The Ekiti State governorship election is scheduled to hold this Saturday. Although there are many other political parties participating in the crucial poll, political observers agree with ease that it is certainly a big battle between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the main opposition, All Progressives Congress, APC. Interestingly, Gov.Fayose is not contesting yet he has over-shadowed the candidate of the PDP who enjoys his ‘episcopal anointing’ and is his current deputy, Prof.Olusola Eleka.
The election is very important to the APC a much as it is to the PDP. For the APC, it is about restoring hope, dignity, political and economic sanity to the state, welfare of the citizens and enhancing development in all facets of the state. The PDP mainly believes in CONTINUITY; Gov.Fayose good works must continue.
But at the end of the day, a winner will emerge; will it be the APC or the PDP or perhaps any other party through a surprise win, Suanu’s Blog in this piece examines why the APC stands a huge chance of emerging victorious.
1. To Restore The Dignity And Pride Of Ekiti State: The emergence of Gov.Fayose and is party, the PDP since 2014 has brought more shame and distain to the good people of Ekiti state. Good governance appears to have been completely thrown into the ocean while mediocrity continues to be celebrated. Gov.Fayose has brought governance to a humiliated and embarrassing him. More so to an extent that it becomes a national embarrassment with people from other places asking how come Ekiti people decided to settle for that kind of character despite the huge intellectual prowess and collection of responsible citizenry. Gov.Fayose has unfortunately also transferred that strange mentality to his learned deputy who could be better described as his puppet. Apart from those who share some toutish mentality with Gov.Fayose, many other Ekiti people are more concerned about seeing a generally responsible leadership in the state instead of the roadside-pomo-eating politics and other shameful unending dramatic episodes that have been emanating from Ekiti State so far.
2. Experience: Dr.Kayode Fayemi of the APC is not only learned but an astute administrator with sufficient experience to fast track development in Ekiti State and provide good governance to its people. He has been there before and some of his enduring policies and those whose lives were impacted positively still long for and are excited about his second coming. On the other hand, the PDP candidate has almost been deep in the pocket of Gov.Fayose that without the direct leadership and remoting of his boss may simply push the state off the leader.
3. The South-West Factor: The geo-political region has an enduring history with the progressives to a reasoning extent. And some political observers are of the opinion that regional socio-economic development will be better enhanced if all the states are under a singular political party aligned to the presidency. Interestingly, Ekiti State appears to be the only party in the entire South-West that isn’t experiencing the broom revolution. The South-West may simple deem it fit to completely align with the APC intoto in a bid to promote absolute brotherliness and even development across the region. This may eventually throw additional favours at the APC.
4. Federal Might And The Special Interest Of Buhari In Ekiti State: The use of so-called federal might isn’t new in the politics of Nigeria. It played a major role in the 2014 election in Ekiti State and is expected to repeat itself in 2018. Pushing aside all sentiments, many persons would agree that the emergence of Ayo Fayose as the Governor in 2014 was never because of his perceived or alleged popularity but the huge role the Jonathan presidency played. He was given almost everything he needed to seal his victory even ahead of the election. Fayose had the Central Bank of Nigeria in his pocket, He was the commander of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in Ekiti State then and the commander and dictator to the Independent National Electoral Commission in the said poll. It was on all these that he rode boastfully to victory. Expectedly, if the current presidency hands over all these to Dr.Fayemi, then the election is as good as being over. Many people believe that the battle ahead for Fayose is lost already, chiefly to natural law of justice, karma; whatever a man sows, that he shall reap. Many people believe that it is time for vengeance and Fayose will be served the same meal he enjoyed in 2014. If these perfectly play out, then the PDP will have to preserve more tears to cry, more strength to protest and increased mouth to complain. More so, a president Buhari that has previously shown not enough concerns in elections in some states previously has obviously expressed repeated interest in his party taking over Ekiti State. If you remember Fayose has been doing to Buhari, then you will perfectly understand Buhari’s special interest in snatching the state for his party.
