By Rotimi Ojomoyela
THE decision of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State to anoint and endorse his deputy, Kolapo Olusola, as his successor despite repeated promise that he would vacate the Oke Bareke Government House with his deputy came as a rude shock to the army of gubernatorial aspirants in the People’s Democratic Party in Ekiti who were already seeing themselves as possible successor to the governor whom many political watchers in the state described as de-facto leader of the People’s Democratic Party in Ekiti.
The game plan and calculations changed immediately the continuity agenda was conceived and it only needs the voice of god to put a seal on the vision. It became a singsong afterwards. At any forum the Governor attended, he would impress it on the people that he was annointed by god to appoint for Ekiti, his successor.
The voice of god…hand of Esau
This was achieved on the 6th of September, 2017, when the governor gathered the government functionaries both elected and appointed, at the pavilion in the Government House ground, Oke Bareke in Ado-Ekiti to issue a prophecy.
At the meeting on that fateful day were 177 elected councillors, 177 ward chairmen, the 16 local government party chairmen, 16 council chairmen, chairmen and members of boards and parastatals and members of the State Executive Council.
Others at the prophetic meeting included Ekiti House of Assembly members, serving and former members of the People’s Democratic Party State Working Committee.
The resolution of this meeting was the adoption and endorsement of the Governor’s deputy, Kolapo Olusola as the successor of Governor Fayose and the flag bearer of the party for the July 14 governorship election.
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting gave credence to this, according to them, “after due consultation, without prejudice to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), we formally endorse Prof. Kolapo Olusola (the current deputy governor), from Ekiti South Senatorial District, as our preferred aspirant and candidate.”
With this, the battle line has been drawn, Olusola from now on, would be standing on the shoulder of the giant to confront Adedayo Adeyeye, former spokesman for the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP Caretaker Committee and Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Abiodun Olujimi.
Others who have since left the party as a result of what they described as the impunity of Governor Fayose were former Nigeria Ambassador to Germany, Dare Bejide, former Managing Director of Wema Bank and Deputy to Fayose during his first coming, Bisi Omoyeni, another former Deputy Governor, Sikiru Lawal, former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and a close friend to Governor Fayose, Owoseni Ajayi.
Aluko defected to the Mega Party of Nigeria, MPN. Omoyeni and Bejide moved to the Social Democratic Party, SDP while Lawal joined the Labour Party, LP.
Olusola, the Ekiti
State deputy governor, is currently riding in the haze of glory of his boss whom many have described as a great mobiliser and astute politician.
The major strength of this aspirant is his boss, Governor Fayose and this race is a battle for his political survival and relevance after leaving office in October this year and a victory for Olusola would confirm his boast that his victory in 2014 was not a fluke but a real one. From the day he was sworn-in as governor in 2014, he has occupied himself with politics, though he has been able to record for himself some measure of success, like the new flyover, new Oba market and new roads, he has something to show in education, which is under his direct supervision.
Apart from age being on the side of Olusola, he is known to be very diligent, hardworking and principled. Both the young and old people of Ekiti adjudge him as a “Stabilising Factor” and a special gift not only to his boss and the party, his unflinching loyalty to his boss, earned him the anointed status as the next governor.
Many in the state see him as too dependent, naive and inexperienced to navigate the complex nature of Ekiti politics. They said Governor Fayose has been the one running his campaigns for him, making him appear as if he was dragged willy-nilly into the race.
Unpaid salaries is another strong factor that may work against Fayose’s anointed, while civil servants are being owed five months salaries, local government, eight months and pensioners 10 months salaries respectively, though Fayose has promised to clear these debt before leaving office.
Adedayo Adeyeye, easily the most experi-enced among the gladiators contending for the gubernatorial ticket in the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Adeyeye, a journalist and lawyer, has been in the political limelight since the days of pro-democracy struggle. He was the Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural group, Afenifere, he had at different times contested for the Ekiti South Senatorial District seat on the platform of Alliance for Democracy, AD, but without success.
Adeyeye is a grassroots politician whose structure, the Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM), is formidable. He sought for the PDP governorship ticket in the 2014 election. Adeyeye is popular among PDP members and the crowd that attended his declaration attested to his status.
His achievements in SUBEB has become his major selling point. He was later appointed Minister of State for Works under President Goodluck Jonathan.
His appeal to the national leadership of the party to take over the conduct of the primary might be his saving grace.
Getting the ticket would prove to be an herculean task for Adeyeye, who does not enjoy the support of Fayose, which is very fundamental and essential in the contest.
Biodun Christine Olujimi is a serving lawmaker in the upper legislative house, representing Ekiti South Senatorial District. Just about the only woman in the race presently, she hails from Omuo-Ekiti in Ekiti South Local Government Area of Ekiti State Nigeria.
Biodun Olujimi, veteran journalist and ace broadcaster, had been a hard nut to crack in her political sojourn, remaining very vocal on the floor of the Senate, especially on matters relating to women and children.
Biodun cut her career teeth in politics in 1997 as the National Publicity Secretary of the now defunct NCPN.
She was the National Publicity Secretary of the All People’s Party and she later joined the PDP in 2002, She was appointed Special Assistant to the Executive Governor of Ekiti State in 2003 and was later elected to the Federal House of Representatives. In 2005, she became the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State under Governor Ayo Fayose.
Olujimi was impeached along Fayose by the House of Assembly on October 16, 2006 over alleged gross misconduct. She was locked in power struggle with the former Speaker, the late Chief Friday Aderemi, and Fayose, who was in hiding. Later, former President Olusegun Obasanjo declared a state of emergency and appointed Brig.-Gen. Adetunji Idowu Olurin (rtd) as Sole Administrator to end the confusion.
Olujimi had allowed speculation about her governorship ambition to run too far before she made it public, a situation which has made many party members to commit themselves to other aspirants. Fayose is working against Olujimi’s ambition with money, men, resources and connection. The list of delegates to vote at the primary is believed to have been designed in favour of Olusola.
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