Since, the defeat of Ayo Fayose’s PDP in the Saturday, July 14, 2018 Ekiti State governorship election, political watchers have shifted attention to Rivers State, where Fayaose’s political twin brother, Nyesom Wike would be seeking re-election early 2019. For the APC, the slogan is one down, one more to go.
The Rivers APC cannot wait to see the political demise of Nyesom Wike. The defeat of Fayose and the PDP has given renewed impetus to APC supporters in Rivers State who are growing in confidence that Governor Wike would go the way of Fayose.
Ekiti and Rivers States have shared a lot in common lately, at least politically. They both have governors with very similar behavioural traits, vociferous, brash, caustic, some call them populist, bold and fearless.
Governors Ayo Peter Fayose and Ezenwo Nyesom Wike were elected on the platform of the PDP and are fierce critics of the APC-led Federal Government. Fayose is called “Peter the Rock” and “Mr. Stomach Infrastructure” and Wike is called “High Tension” and “Mr. Projects”. Unarguably, they are the loudest of the 36 state governors in Nigeria, adored by their followers and loathed by opponents.
Both Ayo Fayose and Nyesom Wike came to power in similar fashion, foisted by Federal Might on the people.
Fayose was a beneficiary of the 2003 ‘Obasanjo hurricane’ that swept off all AD governors in the South-West, leaving Bola Tinubu of Lagos as the sole survivor. In 2014, the President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government again ensured Fayose’s return as governor of Ekiti after he was ‘impeached’ on October 16, 2006.
Governor Wike on his part, was supported in 2015 by the Jonathan-led federal government in total disregard of the time-honoured rotation principle in Rivers State. His march to Government House is recorded as the bloodiest in the annals of Rivers State history.
The sudden defeat of former President Jonathan and the PDP in the 2015 presidential election created a national leadership vacuum in the PDP which the Fayose/Wike TagTeam filled. They became the face of the opposition party that tries to unsettle the APC-led Federal government which on its part is determined to get rid of the twosome political irritants.
Since the inauguration of the President Mohammad Buhari presidency, Governors Fayose and Wike have acted in several ways to challenge the federal authority and in doing so, created the perception of themselves as being politically invincible. They boast that no political force in the land can defeat them in an election in their respective states. Fayose said on national TV that Ekiti people would vote overwhelmingly for anybody he endorsed for the 2018 governorship election. But that assertion has just been disproved.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, July 15, 2018 declared the governorship candidate of APC, Kayode John Fayemi winner of the Ekiti State governorship election with 197,459 votes. Fayose’s candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola-Eleka of the PDP scored 178,459 votes. Fayemi won in 12 of the 16 local government areas. Olusola won in four.
The political invincibility of Ayo Fayose has come to abrupt end and on October 16, 2018, the once solid “Rock” of Ekiti politics would pack out of Government House without the honour of deciding his successor. The “Rock” had been crushed by the APC political dynamite.
The questions on the lips of political watchers are: Can the Ekiti victory be replicated in Rivers State? What were the factors responsible for the defeat of Ayo Fayose in Ekiti State? Can those factors play out in Rivers State? Are the scenarios the same?
In some ways, the Ekiti 2018 governorship election result is indicative of what to expect in the Rivers 2019 governorship election.
A critical evaluation of the Ekiti scenario vis-à-vis the Rivers political setting could shed light on the possibility or otherwise of the APC reenacting the Ekiti victory in Rivers State.
This analysis, looks at the main factors that influenced the just concluded Ekiti governorship election and extrapolates the possibility or otherwise of replicating same in Rivers 2019 governorship election. These factors are: The interplay of ethnic forces; the power of incumbency Vs federal might; the imposition of candidates; vote buying and the role of violence in election.
