Ek­iti 2014: Can PDP give APC a good fight?

Barely two months to the gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion in Ek­iti State, can­di­dates of the PDP and the APC, for­mer gover­nor Ay­o­dele Fayose and the in­cum­bent gover­nor Kay­ode Fayemi, are at­tract­ing more at­ten­tion on a daily ba­sis. Our cor­re­spon­dent ex­am­ines the PDP c

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Saawua Terzungwe

The po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere in Ek­iti State is now full of jostling and sys­tem­atic schem­ing ahead of the June 21 gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion. Po­lit­i­cal par­ties and their can­di­dates are warm­ing up ahead of the elec­tion as it is be­lieved that the elec­tion would mark an­other sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in the po­lit­i­cal his­tory of the state.

Op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal par­ties are strate­giz­ing to­wards wrestling the state’s man­tle of lead­er­ship from Gover­nor Kay­ode Fayemi, the cur­rent gover­nor, who is rul­ing on the plat­form of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC). Ten­sion is ris­ing as the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) is ex­plor­ing all means and vis­it­ing all the nooks and cran­nies to en­sure its vic­tory at the polls.

The emer­gence of for­mer gover­nor Ay­o­dele Fayose as PDP’s can­di­date is shap­ing the race, look­ing at his po­lit­i­cal an­tecedent and cre­den­tials. This is es­pe­cially so as he has track record of grass­roots pol­i­tics and pedigree in mo­bi­liz­ing the people cou­pled with the fact that he had been there be­fore and is now in a po­si­tion to know the in­ner work­ings of the of­fice.

The 13 as­pi­rants who con­tested the PDP pri­maries and lost to Fayose later teamed up against him that they would not al­low him the ticket.

One of the ag­grieved as­pi­rants, Dayo Adey­eye how­ever, turned a new leaf and danced to the tune of the party by al­low­ing the PDP’s in­ter­est to reign supreme, hav­ing no­ticed that Fayose and the party were ready for gen­uine di­a­logue and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

Adey­eye had briefed jour­nal­ists af­ter a long meet­ing with Fayose and the na­tional lead­er­ship of the party, at the party’s na­tional sec­re­tariat in Abuja, last week, say­ing: “I have fully rec­on­ciled with the can­di­date of the party, Ayo Fayose and we have fully re­solved to work to­gether to win the com­ing elec­tion and by the grace of God we will win the elec­tion.”

Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan last Thurs­day also keyed into rec­on­cil­ing the ag­grieved as­pi­rants who later re­solved to work with Fayose to en­sure PDP vic­tory at the polls as they were all as­sured of the party’s readi­ness to carry them along in the scheme of things if it wins.

It was learnt that he is likely to be com­pen­sated with the po­si­tion of a min­is­ter if Fayose be­comes gover­nor. While some of the 12 as­pi­rants may re­ceive fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion, oth­ers will be given var­i­ous po­si­tions based on the res­o­lu­tions reached with Fayose and the party, it was fur­ther learnt.

With this vic­tory in the party so far, the big ques­tion re­mains: Can Fayose make PDP proud in the elec­tion look­ing at Gover­nor Fayemi’s an­tecedents? No doubt, the bat­tle is seem­ingly tough.

Fayose’s move for Jonathan to flag-off his cam­paign ahead of the elec­tions was trun­cated last week when he was de­nied use of Oluyemisi Kay­ode Sta­dium, Ado Ek­iti. Com­mis­sioner of Youth and Sports, Mr Kay­ode Olaose­bikan, later told jour­nal­ists that the fa­cil­ity had been booked for a league match same day. But many in­ter­preted it as ef­forts by the rul­ing APC to thwart the PDP’s cam­paigns in the state.

Sim­i­larly, Fayose’s cam­paign or­ga­ni­za­tion was al­legedly at­tacked. The act was also al­leged to have been per­pe­trated by sup­port­ers of the APC, which many say does not want the op­po­si­tion to stand firm ahead the gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion in the state.

Just few days later, Fayemi’s con­voy was al­legedly at­tacked. The gover­nor had claimed in a state­ment by his chief press sec­re­tary, Yinka Oye­bode, that his con­voy was at­tacked at about 6.pm by sus­pected thugs work­ing for Fayose while re­turn­ing from a cam­paign rally in Ek­iti East lo­cal govern­ment area.

But re­act­ing to the al­le­ga­tion, Fayose said: “It was in the con­voy of the gover­nor, the gover­nor was said to have been paci­fy­ing them and they were shoot­ing. The ev­i­dence could tell how the glass were shat­tered, how ve­hi­cles were bro­ken; it was a de­lib­er­ate ac­tion, but I have told all my sup­port­ers not to be pro­voked. We are only look­ing at June 21; we will ease them out of power.

“When you see a boat that is sink­ing, any­body in that boat could hang on to any­thing. I will win with­out vi­o­lence, I have made up my mind, I will not re­spond to any pro­pa­ganda. I brought Fayemi and I must take him to where I brought him from,” he said.

While Fayemi and Fayose are se­ri­ously at­tract­ing at­ten­tion in the race, care­ful ob­servers say PDP may al­ter the state gov­er­nor­ship race and clinch the gov­er­nor­ship ticket. But oth­ers en­ter­tain fears that Fayemi has the ad­van­tage of be­ing the in­cum­bent as he con­trols all the po­lit­i­cal struc­tures and in­sti­tu­tions in the state, thus he may not be eas­ily dis­lodged.

The power of in­cum­bency has, how­ever, not daunted the for­mer gover­nor as he continues to ex­press con­fi­dence in his abil­ity to dis­lodge the APC. To but­tress this, when Fayose re­ceived his cer­tifi­cate of re­turn as the flag­bearer of the PDP in the elec­tion at the PDP sec­re­tariat in Abuja, on March 28, 2014, he said: “I brought Fayemi into lime­light. I sup­ported him in the 2009 re-run. To­day, the story has changed, but I want to as­sure Nige­ri­ans that I will never come to Abuja to ask for ap­point­ment if Fayemi does not go. If I fail to de­feat Fayemi, my wife and my fam­ily must not be given ap­point­ment.”

Fayemi seems to be un­der po­lit­i­cal pres­sure from the op­po­si­tion with all the ma­jor op­po­si­tion par­ties throw­ing stones at him.

Only re­cently, the gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date of Labour Party (LP), Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, at the na­tional sec­re­tariat of his party in Abuja at­tacked Fayemi’s ad­min­is­tra­tion.

He said: “People said they wanted a gover­nor from Ek­iti North, but go to Ek­iti people and ask them how happy they are. The same gover­nor has re­fused for the past three and half years to con­duct lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions in the state. To­day, the state is in­debted. In two years, the gover­nor has bor­rowed N25 bil­lion spent on mis­place­ment of pri­or­i­ties.”

Ob­servers say the na­tional lead­er­ship of the PDP has seen Fayose wor­thy of the task ahead of him con­sid­er­ing its role in re­solv­ing the skir­mishes be­tween him and the 13 as­pi­rants for the for­mer gover­nor to pick the party’s ticket. Se­na­tor Gbenga Aluko, the ini­tial con­sen­sus can­di­date of the

Kay­ode Fayemi Ay­o­dele Fayose

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.