Ekiti Election: PDP Dares APC, Prepare For Legal Battle

By Stephen Ubanna

More facts  have emerged why the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, which claim to control 80 percent of  the 16 local government Areas  in Ekiti state lost the  November 14, 2018, governorship  election to the opposition  All Progressive Congress, APC, in the state.

this is because the PDP  played into the hands of the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, and the Security agencies  with reported  and filmed cases of attempted  snatching of ballot boxes in polling  units linked to APC supporters  in some wards  leading to the cancellation  of some owards’  results  and rejection of votes in  PDP  strongholds.

The situation was said to have been  made worse by the unofficial announcement of the election results by Ayodele Fayose, the  ruling PDP governor in the state , giving victory to Kolapo Olusola Eleka, the state  Deputy governor and the party   governorship Candidate . The illegal release of the election results  may have forced the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation, NCC, to close down the state  controlled Ekiti Television station where it was aired by Fayose.

President Muhammadu Buhari: PDP  Is Dead With the  Victory Of APC In Ekiti Governorship Election
President Muhammadu Buhari: PDP Is Dead With the Victory Of APC In Ekiti Governorship Election

He may have taken it upon himself to announce the election results because of lack of trust on the INEC officials believed to be working  closely with Kayode Fayemi, a former minister of Mines and Steel Development  and the APC governorship Candidate in the election. The  Ekiti  governor   had expected the youths to match out to the streets to protest the result that might be announced by the electoral umpire  if it fails to favour  Eleka, the PDPD Candidate.

He  got it wrong as the  people were  calm when the election result was eventually released on Sunday, July 15, 2018 by the returning officer, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan at the instance of the state REC, showing that   Fayemi,  the APC  Candidate  won.  The APC  Candidate  was said to have polled  197,459 votes,  spread across the 16 local Areas in the state. The  result also shows that he won clearly  in 12  out of the 16 local government areas in the  state. His closest rival , Eleka of the PDP,  was said to have scored   178,121 votes spread across the 16 local government Areas in the  state but won convincingly  in only four local government Areas: Ado, Ikere,Emure and  Efon Alaye.

With  the release  of  the official  results giving victory to Fayemi the APC governorship Candidate, and no sskirmishes in any part of the state, Fayose was disappointed. He could not believe that the people could  turn their back at him  and the PDP at the last minute.An aggrieved Fayose  lamented that INEC meant to conduct a ”Free and Fair ” election in the state but the process was hijacked by the police, describing it as a ”national disaster”.

Signs that Eleka would lose the election manifested  when the INEC Card reader could not read  his PVC in his ward on the election day  and the  arrest of  most of his key supporters  and foot soldiers in different parts of the state by the police.  The Ekiti governor confirmed that  there were reports of  snatching of ballot boxes  and votes  buying at Ado and other local government Areas across the state. He disclosed that the party  made  several efforts to reach out to the police Authority but  they refused to pick their call. The refusal of the police Authority  to pick the party calls  finally confirmed to him that Eleka  had lost the election to Fayemi of the APC. Fayemi described the victory as ‘light over darkness”.  Already, President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling APC has declared  that with the outcome of the Ekiti governorship election,”PDP will never win an election  in any state of Nigeria from now on”.  He described  the party as  dead.

But the  PDP leadership in the state and at the  national level are not ready  to let go the APC  victory unchallenged  at the Elections Tribunal and the Court of Law.  It was learnt  that the party has started talking with Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN , who is expected to assemble  a team of legal luminaries  to drag INEC, APC  and Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector General of police to Court  over the Ekiti  election.

A s a prelude  to heading to the Election Tribunal and the Court, Eleka, the PDP governorship Candidate in the Ekiti election  has rejected the official result of the Ekiti   governorship election released by Olayinka, the INEC returning officer in the state. The Ekiti  deputy governor has  told those that care to listen that he won a landslide in the election but was denied victory by INEC and the police.

The PDP  governorship Candidate  had justified his claims  with the allegations of  ”intimidation, oppression and inducement by security agents hiding  under the cover of maintaining law and order in the state during the governorship election.  He claimed  that the police and the other security agencies personnel in the state ”aided and  abetted APC manipulation of the electoral process which gave the APC  Candidate   the alleged victory.

He  described the Ekiti governorship election as  having been” hijacked  by political desperados leveraging  on Federal might to pervert the electoral process, subvert the will of the people and viciously steal the mandate willingly and freely  given to him  on a massive scale by the people”.

An embittered Eleka  insists that  he  won the governorship election by receiving 70 percent  of the votes cast in all the local government Areas of the state. The PDP governorship Candidate may have spoken the mind of Fayose, the state governor, when he said the result bandied about by INEC was falsified to give victory to the APC governorship Candidate, Fayemi. He alleged that INEC had  allowed late  voting  by APC supporters  in hideouts in the state because they were acting out a script of the Presidency to give victory to the APC Candidate in the election.

He fears that what had happened in the Ekiti  governorship election  is a bad signal to what  would happen in  the next governorship election in Osun state and the 2019 general election. But  Buhari has said  there was no cause for alarrm.  Nothwithstanding  Presidential assurance of a free and fair election in the 2019 general election,, former President Olusegun Obasanjo  had drummed it to the ear of people that the 2019 general election is not going to be a” tea party”.

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