Homogeneous Vs Heterogeneous: The interplay of ethnic forces
Ekiti is a homogeneous Yoruba state with common sensibilities. All the towns and villages are indigenous Ekiti: Aaye-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti, Bolorunduro-Ekiti, Egbe-Ekiti, Ifaki-Ekiti etc. On the other hand, Rivers State is a multi-ethnic state put together by military fiat and is susceptible to political divisiveness than Ekiti State.
Political succession, in Ekiti has not been as stable as it is in Rivers State. In the 19 years of this democratic dispensation (1999-2018), Ekiti State has been governed by a record of eight governors/Ag. Governors/administrators: Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Mr. Ayo Fayose, Mr. Friday Aderemi (one day), Brigadier General Adetunji Olorin (rtd.) (six months), Tope Ademiluyi (31 days), Segun Oni, Tunji Odeyemi (79 days), Segun Oni, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Fayose. It has been a cycle of instability.
On the other hand, apart from the five-months administration of Barr. Celestine Omehia and the 2013/15 bloodshed that attended Nyesom Wike’s ambition, Rivers State has since 1999, had only Peter Odili, Chibuike Amaechi and Nyesom Wike.
Again, while Ekiti has since 1999, been exchanging the baton of power between the two major parties (AD/ACN/APC and PDP), Rivers State has elected all the governors on the platform of PDP apart from the short period during which Governor Amaechi governed as an APC member.
As a homogeneous state, the agitation for the rotation of the governorship of Ekiti is amongst the three senatorial zones of Ekiti North, Ekiti Central and Ekiti South. While Ekiti Central had produced Governors Niyi Adebayo and Ayo Fayose, Ekiti North had produced Governors Segun Oni and Kayode Fayemi; this leaves Ekiti South deprived. Intriguingly, the 2018 PDP governorship candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola-Eleka is from Ekiti South, yet Kayode Fayemi Ekiti North was elected again.
As a multi-ethnic state dominated mainly by the Igboid, the Ijoid and the Ogoni people, agitation for the rotation of the governorship in Rivers State has been on two zoning principles: The Upland/Riverine Dichotomy and the Senatorial zoning.
The agitation for the rotation of the governorship seat was not a major factor in the Ekiti State election but the same cannot be said in Rivers State where the agitations by the Ijaws and Ogonis for the 2019 governorship have been very intense.
The leadership of the Rivers APC has made a commitment towards power shift to the Riverine-Ijaw and unlike in Ekiti State, the APC could reap bountifully from the politics of power shift, especially if the party fields a person whose candidature can unite the party and split the PDP. The politics of power rotation is therefore a potent tool that can determine the replication of Ekiti result in Rivers 2019.
Power of Incumbency Vs Federal Might
Ekiti and Rivers States have governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which is currently the minority party in Nigeria with an APC-led federal government.
This means that there are two levels of the power of incumbency at play in both states. Governors Ayo Fayose and Nyesom Wike of the PDP control state powers while the APC controls the Federal seat of power.
In both states, aside of the state coffers, the governors control all the state government institutions, particularly the forces of mobilization at the local government councils, state commissioners, Heads of parastatals, council of traditional rulers etc. These institutions are all at the service of the state governors.
Recall, that during the campaigns, Governor Ayo Fayose flexed his incumbency muscles when he declared a public holiday and ordered commercial vehicles off the road in a desperate effort to spite President Buhari and frustrate the APC governorship grand rally in the state capital.
Governor Wike has also been accused severally of impunity and running Rivers State as a sole administrator. He is the state and his word is law.
In spite of the enormous powers of Governors Fayase and Wike, they are constantly crying and raising alarms about the intimidating powers of the federal government. Both Governors Wike and Fayose are fond of accusing the federal government of plotting to eliminate them through the instrumentality of the state security agencies.
The powers of Governors Fayose and Wike are greatly curtailed by the federal might of the APC through the party leaders in their respective states. In Rivers State, a former Governor and current Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi spearheads the battle against Wike while in Ekiti State there are three former governors in the APC. They are: Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Segun Oni and Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Like Fayose, Wike takes delight in attacking the Federal Government and Federal Institutions, especially the security agencies and INEC but unlike Fayose, Wike does not insult President Buhari directly.
