSE
In a couple of months, the Ekiti governorship primaries would be held across all political parties that want to present candidates for the imminent inter-party governorship election in July.
Observers, however, noted that there is an internal crisis in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the state Governor, Dr. Ayodele Fayose, has adopted the incumbent Deputy Governor, Prof. Olusola Kolapo Eleka, as his candidate for the governorship election, which will hold on the 14thJuly, 2018. Last year, the adoption led to crisis. The state publicity secretary of PDP, however, said that there would be a free and fair primary election that would produce a candidate of the party. Though, the adoption process was first faulted by some leaders of the party, who felt they were not carried along in the process and it had led to friction among the leaders of the party in the state.
Posters and banners of the deputy governor, Prof. Eleka, have flooded the nooks and crannies of the state. Among their messages is: “Meet your next Governor” as Gov. Fayose raises his Deputy Governor’s hand in a poster. It will be recalled that in 2014, the governor was quoted saying “that on leaving office in 2018, he would be going with all his appointees as none of them would succeed him”, but that was changed early last year when the Governor said he was waiting on God to direct him on who becomes his successor. He said the Lord had directed him to pick the Deputy Governor as his successor. Earlier, some of his close aides had gone to him for consultation as they aspired for the 2018 governorship race, but when he made his intention known, most of them were not happy. His explanation that God directed him to pick his deputy for the 2018 race was seen as a way to impose him on them.
Another issue is that, the outgoing Governor has always preached “continuity agenda” using Lagos state and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National leader of APC (All Progressive Congress), as a template to be emulated. But the question is: Can godfatherism work in a state like Ekiti? But whichever way one may look at it, Gov. Ayodele Fayose has become a political god-father of Ekiti State, owing to the fact that he made history as the first governor to be elected twice and also defected two incumbent governors at his successful attempts. Though, the crisis in the PDP now is between Governor. Fayose and other aspirants of PDP, who kicked against his decision of picking the deputy governor ahead of them.
EKITI SOUTH SENATORIAL LEADERS TEAM UP
Until the governor adopted the Deputy Governor for the governorship race last year, many thought he would support a candidate from the central or Northern senatorial district, but his decision to zone the race to the Southern senatorial district was a welcome development for them because during the 2014 governorship election, the people in the South had agitated that they shoul be allowed to produce the next Governor, but their wishes didn’t come to reality as the incumbent governor emerged the party’s candidate then. So, as it is, it’s a huge opportunity for the south senatorial district which comprises 6 Local Government Areas (Ikere Ekiti Local Government Area, Emure Ekiti Local Government Area, Ise-orun Local Government Area, Gboyin Local Government Area, Ekiti South West Local Government Area And Ekiti East Local Government Area) to produce the next governor of the state. That perhaps is why some concerned Ekiti South leaders, prominent aspirants have come together to speak with a voice and support one aspirant for the race, though some of the aspirants are still running their jingles on radio. It was learnt that such jingles are just to create awareness for the person they are supporting. According to Prince Adeyeye, who said during the declaration of his intention for the race. Other PDP aspirants like Sen. Abiodun Olujimi, Barr. Owoseni Ajayi and Amb. Dare Bejide are working together and they have not formally endorsed him, but they are working together with the belief that they would have an upper hand. “We believe that individual’s ambition is not too important rather we should all focus our strength and action on the campaign and we should all support a sellable candidate from the south senatorial district. So, we are talking and we are working together and I believe I am fit for the job and I will do my best by the grace of God.
Based on the look of things, the south senatorial leaders in the PDP are ready to team up and support one of their own to emerge the candidate to ensure they pick the ticket come April, 2018.
Though, the governor has the power over the party, but they are trusting on the national leaders of the party to conduct a free and fair primary election. Adeyeye recently accused the governor of working for the opposition party. It was also learnt that the leaders teamed up because they don’t want what happened during the 2016 Ondo State governorship election to repeat itself in Ekiti. To further prove that the south senatorial district leaders are speaking with one voice, they held a press conference on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. They appealed to the National Chairman of the party, Chief Uche Secondus, to conduct a free, fair and credible primary election in the state.
They said the party stood the risk of losing Ekiti if Governor Ayodele Fayose was allowed to subvert the party’s constitution and impose his anointed aspirant. They believe that for a credible primary to be attainable, the dissolution of the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party led by Gboyega Ogunlade should be dissolved and a caretaker committee should be set up, to conduct the party primary. They rejected the adoption of the Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, as the sole aspirant of the party, for the July 14 governorship election.
“HOW GOV. FAYOSE ALMOST STOPPED ADEYEYE’S DECLARATION
Until Wednesday, January 24, 2018, when a former Minister of State for Works and former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye, held his declaration at the state capital, Ado-Ekiti, there had been issues among prominent PDP stakeholders over the decision of the State Governor, Dr. Ayodele Fayose. The governor was accused of breaching the agreement the party leaders had in 2014 that Adeyeye would succeed him. The Governor had unilaterally imposed his deputy on the party for the July 2018 governorship election. It was, therefore, not a surprise that Adeyeye, who had been contesting governorship race since 2006, took the decision to forge ahead without the support of the governor. This decision didn’t go down well with Gov. Fayose. So, in a bid to stop the former Minister’s move against his choice candidate, on the day of the Minister’s declaration the governor was suspected to have ordered all political appointees and party executive members not to attend Adeyeye’s event. It was gathered that the information was passed to all leaders across the 177 wards a week before the event and a reminder was sent on the eve of the event. On the said day, there was a seminar for all political appointees and media persons in the state. it was the same day a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, visited the State Governor, Dr. Ayo Fayose, but despite all the moves, the event took place and it was well attended. In his reaction, the Governor, during the Osoko Mass Movement (OMM) rally for the Deputy Governor, Prof Olusola Eleka, was quote to have said “other aspirants in PDP can leave the party, if they are not pleased with my choice. That decision was a direction of God, who led me to pick my deputy as my successor and I owe nobody any apology. So, the PDP primary election is between the state governor’s aspirant and other PDP aspirants.
MEET THE EKITI PDP GOVERNORSHIP ASPIRANTS
Despite the fact that the governor had picked his aspirant for the 2018 governorship race, no fewer than 6 politicians are aspiring for the Ekiti governors’h seat on the platform of the PDP. All the aspirants are leaders as far as the race is concerned. They include the former Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Bisi Omoyeni, the senator representing Ekiti South, Mrs Biden Olujimi; a former Minister of Works, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye, a former Ambassador to Canada, Dare Bejide and a former Commissioner for Justice Mr. Owoseeni Ajayi.