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Ekiti 2022: APC, PDP Aspirants Jostle to Succeed Fayemi 

Olujimi & Fayemi
Olujimi & Fayemi

December 12, (THEWILL) – The  race to succeed Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State is already gathering momentum as aspirants on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) openly announce their interest in the race by obtaining forms  to contest their parties’ primaries in January next year.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier in 2021 scheduled the Ekiti State Governorship Election for June 18, 2022.

INEC also said that Governor Fayemi’s tenure would expire on October 15, 2022.

Fayemi is currently on his second and last term in office. He is not constitutionally qualified to contest the next election.

One of those who have openly announced their interest in the June 2022 governorship election on the platform of the PDP is the former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi. Eight other female aspirants are also interested in the governorship race. They are Mrs Olumide  Ojo; Olukemi Olubunmi from Ido/Osi Council Area of the state; Chief Mrs Arogundade Olutoyin from Ekiti East Local Government Area; Princess Adekemi Adewunmi from Efon Local Government Area; Mrs Adesoye (Ado LGA); Mrs Titilayo Owolabi Akerele (Ikole LGA); Mrs Modupe Asaolu (Ekiti South-West LGA); and Mrs Deborah Alo ( Ido/Osi LGA).

Other aspirants are former Governor Segun Oni; former Deputy Governor, Prof Olusola Eleka; Kayode Adaramodu and Otunba Bisi Kolawole, who is believed to have backing of former Governor Ayo Fayose.

Explaining her decision to join the race, Olujimi said it was borne out of the desire to salvage the state from the woods through selfless service to the people, irrespective of their social status.

The lawmaker, representing Ekiti South Senatorial District, said she decided to throw her hat in the ring, following calls from the downtrodden, traditional rulers and eminent sons and daughters of the state.

Claiming that she had the quality and experience required to harness the vast state’s resources for productive and developmental purposes, Olujimi said her experience in the public sector and politics had prepared her for the plum position.

She said she decided to join the governorship race in order to turnaround the fortunes of the state by revolutionising all the sectors of governance with focus on the masses.

If given the ticket of her political party and elected as governor, she pledged, she would reposition Ekiti for economic prosperity by creating an enabling environment in Ekiti for industry to thrive, as well as introduce a better approach to taxation that would reduce dependence on federation allocations.

She promised to restructure the health sector in such a way that quality healthcare service delivery would be decentralised with a view to reaching both urban and rural dwellers.

She added that education would be a major objective of her aspiration, saying the sector would be reformed to include not only the building of schools but also the provision of incentives to teachers.

“Our mission is to rebuild, to reposition and to regain the state’s glory. We are very committed with passion to make sure that Ekiti occupies its rightful position in the comity of states.

“We will remain focused on our mission to turnaround the fortunes of the state by revolutionising all the critical sectors of governance with direct focus on the downtrodden masses,” she said.

Those that have shown interest in the Ekiti top job on the platform of APC include the former Secretary to the State Government,  Biodun Oyebanji . Oyebanji resigned his appointment to contest the 2022 governorship election a few days ago. Others are  Olawale Fapohunda, Femi Bamisile, Makinde Araoye and  Ademola Popoola.

Also in the race is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele. The senator representing Ekiti Central has informed all the members of the Senate elected on the platform of his party, of his intention to run for the governorship position.

Over the last few years, the governorship election in Ekiti State has been a two-horse race between the PDP and the APC.

The election is not and has never been based on zoning. Despite this, Ekiti Central and Ekiti North zones have always dominated the governorship seat at the expense of Ekiti South, which is now clamouring for it, in the interest of fairness, equity and Justice. This was the argument during the first and second terms of both Former Governor Ayodele Fayose and the incumbent, Dr.  Kayode Fayemi, who are from Ekiti Central and Ekiti North Senatorial zones of the state, respectively.

Since the advent of democratic governance in the state, Ekiti Central had ruled for 12 years – four years by the first civilian governor of the state, Niyi Adebayo and eight years by Ayodele Fayose. Ekiti North has ruled for almost four years through Engr Segun Oni and the eight years that will be completed in 2022 by Kayode Fayemi.

The general assumption is that Ekiti South Senatorial District has been marginalised, hence the demand that the governorship position should be ceded to Ekiti South in 2023. Yet, all those who have indicated their interest in the position in both the PDP and APC are from the three zones.

A former deputy governor of the state, Chief Abiodun Aluko, said the next governorship seat should be zoned to Ekiti South because it has very competent sons and daughters that can rule the state successfully.

Also Ekiti State Coordinator of APC Youth for Continuity, Mr Alade Emmanuel, has said that Governor Kayode Fayemi will support every legitimate process that will guarantee a free, fair and hitch-free primary in the APC.

He debunked the rumour that Fayemi and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, are determined to impose a candidate, by “muzzling and arm twisting other interested aspirants”

He pointed out that Fayemi, whom he described as a strong advocate and believer in justice, fair play and the rule of law, would not take any step that would muzzle anyone or circumvent or short circuit the laid down standards of the APC.

THEWILL has gathered that many aspirants in the APC are lobbying for the support of the incumbent governor, while those in the opposing camp, the members of South West Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA), are banking on the direct primary option.