Previous Federal Governments have been fingered in governorship elections in both Ekiti and Rivers States in which incumbent governors lost to the opposition. It happened in 2003 and 2014 in Ekiti and 2015 in Rivers State. Incumbent governors have always lost to the combined forces of the opposition and the federal might. Governor Ayo Fayose himself had twice (2003 and 2014) benefited from the power of the federal might. Wike was literarily imposed by federal might in 2015.
Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of APC was quoted as saying that in 2019, those manipulation instruments will not be at PDP’s disposal.
In the just concluded Ekiti election, there were reports of a generous deployment of soldiers in specific locations, many of them ditching the Army camouflage. Observers say that there was nothing spectacular about this strategy: Fayose, Wike and the PDP employed it to devilishly spot-on use in 2014 and 2015 when federal power was in their grip. Now, Fayose has been given a taste of his own medicine; with Wike waiting to take a generous dose in 2019.
The Rivers State governor has already started crying foul, accusing the APC of plans to snatch the state by force in 2019. He is also boasting that Rivers people shall resist any attempt to take the state by force.
Commenting on the Ekiti election, Wike said that he has never seen this type of political robbery and that what transpired during the Ekiti Governorship Election is the worst political robbery in the nation’s democratic history.
Governor Wike said the APC Federal Government will not be able to replicate the Ekiti ‘political robbery’ in Rivers State because Rivers people are fully prepared. The governor said this in the thanksgiving service at St. Paul Anglican Cathedral Church, Port Harcourt to mark the end of the third year anniversary celebration of his administration.
“Don’t be worried about what happened in Ekiti State. We are prepared. It will not happen here in Rivers State.
“I have never experienced that kind of robbery in politics. I told my colleagues, do not give them any chance. Most of them in APC are happy that they will repeat the same thing in Rivers State, we are waiting, come and repeat. Let your spirit not be down, work hard and victory will be ours”. Wike assured his listeners.
In preparation, Gov. Wike is creating neighborhood watch, liaison officers and waterfront surveillance to counter the federal might. He is preaching hate against the APC and the presidency. Gov. Wike knows the full weight of the federal might, having deployed same to advantage in 2015. The table is turning and he shouting blue murder.
Imposition of Candidate
Analysts have identified, the imposition on the PDP of Professor Olusola Eleka by the incumbent Governor Ayo Fayose as the major factor that spelt doom for the party in the just concluded governorship election. Fayose had publicly endorsed his deputy and used his incumbency to rally support and ensure victory Prof. Eleka in the PDP primaries. This resulted in the defection of some prominent PDP bigwigs to the rival APC. It is also believed that the PDP in Ekiti State suffered some internal sabotage from senior members who did not believe in Olusola’s candidature.
For instance, in the four local government areas in which Prof. Eleka defeated Dr. Fayemi, the professor got the highest vote margin of over 5,000 votes in his hometown of Ikere-Ekiti but this was cancelled by the over 5,000 votes Feyemi got in Ise/Orun LGA, the hometown of former PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Dayo Adeyeye who defected to the APC after the PDP primary.
As if the imposition of Deputy Governor Eleka was not enough, Governor Fayose framed the election as a battle between himself and the APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. It was Fayose Vs Fayemi but unfortunately, on election day, Fayose’s name was not on the ballot paper.
Some commentators have credited the strong showing of the PDP in the election as a vote for Fayose but many are of the opinion that, had Fayose remained in the background, the urbane professor would have performed better at the poll. A little over 19,000 votes separated the combatants.
Writing on ‘The Fall of Ayodele Fayose’ Ahamefula Ogbu said “Ordinarily, one would think that Fayose and not his deputy, Professor Olusola Eleka was the one running against Kayode Fayemi in the election that has been won and lost as the poster of the election appeared to have the face of Eleka and the reputation of Fayose. The Governor was more vocal in boasts, threats and self-adulation, often assuring that loss at the polls was impossibility for his party, the Peoples Democratic Party”.
