Former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi , on Saturday emerged the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the July 14 governorship election in the State.
Fayemi polled 941 votes to beat his closest rival, former Governor Segun Oni, who garnered 481 votes to emerge runner up among other 30 aspirants.
An aggregate of 2,327 delegates were accredited for the election out of which 2,313 valid votes were cast while 11 were invalidated.
In the election declared, an engineer, Kayode Ojo got 281, Hon Femi Bamisile, 179, Dr Oluwole Oluyede, 110, Senator Gbenga Aluko, 86, Hon Bimbo Daramola, 28, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, 23, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, who had stepped down got 10 votes, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, 8 , Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, 4, Senator Ayo Arise, 2 and Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua polled 2 votes, Oladipo Ogunkoyode, 8, Kola Alabi, 14, Bisi Aloba , 7, Sesan Fatoba, 45, Victor Kolade, 16.
Ojudu was alleged to have failed to notify the committee officially about his withdrawal from the race.
With this victory, Fayemi will slug it out with Deputy Governor Kolapo Olusola, who had picked the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).
The Chairman of the APC Primary Committee and Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura while officially announcing the results in conjunction with INEC representatives , said Fayemi “having polled the highest number of valid votes , is hereby declared the candidate
of the APC for the July 14 Governorship election”.
He said : ” I commend and appreciate you for your patience ,commitment, and believe in the great party. I thank you for making this exercise a great success. I am proud to be a member of APC in Nigeria”.
Al-Makura commended the aspirants for their doggedness and sacrifice for the party, saying the same spirit should be exhibited for the July 14 election for APC to be able to win the election.
He praised the security agencies for displaying professionalism, branding the outcome of the election as a true reflection of the wishes of the delegates.
He said: “We have to imbibe the spirit of oneness and sportsmanship.
The task of making Ekiti APC reclaiming the state should be a collective one. Let us rally support for the candidate that just emerged for the sake of our party.
“We must think of the rigour we have passed through in the last few days to make up do those things that will be in the interest of our party”, he advised.
In his acceptance speech, Fayemi said he felt humbled to have been found worthy to be the APC flag bearer just as he thanked the delegates for reposing confidence in him, appealing to all the aspirants to support for the task of winning Ekiti to be a collective victory.
Fayemi said Governor Al-Makura and his team did a good job by being transparent in the conduct of the election, saying he would work with all stakeholders in the interest of the party.
He advised the aspirants to forget whatever division the primary must have caused by focusing attentions on the coming election and how best to make APC relevant in the state, saying “No one including myself is greater than the party”.
He appreciated the roles played by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande , Aremo Segun Osoba and Otunba Niyi Adebayo for their contributions to the success of this election”, he said.
“Ekiti people should be rest assured that I am not on vengeance mission. In the course of ruling as a governor, I must have committed some errors by omission or commission, I hereby apologise to those who must have been adversely affected by our policies.
“I thank my co-contestants, we are in this journey together and we must be committed to the struggle to reclaim Ekiti and banish poverty from our land”.
Initially, 33 aspirants showed interest for the plum seat before the withdrawal of the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Mr. Babafemi Ojudu from the keenly contested race on Thursday.
The election was truncated by irate party men on May 5 , who trooped to the venue and smashed the ballot boxes, citing cases of electoral malfeasance allegedly perpetrated by one of the aspirants.
The winner, Fayemi was the last to declare interest in the game and this accounted for the seeming bellicosity displayed by other contestants, who felt Fayemi ought to play the role of leadership, rather than plunging into the race with those that passed through his political tutelage.
Fayemi, who holds a PhD in War Studies, is the current Minister of Mines and Steel Development under the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Fayemi, played pivotal role in the extermination of military from the country’s body polity, being a member of the pro-democracy group that operated under National Democratic Coalition(NADECO) that fought military junta to standstill .
He bagged Bachelor of Honours Degree in History from University of Lagos(UNILAG) and Masters of Arts in History and Internal Relations from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and Doctor of Philosophy in War Studies from the Kings College, University of
He contested governorship election on the platform of the Action Congress(AC) in 2007 as an underdog and defeated 14 other aspirants, who later defected to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in protest.
The former governor contested against Engr Olusegun Adebayo Oni in the 2007 governorship and lost. He was in court for three and half years before Appeal Court in Kwara State, led by Justice Ayo Salami declared him the validly elected governor in the 2007 highly pulsating
Before the pronouncement, the same court, led by Justice Mohammed Dattijo , had on February 17, 2007 ordered a rerun in 10 local governments , which culminated in the controversial Ido/Osi highly vitiated votes that had become a lexicon in the country’s politics.
Fayemi ruled Ekiti between October 16 , 2010 and October 16, 2014 and sought reelection, which he abysmally lost to Governor Ayodele Fayose of the PDP. In fact, he lost in the 16 local governments areas of the state, even as an incumbent.
Upon assumption of office, President Buhari appointed him as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, representing Ekiti nationality in the Federal Executive Council(FEC).
To prevent ballot snatching , security heads in the state were saddled with the responsibility of guarding the boxes, as the boxes were situated right beside their seats.
The election was botched last weekend following violent protest by some agents that some security men and agent of a particularly aspirant were compromising the integrity of the poll.
The security for this election was enormous, as combined forces of the Department of State Services(DSS), police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps , had cordoned off the roads leading to the Damlek Event Centre located along Afao road, Ado Ekiti.
Those guarding the boxes include: State Director of DSS, Mrs Promise Ihenacho, Police Commissioner, Mr Bello Ahmed , State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Donatus Ikemefuna, among others There was diversion of road leading to Oke Ila-Afao road As road to
those areas were diverted through the State Housing .
The security mounted about six checkpoints where the aspirants, delegates and other participants were thoroughly frisked before entry.
For News, Articles, Opinions, write-ups, advertisement, and other related issues or Invitation to cover your events, please contact The Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com OR call 07011172166(WhatsApp), 07088886879, 08022433068, 08038472758 (WhatsApp) or NATIONAL NEWSBEAM on Telegram