Until Mahmood Yakubu, a professor and Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, conclude the Saturday, July 14, 2018, governorship election in Ekiti state and announce the result which would be acceptable to all the participating parties , the state would remain a major focus of people in the country and the international Community.
This is because whatever happens in the election would give an insight to what people should expect in Osun state and the 2019 general election in general. But Mahmood, the INEC boss , has assured that there was no cause for alarm, stressing that the Ekiti governorship election would be ”free and fair”, insisting that there would be no room for rigging .
In spite of the security arrangement put in place by the Commission to guarantee a free and fair election in the state and curtail violence, fears were still being expressed in several quarters that the election would be marred by crisis. One of such people who could not hide his feelings about what is currently happening in Ekiti state ahead of the governorship election holding on Saturday, July 14, 2018, was and which could breed trouble was Adeyeye Enitan Adewusi, the Oni of Ife. The foremost Yoruba traditional ruler was said to have told Paul Arkwright, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria in his Palace that he fears for the Ekiti election. He has his reasons.
According to him , the parties appear not to have learnt from history as the duo of Kolapo Olusola, a Professor and former Deputy governor of Ayodele Fayodele and now the governorship of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and Kayode Fayemi, a former minister of Mines and Solid Minerals Development and governorship Candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, and their supporters and sponsors were at each other’s throat .
There is no gain saying the fact that the political gladiators in the two key parties in the state see the election as a do or die affair and were ready to go to any length to win the election. Worried at the happening at Ekiti state, the Oni had appealed to the youths who are vulnerable to the antics of the politicians not to allow themselves to be used for ”political violence to waste lives”.
Fayose, the state governor and arrow-head of PDP Campaigns may have set the tone of what may likely happen in tomorrow’s governorship election in the state when he resorted to weeping on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, on the excuse that he was brutalised by armed policemen who allegedly stormed the main entrance to the government House to stop a rally by the PDP .
Eye-witness account confirmed that there was gunshots at the scene of the fracas as tear gas canisters were freely used by the anti-riot policemen to disperse the supporters of Olusola, the PDP governorship Candidate in the state. The police may have justified their action on the ground that the Organisers of the rally did not obtain police permit before embarking on it. The fallout was that the embittered governor Fayose rushed to the scene to rescue the party supporters.
The security operatives may have played into his hand when they allowed him to come on air to condemn the activities of the anti-riot policemen in the state, lamenting that the trigger-hungry Ibrahim-Idris, led Force , fired tear gas at him. He also claimed being ”slapped and beaten by the mobile police men on the assignment to intimidate the PDP Crowd. The aggrieved governor believes the anti-riot policemen were acting out the script of the Presidency.
The action of the anti-riot policemen in the state may have drawn the sympathy of the people to the PDP governorship Candidate as Buhari and Aswaju Bola Tinubu, the APC, National leader battle to turn the table in favour of Fayemi in tomorrow’s governorship election in the state.
Many believe that the anti-riot policemen may have resorted to the use of force to disperse the PDP supporters at the rally ground because Buhari and other APC Chieftains were in the state for the Campaign rally of Fayemi the party, governorship Candidate which may have clashed with that of the PDP.
Their action may have further been encouraged because of Fayose , the state governor’s arrogance to receive Buhari and his entourage at the Ado Ekiti Airport because of their perceived political difference. Fayose may have refused to to be at the Airport to receive the President as the Chief Security officer of the state to avoid playing into the hand f critics who may see it as a tacit endorsement of Fayemi, the APC flag bearer in the state.
Already the PDP had heaped a baggage on the Buhari led government of plan to establish a cattle colony in the state, which the APC political leaders, particular Buhari, are battling to correct the impression created in the mind of the people.
While the People of Ekiti state are still holding the President by the jugular to explain the measures put in place to stop the herdsmen and farmers clashes in the country, the herdsmen turned gunmen struck at Kabanni Community and its environs in Gandi District in Rabbah local government Area of Soko state and killed 32 people.
Residents said that the attackers invaded the village with vehicles and motorcycles and started shooting sporadically. The attack on the Community may have come a few days after Aminu Tambunwal, the state governor criticised the Buhari Administration of increasing the level of poverty in the country. The attack on the Kabanni Community may have informed the people of Ekiti state that no state is save, insisting that the President has to convince them that he well for them. what This is because they do not want the state to be turned to another Benue, Taraba or Zamfara states which had turned to a theatre of war by armed herdsmen.
Chijindu Ukachukwu, an Igbo based businessman at Ado Ekiti told the Magazine that the two parties, PDP and APC , which are instrong contention to occupy the Ekiti government House, may have realised that soap box rhetoric’s could not sway the votes of the people in favour of their respective Candidates that they have resorted to the use of giving out cash and food items to influence the voters.
Ukachukwu disclosed that the PDP under the watchful of eyes of Buhari ,whose government claimed was fighting Corruption in the country was said to be giving out N10,00 to alleged farmers in the state on a condition that they must sign for it. But critics are reading meaning to it that it was done ostensibly to rig the Saturday election by APC and INEC, by mass producing of the PVC, Card to be used in voting in order to deny the genuine voter to pave the way for Fayemi to win.
The PDP may have woken from slumber that has moved in to match the APC naira for naira to influence the voters , showing how desperate the two parties were to win the election at all cost. Emmanuel Udom and Nyensom Wike, the PDP governors of the oil producing states of Akwa Ibom and Rivers state and friends of Fayose were said to have loaded millions of naira into a chopper and flew to Ado Ekiti, on Friday, July 13, 2018, to oil the PDP Campaign machinery.
Sources told the Magazine that appearance of the duo and other PDP Chieftains in the state may have forced the Department of State Security, DSS, to put the Opposition PDP under close security watch, particular, Fayose .
The Magazine learnt the security operatives have been given a standing order to shoot at sight any one that dares to snatch the ballot box at a voting center. The implication of the order was that the security operatives should be ready to shoot both the PDP and APC supporters as they would attempt to snatch ballot boxes.For Olusola Aand Fayemi, governorship Candidates of the PDP and the APC respectively: the die is cast.