On the other hand, the Ekiti APC’s post-primary reconciliation was successful. Nobody defected. All the party’s leading lights were on the same page, unlike in the PDP where some key members defected to the APC.
In Rivers State, the imposition of candidates has remained a common feature since 1999. In that year, a group of elder statesmen led by Alabo T. O. Graham-Douglas, Chief Aguma and Dr Marshall Harry took over the PDP and, in their wisdom, issued out Dr. Peter Odili to the Rivers electorate. In the election that followed, Dr. Odili defeated the APP candidate, Chief Ebenezer Isokrari.
The main reason given by these elder statesmen (most of them Ijaws) for supporting Odili, was to ensure equity and mutual coexistence in a new Rivers State after the creation of Bayelsa State.
By 2007, Dr. Peter Odili had taken over the Rivers PDP by pushing aside all the elder statesmen that imposed him on the electorate in 1999. He had become a one-man cabal, some called him the Emperor. Dr. Odili produced Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and later Barr Celestine Omehia for the 2007 Rivers State governorship election.
Although the action of Dr. Odili was opposed by the leadership of Rivers Ijaw community, most Rivers people saw the rationale in Dr. Odili’s action — Ikwerre, where Amaechi and Omehia come from, apart from being a large ethnic group, has not produced a governor since the creation of the state in 1967.
The worst happened in 2015 when in total contradiction and in direct confrontation to the shared sensibilities of Rivers people, Barrister Nyesom Wike, another Ikwerre man was imposed on Rivers State to succeed his kinsman, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. The argument was that the PDP zoning policy which should have precluded Wike from the position, was suspended when consideration was being made on who could fly the PDP flag to victory in the 2015 gubernatorial election.
The President Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP argued unashamedly that because it could not find anybody in the whole of riverine to lead PDP to victory in 2015, Nyesom Wike was conscripted into the governorship race.
In Rivers APC, Amaechi in 2015 had in the spirit of maintaining equity and mutual coexistence among Rivers people, picked a riverine man Dr. Dakuku Peterside ahead of his upland colleague, Senator Magnus Abe. By that action, Governor Amaechi honoured the power rotation principle.
Ahead of the 2019 governorship elections, despite the open confession by the PDP that the party had wronged the nation during its 16 years stay in power and admitting that the party had engaged in gross impunity in the past, which led its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, to render a national apology; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in no mood to chart a new course. At least not in Rivers State, the home of its National Chairman.
The PDP by all indication would field Governor Wike again in 2019 in further subversion of the turn-by-turn rotation policy – an act of infraction against the party’s principle of rotation as enshrined in its constitution. The lack of repentance by the PDP manifested massively during the nomination of candidates in the June, 2018 Local Government Elections during which candidates were imposed across board.
In Rivers State APC, the leader of the party, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has said openly that he would not support the governorship aspiration of Senator Magnus Abe because his candidature defies the Upland/Riverine zoning principle. While the Magnus Abe camp has refused to accept the position of Amaechi, the mainstream Rivers APC appears to have surrendered its sovereignty to the Minister of Transportation during the recently concluded congresses. Majority of party members are ready to support anybody Amaechi endorses. Here lies the dilemma for the Rivers State APC and the replication of the Ekiti feat.
When Governor Fayose was asked about the possible effect of “imposing” his deputy on the party and its likely effects on the outcome, he boasted that “Even if I imposed my family members, Ekiti people will still vote for that person, you see, I was in town few days ago frying garri with the people, that’s to show you I’m a man of the people, all those plan they are planning in Abuja, I’m aware of, even if President Buhari comes to Ekiti on that day, I’m still going to defeat him, if they like let them come with their soldiers, I’m Ayodele Fayose Peter, Peter the rock; if you fall on me, you will break your back, if I fall on you, you will die. You know if you are coming with fire, when it enters water it will quench, that’s what’s going to happen. Mark my words”.
