In a highly pulsating and keenly contested primary, the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof Kolapo Olusola, on Tuesday emerged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) for the July 14 governorship election.
Even the stepping down of Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Biodun Olujimi could not salvage the situation, as Olusola polled 1,190 votes defeating his close rival and former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who polled a total vote of 771.
Governor Ayodele Fayose had on September 6, 2017 endorsed his Deputy to succeed him, which generated a fierce battle between him and other contestants, who though he was tactically trying to preclude them from the race.
Shortly before the commencement of voting at 2.15 pm , the third contestant , Olujimi stepped down for Adeyeye, saying :“I have to make myself the sacrificial lamb to make our party great”.
Okowa while announcing the results hailed the contestants and delegates for displaying maturity, pointing out that this had again confirmed that the PDP was truly a democratic party.
He said: “By the power vested in me as the Returning Officer ,I hereby return Prof Kolapo Olusola as the duly nominated gubernatorial candidate of the PDP for Ekti State governorship election, having scored the highest number of votes cast in this election.
“I want to congratulate Prof Kolapo Olusola for his victory, I wish him well”, Okowa said.
Tactically taunting Ekiti APC over the violence that marred its primary and rendered it nugatory, Okowa added that : “if you think this exercise was not peaceful, just look back and examine what happened in the past”
He thanked Fayose for his support, particularly for the security men and members of the panel, saying this accounted for success of the poll.
The Delta Governor commended Fayose for playing a fatherly role, urging party members to immediately bury the hatchets elicited by the scramble for the governorship ticket by rallying support for Olusola for the PDP to be able to retain Ekiti.
He thanked the party members for their patience and heads of security agencies for doing a good job, saying : “we thank you for doing a good job”.
Just before the commencement of voting, Senator Olujimi stepped down and this reduced the number of contestant to two.
“It was a very tough contention and just before Adeyeye left the hall , he came to tell me he was satisfied with the conduct of the exercise.
“I thank the members of the panel and PDP NWC for reposing confidence in us. We also thank
In the primary election, 2,086 were accredited for the election but only 1,968 were allowed to vote on account of disqualification.
Responding, Olusola said he would continue to display loyalty to the party and he thanked those who facilitated his victory.
“I humbly thanked all our party stalwarts who made this victory possible, particularly , Governor Ayodele Fayose .
“I want to thank the doggedness of my co-contestant, Prince Adeyeye. History will have it that he has put in his best for a better Ekiti. I am determined to move Ekiti forward by sustaining those legacies that were started by our amiable governor. We are aware of the plans of the interlopers who wanted to grab power through the backdoor. Whether they like it or not, we shall give them another 16-0 again with the support of Ekiti people. I thank Governor Fayose for standing firm behind me despite all odds, I shall eternally be grateful to you for this love”, he said.
Fayose in his response jokingly recommended Okowa to APC for the conduct of the rescheduled primary in Ekiti, saying “APC is worse than the PDP in every aspect”.
He said he will reach out to Adeyeye and Olujimi to assure them of relevance in the party.
The election was conducted under a peaceful and well arranged atmosphere unlike violence that disrupted the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election last Saturday.
The delegates and security agencies comported themselves in a peaceful manner and this substantially helped the outcome of the election the people expected would be violent.
The security around the venue was tight as combined forces of the Police, men of the Department of State Services(DSS) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) cordoned off all roads leading to the Uncle Eagle Hall in Ado Ekiti.
The security agencies, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Chijoke Ndu prevented some journalists from entering the venue, as they were chased away with sniffer dogs.
Meanwhile, Olujimi, who represents Ekiti South in the National Assembly, announced her withdrawal shortly before the commencement of voting by the delegates at the Eagle Event Centre, venue of the exercise.
Olujimi, whose action elicits a loud applause, said she decided to collapse her structure for Adeyeye for the progress of the party.
She said, “For the benefits of our party I offer myself as a sacrificial lamb to make our party great. I am collapsing my structure for Prince Dayo Adeyeye. ”
Immediately, the leader of Governorship Primary of PDP in Ekiti state and governor of Delta state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, asked Senator Olujimi and her agent to step down from the stage where they sat.
He said that her withdrawal had reduced the aspirants to two. “This means that only two aspirants are contesting. 1966 delegates are voting to elect the party’s flag bearer.”
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