By Stephen Ubanna
After weeks of Electioneering Campaigns and political maneuvering the people of Ekiti state went to the polls on Saturday, July 14, 2018, to elect the next governor of the state. The Peoples Democratic party, PDP, All Progressive Congress, APC, Social Democratic Congress, SDP were said to have fielded Candidates in the election who were optimistic of winning.
But the two major contenders spending money and time for the election were said to be Kolapo Olusola Eleka , a Professor and Deputy governor of the state and kayode Fayemi,a former minister of Mines and Steel Development of the opposition PDPD and the ruling APC respectively.
The PDP governorship Candidate is counting on the popularity of Ayodele Fayose, the state governor with the down troden and his Stomach Infrastructural policy in the state to win the election while President Muhammadu Buhari is counting on the projects cited in the state through the influence Fayemi, the APC, governorship to trounce his major opponent for the plum office from the PDP and Gabriel Olonisakin, a General and Chief of Defense Staff, CDS.
Buhari had listed the projects to include the construction of infrastructural facilities, drainadges, and Asphalt finishing plant at Ikere Ekiti and National Housing Progrmme Sites ithe state, completion of emergency repairs of failed sections of Ifaki-Ikole-Omuo andIfaki- Ido -Ifaki- Otun roads .
Other Federal projects listed by Buhari that was executed in the state include the rehabilitation of Ado-Ifaki- otun road, Repairs of Ijebu- Ijesha road, rehabilitation of of Ila- Orangun-OkeIla-Ilale -Ekan road, rehabilitation of Asphalt Overlay/construction of reinforced concrete drains and kerbs of 1.33km internal roads at Federal University of Oye. He was also said to have listed as one of the projects the Ode-Ekiti road project and the construction of a new Federal Secretariat at Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. He gave the total cost of the projects both completed and on-going at N766.74 million, which many believe was very insignificant compared to the billions spent on similar projects in other states in the north. He had revealed that the projects were handled by 13 different contractors in state.
Political analysts contended that he should not have listed the Federal projects executed in the state by his Administration with the inputs of political appointees from the state but simply canvass for votes for Fayemi, the APC governorship Candidate as it may not much difference in the voting pattern. This is because of the believe of the people that Fayemi and Olonisakin did not do anything meaninful in the state , notwithstanding their closeness to Buhari. in the Buhari
But Foyose, is counting on his government infrastructural development policy which was said to have touched the lives of many in the state including those in the APC strongholds including the government Stomach infrastructure policy to facilitate PDP Candidate victory in the governorship election. Buhari may have known that the people of the state believe so much in the Fyose’s stomach infrastructure policy that he had advised that they should not” allow themselves to be insulted by the policy”.
As a prelude to the governorship election , the Magazine learnt that indigenes of the state kept forced vigil in their homes ostensibly to play host to the governorship foot soldiers moving from local government to local government , village to village and house to house to have a one-to -one talks .
Bello Yinka, an indigene of Oke-Ila disclosed that the people saw it as an opportunity to share from the national cake. According to him, the people appear to be wiser, as they collected money from all the political Camps with assurance to vote their governorship Candidates.
According him, the election is a straight fight between Eleka of the PDP and Fayemi of the APC. The people of Isan, Fayemi ‘s home town came out in their thousands to vote for him. But Nigerians should expect a major shock . Snippets from Ado -Ekiti, reveal that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, installed card reader for the Ekiti election could not read Eleka, the PDP governorship Candidate’s PVC, in the Saturday election, meaning that he was disfranchised. The Magazine learnt there were other PDP Stalwarts and supporters whose PVC could not be recognised by the card reader, an indication that Fayemi, a former governor of the state may have the upper hand in the election or it may go the way of the PDP Candidate if the people vote according their conscience.