If former Governor Amaechi endorses a governorship candidate after considering the preferences of the majority of party members and the general mood of Rivers people; if Rt. Hon Amaechi avoids the pitfall of Governor Fayose who believed that he could impose anybody he likes on Ekiti people, then the Rivers APC would have been put on the right track to replicating the Ekiti feat.
The emergence of a popular and acceptable APC governorship candidate is the sine qua non to rebuilding the party and galvanizing it to victory. Anything short of that would give the PDP too much room to operate.
Apart from presenting a strong and popular APC governorship candidate, the leader of APC, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi must strike a strategic balance between him and the governorship candidate in terms of visibility. The APC candidate must be allowed to take on Gov. Wike directly. The election shouldn’t be between Wike and Amaechi but between the APC candidate and Wike.
Hunger as the dividend of democracy
It is generally stated that Nigeria is potentially one of the richest countries in terms of natural resources endowment yet the country is rated among the lowest on the UN Human Development Index. Experts say that this state of affairs is not accidental but a scheme by the political elite to keep the people in subjugation perpetually. A small clique of politicians keeps a tight grip on the general wealth, knowing that the people will demand accountability if they are economically empowered.
Gov. Ayo Fayose kept the people poor and hungry, occasionally doling out bags of rice and some little cash in what he calls “Stomach Infrastructure.
Listing the factors that played out in the Ekiti governorship election in which Ayo Fayose lost in his LGA, an analyst, Odunayo Ogunmola said that the “victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Kayode Fayemi came from a combination of factors one of which is the grinding poverty in the state, where workers have not been paid for at least six months.
Politicians know that it is easy to get hungry people queue for hours to receive N5,000 and do their bidding on voting day and judging from the reports of election observers, vote buying was a major factor in the Ekiti election.
A commentator, Fisayo Soyombo said that the main deciding factor in the Ekiti election was “Stomach Infrastructure” which according to him changed hands in the Ekiti election. It was alleged that there was vote buying by both PDP and APC but the party with more financial muscle carried the day.
Soyombo said that “PDP did not wait till election day before starting to induce voters; the APC was no different. With a minimum of N3, 000 to N5,000, each of the two leading parties attempted to buy its way to victory. As expected, APC, with its federal spending power, outspent the PDP and, therefore, bought over the bulk of the electorate. In all, this election was a voter-inducement rather than popularity contest”.
There were reports that days to the election, hungry civil servants who were being owed months of unpaid salaries received N3,000 alert from the state government. Many felt insulted by this payment into their accounts and were determined to vote out the PDP.
Ekiti State Organized Labour (NLC/TUC) while giving 14days ultimatum to Fayose immediately after the results of the 2018 governorship election results were released, said that “Workers in the Public Service of Ekiti State have been suffering over the years with nobody to rescue them in relation to payment of salaries, pensions and other benefits. The import of this is that the condition of service of an average worker in Ekiti is deplorable or poor despite the huge fund(s) allocated to Ekiti State from Federation Account between 2014 to date”
The tactics of keeping the electorate poor and hungry until election season, has been the political tool in Rivers State since after the 1999 elections and Gov. Wike has perfected the act. He is said to be a very big spender on elections, he could break the bank.
Analysts say that just like “Mr. Stomach Infrastructure” could not pay salaries to civil servants, “Mr. Projects” does not create jobs for the hungry Rivers population. But unlike Fayose, Wike has the reputation for humongous spending for politics and if Rivers 2019 depends on vote buying, Gov. Wike could close the state for three months and use the entire allocation to buy votes.
A contributor in a radio programme in Port Harcourt, Comrade Geoffrey Onuegbu described the condition of life in Rivers State in these words “People are suffering every day. Go to the rural area you will see people, boys, girls, women begging for money, people suffering. People are finding it difficult to get N100 to eat food. People are dying daily of hunger”.
