Nigeria: Ekiti - 4 Years After, Fayemi Returns to Ayaba House

Kayode Fayemi.

Four years after he was allegedly rigged out of office by the past administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr John Kayode Fayemi, is set to return to Ayaba House, the Ekiti State Government House, in October to continue his job as governor, following his victory in Saturday's governorship poll in the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the former minister of mines and steel winner of the fiercely contested election after collation of the results.

The chief returning officer and Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, who declared Fayemi the winner and governor-elect just yesterday said Fayemi polled 197,459 votes to defeat his PDP rival, Olusola Eleka, who got 178,121 votes

Olayinka said, while 909,589 voters were registered for the election, only 405,861 voters were accredited to vote in the election, even as total valid votes stood at 384,594 votes, with 15,857 declared invalid and total votes cast standing at 402,451.

"I, Prof. Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, who served as the Returning Officer for the Ekiti State governorship election election, hereby declare that John Kayode Fayemi, having certified the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner of the governorship election and is returned elected", he said.

But rejecting the outcome of the poll, the PDP agent, Mr Sunday Olowolafe, accused the APC of militarising the July 14 governorship poll to get undue advantage in the election.

Olowolafe also alleged that the voters were financially induced in the process of casting their votes for their respective choices.

He said, "The National Human Right Commission, NHRC, should come to our aid in Ekiti State. Our state has been under siege in the build up to the election and is still under siege.

"The election was militarized and this is not good for our democracy. Even the sitting governor of the state, Fayose, and his deputy, who is our candidate for the poll were molested by the security agents sent to the state by the Federal Government."

In a swift reaction, the APC agent, Mr Sunday Adumo, described the victory of the party as the people's will.

Adumo said the people have proved that there are rewards for doing good adding that "it is a lesson for the people in the position of authority to always lead well when they are given the opportunity because power belongs to the people. Four years ago we had taken a step forward but when PDP came to power we took 20 years' steps backward.

"Go to Ikogosi, what we have done there has been destroyed by the present state government. We thank the good people of the state for this opportunity. We will leave up to their expectations by the grace of God."

PMB, Saraki, APC, Others Excited Overs Victory

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari and other APC bigwigs yesterday expressed joy over the victory of John Kayode Fayemi in the Ekiti State governorship election.

In a statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, the president commended the APC candidate and all party supporters for the hard-fought victory after a dignified campaign.

President Buhari urged the governor-elect and APC members to be magnanimous in victory as the incoming administration prepares to unfold a new lease of life for the people of Ekiti State through purposeful and responsible governance.

He commended the people of the State for their matured and peaceful conduct as they made their choice using the power of the ballot.

President Buhari also lauded INEC for adequate preparations and displaying impartiality throughout the process.

He applauded the security agencies for creating the right atmosphere for the relatively peaceful conduct of the polls and urges them to sustain the peace.

He also commended local and international observers and monitors for their vigilance and contributions towards the relatively hitch-free exercise.

The president also urged the losers to be gallant in conceding defeat and use constitutional means to settle whatever grievances they may have rather than resort to self-help.

Buhari appealed to all stakeholders in Ekiti State to work towards a successful transition to a new administration in the higher interest of not only the State but the entire nation and its fledgling democratic experience.

"In all this, the people of Ekiti State have spoken loud and clear, and democracy has won again," the president noted.

On his part, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, congratulated the governor-elect, Fayemi, on his victory in the Ekiti gubernatorial election.

Saraki, in a statement signed by his special adviser on media and publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged the governor-elect to use his second-coming to continue the people-centered policies and programmes of his first term, while urging him to also work to grow the state's economy in order to leave behind a sustainable legacy.

According to Olaniyonu, "Saraki said the victory was a sign that the people of Ekiti State still have confidence in the former minister's ability to provide good governance and render efficient service to the state and its people. He also advised the Governor-elect to maintain his focus on how to bring more development to the State and improve the standard of living of the people.

"The Senate President also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the law enforcement and security agencies, the government and entire electorate to learn some lessons from the Ekiti State gubernatorial election, which has served as a fore-runner to the 2019 General Elections and ensure that all areas of complaints and inadequacies are corrected before a similar election in Osun State and the 2019 general elections".

In the same vein, the governing APC congratulated Fayemi on his election as the governor-elect of Ekiti State.

The Party noted that Fayemi ran an effective and positive campaign focused on his agenda of rebuilding the economy of the state and returning its lost values of integrity, prudence and decency.

