Ekiti election: The winners and losers

Let’s Talk with FAD

Email: fidelisduker@yahoo.com Twitter: @fidelisduker

Fidelis Duker QEDI have over the last one week observed and contributed to different debates on the recently concluded Ekiti governorship election with the attendant allegations and counter allegations of voter intimidation and use of money, gifts and food items to lure voters to vote in favor of the candidates. Ultimately, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Mr. Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner with almost two third of the total votes cast. From the results released, the PDP candidate won in all the 16 local government areas with a safe margin.

It is shocking that the good people of Ekiti turned against the incumbent All Progressives Congress (APC) Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, for the candidate of the PDP led federal government. Some have argued that the government at the centre used every machinery at its disposal to turn the election in the favor of its candidate because of the over 36,000 security personnel deployed to the state which has roughly 360,000 registered voters. That is an average of one security personnel to 10 voters.

In my opinion, the heavy security presence in Ekiti during the election must have helped in curtailing the violence and mayhem which have characterised our electoral process and the need to adjudge the process free and fair by major local and international observers, not forgetting how the gladiators and their supporters were threatening from their different camps. The national leader of APC Senator Bola Tinubu had even gone ahead to threatened a “rig and roast” option” which most Nigerians condemned in its entirety.

It is therefore insulting on the people of ekiti who pride themselves as fountain of knowledge for anybody to insinuate that they voted based on the inducement of rice which was offered by both candidates ahead of the election. There were several pictures on social media showing how the two major candidates were sharing either cooked jollof rice or bags of 5kg rice. For anybody to insinuate the election was won or lost as a result of rice is crass ignorance of the going on in Ekiti ahead of the elections.

It must be said that Governor Fayemi has performed decently in his first term. He is above average and is seen by many as an outstanding and selfless leader who has done a lot to better the lives of his people. His projects have undoubtably spread across the nooks and crannies of the 16 local government areas of the state, but these projects were far from the average Ekiti indigene.

It is on record that ahead of the election, civil servants, teachers and students who make up a large percentage of the voting populace had one issue or the other with the government. The civil servants had been in a running battle with the governor over certain reforms he initiated which didn’t go down well with them. In 2012, over 16000 teachers were against his assessment of the state government and they went on strike. They were also allegations that the governor continued most of the projects and engaged the contractors that were engaged by the Segun Oni government which to a large extent did not benefit them.

I will end this piece with identifying the winners and losers of this election starting with the losers. The losers are APC and defecting former PDP Governor Segun Oni. APC has lost a major state in the South West ahead of the 2015 general elections.

The winners in my opinion are the incumbent governor and the people of Ekiti who have exhibited high appreciation of democratic tenets. Dr Fayemi accepted defeat and congratulated the winner as a pointer to how politicians should behave henceforth. In all of this, the biggest winners are the people of Ekiti who made their choice and cannot come out to complain over their choice.