How can these deprived people resist the temptation of money on election day? This is one area the Rivers APC must scrutinize if it must replicate the Ekiti victory in Rivers State. Interestingly, there is one very popular APC governorship aspirant that can match Wike naira for naira. He is said to be rich and his father is also very rich, not to mention his business associates.
Violence as electoral tool
The Ekiti election was generally reported as peaceful but political thugs were said to have been in action in parts of the state. There were unconfirmed reports that ballot boxes were set ablaze in some localities. Observers say that there is nothing ingenious about this: ballot-box theft was one of the multi-level shenanigans upon which Fayose rode to power in 2014.
If thuggery and violence played minimal roles in Ekiti, the same cannot be expected in Rivers State which has national acclaimed disrepute for political violence. In Rivers State election is war. Since 2003, with the notable exception in 2011, elections in Rivers State have been by guns and not by ballots. In Rivers State, militants, cultists and thugs shoot politicians to power and they were fully supported by the state security during the 2015 elections.
As we approach 2019, the balance of terror could be tilting in favour of the APC because most of the Rivers Ijaw militants and cultists that shot Gov. Wike to power in 2015 are bent on supporting one of their own in 2019.
The 2015 President Jonathan’s re-election bid under which guise Nyesom Wike grabbed the PDP governorship ticket and got the support of Rivers Ijaw cultists and militants, is no more a factor.Now that the factors that were orchestrated to deny Rivers Ijaw the governorship in 2015 are no more tenable, Gov. Wike cannot expect to get the support he got in 2015.
Matters Arising from the Ekiti Election
Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has told the presidency not to rejoice yet, as he will have the last laugh, saying that “I am Peter Ayodele Fayose, I hold my head high, I can never be suppressed. I don’t lose battles and I will not lose this. I will laugh last”. But such overconfidence created the oven in which he was politically roasted.
Fayose has also blamed former President Obasanjo for the defeat of the PDP in Ekiti. He said that “Obasanjo is behind Fayemi’s victory. He has quickly congratulated Fayemi even when he is on his way to China. He is happy that we lost. He doesn’t like my guts and I don’t like him either. The battle line has been drawn. I will ensure he doesn’t return to PDP. If I am to make a choice between Obasanjo and Buhari, I would rather apologize to Buhari and align myself to him than forgive Obasanjo. Obasanjo hates me so much and I don’t like him.”
Writing on ‘the lessons from Ekiti’ Mr. Abasifreke Idiong said that “If there are any lessons I would like to share from the long-drawn melodrama in Ekiti that culminated in victory for Dr Fayemi of the APC, it is the fact that majority of Nigerian voters are not on Facebook and twitter and so don’t even read the media propaganda and hate campaign. Second, there is always a limit to brashness and political brigandage. Third, many Nigerians may be hungry, but stomach infrastructure isn’t the solution, by and by. Empowerment is”.
Concluding, Mr. Abasifreke Idiong said “for every action there must be a reaction. Fayose’s failure to install his stooge of a deputy will come with far-reaching ramifications. Dire consequences. And for him, it’s about when, and not if”.
On his part, Comrade Jubrin Binji said that the Ekiti election produced some mysterious reactions. “First, we saw how Teargas broke the neck and arm of Gov. Fayose and while Ekiti people ignored the now-too-familiar antics of their tortoise, people from far away, especially people from the South East States made themselves political busy bodies, taking paracetamol for the headache of other people.
“We saw how Ekiti indigenes posted the results of election they participated in and how those in faraway Abakaliki said they won’t accept it. We saw how INEC declared the results and pronounced a winner and Buhari haters said they won’t accept the results.
“Ekiti people went about their daily businesses as Fayose and the PDP spewed venom. This was Ekiti, the home of University Professors, this is in South West where Free Education started, Television started, University Started, Polytechnic started. Highly educated and enlightened people. They simply went about their normal businesses having performed their civic duties and knowing that their votes counted”.
