The Ekiti election has come and gone, but the reverberations are still with us here. But the build up to the elections was an indication of what to expect during the forthcoming 2019 elections though it is doubtful whether it validates Minister of information Lai Mohamed assertion that the result is an endorsement of his principal, Muhammadu Buhari.
Problem had started with the deployment of what was described as an unprecedented number of security agencies to the state. According to Ekiti state house sources, it was apparent they were out to win the election for the All Progressives Congress, APC, by all means and from any means. And this appears to be the case, based on what was observed. First, the Chief of staff of Governor Ayo Fayose was arrested for reasons this magazine has not been fully authenticate. Before the elections, many of top Peoples Democratic Party members had already decamped to the APC. Even with several appeals, they could not be swayed, probably because, according to analysts, the whole election will be between PDP and the combination of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and Security Agencies on the other hand..
Two days before the election, a private Jet was sighted at Akure Airport, which was said to have ferried cash allegedly from one North east Governor. Besides that, part of the recovered loot from Switzerland, generally called Abacha Loot, was said to have been ear marked for the election while the Federal government pretends that they are going to pay it into the accounts of poor Nigerians. They actually did during the elections, at least indirectly.
The cash was allegedly first taken to the Ondo state governor for onwards transmission to the place of the APC candidate, Kayode Fayemi.
At the same time, a Helicopter was sighted at the Ekiti state Government house, believed to be carrying cash from two South-south governors, also allegedly for the elections. Because of security concerns, and the fact that security agencies appear to be targeting the PDP, Banks were used by the state government to pay indigenes for the yet to be conducted elections. “People just woke up to receive alerts they did not expect. Worse still, from a government that has been owing so many months of salaries to workers”, and indigene said. But they were forced to up their ante by superior money power.
The election itself was calm, except for thugs and party agents who were trying to outspend themselves in sharing money to the electorates. At a stage, not wanting to be cheated, agents will demand that voters snap their ballot paper to confirm who they voted for before they could be given their own money. Initially it was N3000. It was raised to N5000, and before the close of voting, some boots were paying out N10, 000. This, the magazine gathered, was from the APC agents. In fact, the Magazine gathered that one senior party member was given N200 million to prosecute the election but he released only N50 million for sharing. What happened to the N150 million can best be imagined.
Such was the situation that made the incumbent Ekiti governor to lament that the election was a sham.
Even at that, based on the result trickling in, it was seen that the card reader, apart from a few hitches here and there, were working fine. And the PDP candidate was coasting to victory based on the result from the polling boots and wards. Based on the authentic results gathered, the PDP were gearing for celebration. Then disaster struck.
At the final collation centre, it became clear that something fishy is going on. There was an unusual black out of the final counting of the votes from the press. It was gathered that only few press organisations, allegedly those sympathetic to APC, were allowed to be at the collation centre. PDP agents were allegedly worked out by security agencies. On getting wind of this, Governor Fayose decided to upstage the INEC by announcing the alleged authentic result of the elections. He did this on National television, and the National Broadcasting commission, an organ of the Federal government, promptly sealed up Ekiti Radio and Television houses.
Due to the fact that international observers were involved, and Drones were used to monitor the elections, the INEC returning officer, a Vice Chancellor from one of the western Universities, allegedly panicked, and wanted the result out in good time to assuage the suspicion that they were doctoring the election. Indications were that the alleged result, which presented PDP as having won with over 200,000 votes and APC with about 190, 000 votes were not acceptable to INEC, whose director of National Operations, Amina Zachary, is president Buhari’s niece and calls him Uncle. So the INEC, according to Sources, slashed the PDP votes to about 170 000. But they forgot to redistribute the shaved-off figures among the two in a less suspicious manner during the confusion. Hence, in a hurry, they released an embarrassing result. Hence they had APC: 197,459, PDP: 178,114, and got a total of 316,019 instead of 375,573. With that, PDP won in 4 local government, and APC, even with 12 local government, can only win 197 000 votes. So INEC declared Kayode Fayemi governor elect.
Since the declaration, no APC bigwig has congratulated Fayemi, apart from President Buhari’s spokesperson. Buhari himself left the country on the eve of the election to the Hague International Criminal Court. Though he was said to have been invited to deliver a talk, indications are that he may have been called based on numerous petitions against him by various groups on human rights abuses, and accusations af complicity in the Herdsman crisis. Olusegun Obasanjo, former president who wants Buhari out of Aso Rock, was said to have congratulated Fayose. But he denied it, saying the congratulations were done with his stolen letter headed paper, and that therefore he is dissociating himself from it. But reports indicate that Fulani herdsmen were jubilating in Ekiti, which was wearing a somber look, with many indigens weeping.
The National body of PDP has rejected the election, calling it daylight robbery. Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike said he has never seen this type of political robbery before. The PDP gubernatorial candidate, professor Eloka, also rejected the election. Indications are that the PDP is dusting the files to go to election tribunal. Wole Olanipekun, SAN, and Afe Babalola, SAN, are to lead a team of lawyers to the tribunal. Given the weight of the people involved, it promises to be an epic battle. It also shows that the Yorubas, in as much as they want to all belong to APC, see the invasion as an affront to the Yoruba nation.