In a statement signed by the party's national publicity secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, APC commended INEC, security agencies, local and international observers, as well as other stakeholders, for their admirable role in making the Ekiti gubernatorial election one in which the people's will has prevailed.

It stated: "This is a demonstration of their trust and confidence in Dr. Kayode Fayemi's ability to deliver on his campaign promises and a rejection of the crude and pedestrian politics of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

"We assure the people of Ekiti, and indeed all Nigerians, that our Party is best placed to move the country forward and resolve the seemingly intractable problems that have held us back".

Ekiti Election Proves PDP Is Irreparably Broken, Dismantled - Presidency

Following APC's victory in the Ekiti gubernatorial election, the presidency said yesterday the result is a proof that the PDP is irreparably broken and dismantled.

In a statement by the senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president, Garba Shehu, the presidency noted that the opposition party has nothing to offer to the country and its people.

Shehu said, "For the People's Democratic Party (PDP) which came second in the election in a state that they held sway, it is a loss politically and psychologically.

The result of the election has proved that PDP is irreparably broken and dismantled. They have nothing to offer to the country and its people. The message from Ekiti is that no state in Nigeria will vote PDP. Never again".

He said the people of the politically significant state of Ekiti spoke against their outgoing governor, Ayodele Fayose, who told them that the governorship election they just had was a referendum on President Muhammadu Buhari.

The presidential spokesman recalled that Fayose had said candidates Kayode Fayemi and Olusola Eleka were pawns and that he and President Buhari were the actual contestants.

"In what observers said was the most intense, and a most angry campaign, the people gave their verdict: Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the one-time governor, declared persona-non-grata is now persona-grata again", he added.

Shehu declared that President Buhari has won this referendum, saying the people of the state have sent a clear message.

He noted that the politics of brinksmanship, assaults, insults, abuses and Robin Hoodism disguised as stomach infrastructure has been rejected in favour of politics of inclusion, development, responsibility and good governance.

He said President Buhari's war against corruption and insecurity, the message of agric revolution and infrastructure development and fidelity in resource allocation and management have struck a chord with Ekiti voters, who had been lied to and deceived by Governor Fayose.

Shehu said, while the opposition continued to rant at him, President Buhari's uprightness, coupled with incorruptibility and personal integrity, unmatched by any politician in the country has again stood the test of time.

Pointing out that APC's win in Ekiti means the party has control over 25 out of the 36 states of the federation, the presidential spokesman added that the party has become the only one in power in the six states of the South-West geopolitical zone.

He said, "This win is equally a huge boost to the APC and its new leadership under Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, who got their first baptism of fire in Ekiti. It is, importantly, a big boost to the second term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari.

"As for Mr Fayose and his morbid brand of politics, it is now his time to reconcile himself to the imminent political extinction he faces, his political career sealed for good.

"Newspapers have mistaken him for a gadfly who creates discomfort for the government at the centre to make it better, but Fayose is a street-type thug.

"He never fits the role of a gadfly because he thrives on bitter enmity. Opposition does not mean a negative view of everything. Neither does it translate into a licence to abuse your superiors".

PDP Rejects Results, Heads To Court

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the PDP yesterday rejected the result of the Ekiti State governorship election, alleging that it was falsified.

The party, while describing the election as a show of banditry, said the authentic results flowing directly from the polling centers across the state showed that its candidate, Prof Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, won the election with very comfortable margin.

PDP further alleged that the APC conspired with INEC to bring in card reader machines belonging to Kogi, Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun states into Ekiti State to enable APC members from these states to vote in Ekiti election with ease.

The party accused INEC of allowing the alteration of results at the collation centers, just as it said most of its agents at the polling units across the state were brutalised and arrested.

Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, however hinted that the party would head to court after concluding its investigation on the entire scope of events before, during and after the polls.

Stating that the party has instructed its agents to assemble at the PDP collation center in Ado Ekiti, the party spokesman said a "committee will be constituted to look into the issues and whatever it comes up with we will abide with their decision,"

Ologbondiyan added: "PDP rejects in its entirety the results concocted by the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, in the governorship election in Ekiti State and declared by INEC.

"The party rejects the falsified results and declaration of APC candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to be the winner of the election, as a daylight robbery, a brazen subversion of the will of the people and direct assault on our democracy.

"From the authentic results flowing directly from the polling centers across the state, it is clear that the PDP candidate, Prof Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, incontrovertibly won the election, with very comfortable margin over the APC candidate, only for INEC to allow the alteration of results at the collation centres.