Writing on the implication of the Ekiti governorship election on the 2019 presidential election, Joba Akinpelu said that “With the outcome of Ekiti Kete election, APC now controls 25 states, PDP 10, APGA 1. The demographic spread of PDP controlled states is: South South – 5; South East -3, North East – 2.
“Number of registered voters in South-South and South-East combined is 18million. This is equal to the number of registered voters in North-West alone. South-West has the next higher number of registered voters of 14million.
“Since APC came to power, it has defeated PDP in Kogi, Ondo and Ekiti. It has also retained control of Edo. PDP was able to retain only Bayelsa. But Bayelsa has the lowest number of registered voters in Nigeria.
“Now approximately 8 months to next general election, the opposition is yet to put its axe together. The only thing they hope to rely on is cheap blackmail of Buhari. But he who relies on cheap blackmail has nothing to offer. Another disadvantage to PDP is that it no longer has access to withdraw dollars recklessly from the CBN as it did in 2015. From crude oil receipts to money meant to buy ammunitions to fight Boko Haram. Tons and tons of dollars were imported from New York, as if the green back has become our legal tender. Indeed, to enjoy the spending spree, the election was postponed on the order of Dasuki, the Chief security officer to Jonathan”.
A foremost APC governorship Aspirant in Rivers State, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs said that “The result of the governorship election in Ekiti State has vindicated those who described the 2014 governorship election in that state as a ruse and a stolen mandate. Dr. Fayemi’s election has exposed the 2014 so-called landslide victory of the PDP as nothing short of barefaced allocation of figures and a rape on democracy”. He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for effectively plugging the fraudulent holes through which massive fictitious figures are allocated as was the case in some state, including Rivers State in the 2015.
On his part, the lawmaker representing Rivers East Senatorial District, Andrew Uchendu, said that “It is important that APC faithful, particularly those from Rivers State, should learn some vital lessons from the governorship poll in Ekiti State. The victory from the election arose from collective efforts, teamwork and a focused leadership”. He said that the across-the-board jubilation that greeted Dr. Fayemi’s governorship victory is a clear manifestation that the ultimate desire of Rivers people is to vote in a credible government in the state in 2019, calling on all the tendencies in Rivers APC to rally round the leadership of Rt. Hon. Amaechi to give the people of Rivers State a clear option to vote out the clueless and purposeless administration of Wike.
Reacting to Governor Nyesom Wike’s allegation that the election in Ekiti was skewed in favour of Fayemi, Uchendu described it as laughable and frivolous.
He said: “It is quite surprising and really unfortunate that Wike always mounts the podium to comment on issues that have no bearing on the lives of Rivers people.
“I call on well-meaning Rivers people to be prepared to vote out and silence the kindergarten government currently occupying Rivers State Brick House (Government House), Port Harcourt. We must put an end to the ongoing assault on the reputation of Rivers people. We deserve a decent and responsible leadership”.
Writing on “The Fall of Ayodele Fayose”, Ahamefula Ogbu said “Governor Ayo Fayose is a master of political theatrics, often so insipid that he may not even believe himself. examples are legion, like frying garri, roasting corn and frying akara or eating in a local bukka which he passes as being on the same page with the down-trodden. It was so much that he started trusting in himself as the only power in Ekiti. That evaporated last week when the electoral umpire returned a result that dusted his party.
“The maxim that pride goeth before a fall and that karma is a bitch, dishing in cold measured vengeance, the exactitude of what we feed or foist on others are part of the current schools of thoughts people have fallen back on to explain the fate of Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose.
“As it presently stands, the Nigerian factor and calculus in elections have put victory at the doorsteps of the All Progressives Congress whose Fayemi and former Minister of Solid Minerals has been jocularly said to have used his experience in the ministry to “crush the rock” that is Peter, the religious name of the incumbent”.#