5. Poor Development: Ekiti State has recorded a very low level of development in the past three years plus of the Fayose government. Gov.Fayose appears to have been running the state without any clearly mapped out plans or blue-print. He instead prefers and believes more in stomach infrastructure than physical infrastructure. He prefers to share 200 and a tablet of rice to the people than empower the people economically to a sustainable level or provide needed infrastructure that will support commerce, industry and enterprise in the state. Those who want to see a shift in focus from Gov.Fayose’s politics of massive under-development will certainly look elsewhere and may not support his preferred candidate. Without mincing words, Ekiti State seems to be the most infrastructurally deficient state in the entire South-West region and many concerned citizens of the state appears quiet interest in changing that narrative.
6. The Defections: Gov.Fayose’s high-handedness and exercise of supremacy against other members and chieftains of his party; especially in the state has swept off many of his loyalist, allies and party men and women into the APC. While PDP has recorded no major addition in terms of defection to its fold, the APC has harvested many key players from the Fayose camp and since politics is a game of number, no one can take those defections for granted. The more defections into the APC, the lesser the votes and supports for the PDP and this has been a major blow to the desperate plot of Gov.Fayose to have his stooge replace him.
7. Stomach politics: Before now, many persons have seen Dr.Fayemi as an elitist politician against the grassroots nature of Fayose. However, this seems to have changed after the 2014 election. Fayemi appears to have learnt some very important lessons and have followed suit in giving his people what they want and how they want it. He has been seen showing the queue of those who share food items, money and other items at various times to the People. And during the election this will play a key role. Ekiti people and their loyalty may just be for the highest bidder to a very large extent. It can be recalled that just few days ago, his campaign organization chose to provide free fuel to motorists in the state, an act that was later replicated by the PDP. In this election, the Fayemi now may be entirely different from the so-called Elitist Fayemi; if Fayose gives anybody N500 and a tablet of rice, Fayemi may give such a person N5000 and a full bag of rice. And if this plays out, your guess is as good as mine as to where the pendulum will finally swing.
8. The plight of workers: Workers have been the major victim of the Fayose government. It is alleged that throughout this year, no civil servant or pensioner has been paid in Ekiti State. This is despite the huge sums of money collected by the Fayose government in terms of Bailout Funds, Paris Club Refunds, Internally Generated Revenue and federal allocations. If Ekiti workers decide to reshape their career destinies and vex their anger on Gov.Fayose and his candidate, then it will go a long way in truncating the hopeful victory of the PDP.
9. The Dry Purse of The PDP: The loss of majority states by the PDP in the 2015 elections has hugely affected the exercise of financial might by the party. This will certainly have an effect on the availability of funds at the disposal of Fayose for the elections. Apart from Gov.Wike and few chieftains of the party especially those with presidential ambitions, the financial contributions other governors and leaders of the party may make towards the Ekiti polls for the PDP will never be as before. Add this to the fact that many of its governors are already saving money to execute their own elections next year. Many presidential aspirants may not even wholeheartedly support Fayose’s candidate because of the so-called presidential ambition of Fayose. To show how serious this is, this is the first time Nigerians saw an advert from the PDP not begging for votes but for money to support its candidate in Ekiti State. More worrisome is the fact that Gov.Fayose may not empty his personal funds to deliver Prof.Olusola as he recognizes that he has a life to live outside the Ekiti State Government House and more battles awaiting Him to lose his immunity.
10. Unity of the Party: The ability of the party to unite all the numerous aspirants that contested its governorship primary election is an indication of the possibility of clinching the state on Saturday. The PDP had just aspirants, yet they lost one and retained one. If all the aspirants work in support of Dr.Fayemi, then the victory will be facilitated and enhanced.
How all these will turn out to be on Saturday lies in the votes of the good people of Ekiti State.