"Painfully, the people of Ekiti State were pillaged, openly brutalised, confronted with the worst form of cruelty and intimidation from security agencies, and their mandate, which they freely gave to the PDP, was snatched at 'gun point' by enemies of democracy, who are parading themselves as icons of anti-corruption.

"Nigerians are witnesses to all manipulations by the APC, aided by security agencies and compromised INEC officials, to rig the election, particularly, the audacious alteration and substitution of election results in favour of the APC at the collation centers amidst the brutalization of our agents.

"The PDP has the details of all the polling units where we won, mostly with very wide margin ahead of the APC, only for the security agencies to chase away our agents, then aid the alteration and swapping of such results with those smuggled in by the APC at the collation centers.

"We have the detail of the discrepancies between the authentic results from the polling units and the false figures eventually announced by INEC.

"It is also instructive to state that all the issues we raised ahead of the election, including the conspiracy between the APC, some compromised INEC officials and security agencies; the importation of thugs from other states by the APC; the use of brute force against our members, the falsification and alteration of results in favour of the APC, all manifested in the election.

"We know how APC conspired with INEC to bring in card reader machines belonging to Kogi, Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun states into Ekiti state to enable APC members from these states to vote in Ekiti election with ease".

"Nigerians will recall the irresponsible and inciting statement credited to the factional National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, where he threatened that the opposition will be "crushed" in this election.

"Finally, let it be known to all that, surely, this electoral banditry will not stand. The PDP is already collating all the infractions in this election and within the possible timeframe, we shall make our next step to reclaim our stolen mandate public."

Nigerians Have Spoken, Says Lai Mohammed

Meanwhile, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has reacted to the victory of the APC in the Ekiti governorship election, saying, "Nigerian people have spoken."

Addressing a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the minister said Nigerians have also spoken loudly about their perception of the APC-led President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Alhaji Mohammed said the election was more than a state gubernatorial poll, adding that it was a referendum on the performance of the Buhari administration.

He stated: "The election was more than one state's gubernatorial poll. It was a referendum on the performance of the Buhari Administration. And Nigerians have given their verdict!

"It is not just a defeat for the PDP, it is a defeat for all the naysayers who have made themselves the spokespersons for Nigerians."

The minister said winning the election is also a death knell for fake news, noting that anyone who monitored the social media before and during the election would think it would be a landslide for the PDP.

Noting that the reality is different, he said, "We want to most sincerely thank the people of Ekiti State for ensuring that the election was free, fair and credible, as attested to by local and international observers, and for turning out en masse to exercise their franchise.

"In 2014, the votes of the people of Ekiti did not count as the then PDP-led federal government used federal might to hijack the election and concoct the result".

Mohammed who disclosed that in 2014, the PDP barred two serving governors from travelling to Ekiti to support their fellow governor said the state government willfully shut the Akure airport and leaders of then opposition APC were forced to return to Lagos by road in the night.

He said with the roles reversed in 2018, they decided not to pay the PDP back in its own coin because of the APC led-federal government's strong belief in the rule of law. "The rest is history," he added.

Alleged N1.3bn Fraud: EFCC Closes In On Fayose

Meanwhile, ahead of the expiration of his immunity as governor, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) hinted yesterday that it has dusted a N1.3 billion fraud case filed against outgoing Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose.

The anti-graft agency, while disclosing this in a post on its Twitter handle, @officialEFCC yesterday, said "The parri (party) is over, the cloak of immunity torn apart and the staff broken.

"Ekiti Integrated Poultry Project/Biological concepts Limited N1.3 billion fraud case file dusted off the shelves. See you soon,"

The tweet came few hours after the INEC announced the results of Saturday's governorship election in the state.

LEADERSHIP had reported that detectives had traced about N4.745billion of the diverted $2. 1billion arms cash to a former Minister of State (Defence), Musiliu Obanikoro and Ekiti State governor.

The EFCC said the cash was sourced from the SAS Impress Account of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) under ex-NSA Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) prior to the conduct of the June 21, 2014 Ekiti State governorship election.

Others linked with the sharing of the slush funds include Fayose's associate, Abiodun Agbele (Alias Abbey); Mrs Helen Olayemi Fayose; Obanikoro's sons -- Gbolahan and Babajide -- Ikenna Ezekwe; Sylvan Mcnamara Limited (a company allegedly run by the Obanikoros); Spotless Hotel, owned by Fayose and De Privateer Limited, which is owned by Agbele.

According to documents from the EFCC, investigators discovered that a firm, Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, allegedly owned by Obanikoro and his sons, was used to launder the N4.745billion.

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