Fayose’s victory rally raises tempo of Ekiti politics
Yesterday’s political rally in Ado-Ekiti during which Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, celebrated his June 21, 2014 governorship election victory over incumbent Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has raised the tempo of politics in the state as the opposition has renewed its determination to oust the governor in next year’s contest.
While celebrating the victory in which he defeated Fayemi in all the 16 local councils of the state and which he described as “historic and unprecedented,” Fayose led thousands of his followers and party faithful in a rally to major areas in the state capital.
Supporters who sang songs praising Fayose for his politics, also urged the governor to go ahead with his plan to approach the Supreme Court to interpret its verdict of April 14, 2015 that declared his 2006 impeachment “illegal and unconstitutional.”
With that declaration, Fayose wanted to know if he could still re-contest next year governorship election or present another candidate to continue with his agenda of developing Ekiti State. He said he was confident of defeating the APC again because of his laudable projects that have endeared him to many people in the state.
And as Fayose was moving through major streets with a crowd of his supporters, a gubernatorial aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kola Alabi, was declaring his intention to wrest power from the governor at his party secretariat on the other side of town.
Alabi said his declaration, coming on the day of Fayose’s victory rally, was a quit notice to the governor and the PDP to start preparing to leave the Government House.
Although Fayose did not disclose the platform he would use to actualise his ambition, he surprised many PDP faithful who had waited for him at the party secretariat in Ajilosun area of Ado-Ekiti, as he passed through the building without stopping to address them.
He said, “Today, I am here to appreciate all of you and remind you that they said that the 16-0 of 2014 was photochromic and later militarized election. This time, they are the owners of INEC, Army, Police, Civil
Defense, DSS and others; we should make it expressly clear that despite these machineries in their hands, we can defeat them like we did in 2014, if not more.”
The governor urged Nigerians as well as the international community to pay greater attention to Ekiti State in regard to activities before, during and after the 2018 governorship election, saying; “The 2018 election in Ekiti is one election that everyone should be interested in. The whole world should monitor events before, during and after the election and let whoever that will win the election win in a free and fair atmosphere.
“Currently, I am in court to seek redress for the coup-de-tat of 2006 by the declaration of State of Emergency by the civilian junta of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. It is my belief that the court that granted me the relief that the impeachment was a nullity will equally restore justice by establishing the fact that I deserve another tenure.
“Nevertheless, whether the continuity is by Ayo Fayose or any member of his political family, it is still continuity, which I have asked you to support. “I wish to state that as we approach the 2018 election, this continuity that seek will not be at the expense of the blood of any Ekiti person. If I have my way, I will call for an election today for Nigerians and the international community to see that anytime, any day, APC will be roundly defeated here.
“This victory march is meant to thank the people of Ekiti State and to finally break down the wall of Jericho, because I know we shall triumph for I have the people behind me. After winning I am going to Abuja to become the President of Nigeria. I will take power from Buhari in 2019 and that shall come to pass.”
But the APC has described Fayose’s comment of winning the next election as “a figment of his imaginations” and advised him to wake up “from his slumber to the reality of political dynamics in the state.”
The party also berated Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants that shelved their ambition for Fayose pending the interpretation of Supreme Court judgment and described them as “booth lickers.”
Describing the rally as a mockery of democracy, the APC chided the PDP aspirants, including the Deputy Givernor, Dr Kolapo Olusola Abiodun Omoyeni, Dr Sikiru Lawal, among others for dropping their ambitions to support Fayose to run again in 2018 governorship election. He said they “lacked understanding of the pains that Ekiti people are suffering under Fayose”.
Spokesman of the party, Taiwo Olatubosun said, “What the aspirants are saying is that they are okay with the mass poverty Fayose is spreading across the state and so he must be supported to continue impoverishing Ekiti people.
“They are also saying that they do not have solutions to the problems confronting the state if they are given opportunity to lead the state and so it is better to support Fayose to continue a government that promotes mass poverty in which the governor remains the only beneficiary.
“His commissioners, House of Assembly members, teachers and civil servants remain unpaid for six months while widespread frauds are common feature in his government, all in a bid for personal gain while majority of Ekiti people suffer, even as insecurity soars in state in an unprecedented manner.
“If all these are what these aspirants see as what should continue with Fayose as the governor, it shows their approval of the burdens that Ekiti people are going through and a declaration that they cannot do better than Fayose if given opportunity to lead the state.”
Alabi who spoke after making his declaration before inaugurating his campaign office said he was under tremendous pressure in the last 72 hours to shelve the event because of Fayose’s rally.
The aspirant had obtained a police permit which was granted by the state police command about three weeks before the declaration but was allegedly persuaded by the Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Chafe, to shift the event
But Alabi said, “I will not let somebody’s celebration of fraudulently defeating APC three years ago dissuade us. It is a battle to take over from Ayo Fayose. We are ready. We are winning. I have all it takes to rescue the state from Fayose. I am a local man, I know the pains of my people”.
Receiving the aspirant, APC Deputy Chairman, Mrs. Kemisola Olaleye, slammed the state police command for attempting to force a shift of the event for which a valid permit had been secured.
She explained that the police had shifted two APC programmes for which permit had been obtained in recent past in favour of rallies by Fayose questioning the neutrality of the command.
She said, “Fayose cannot intimidate us because we have police permit for this declaration at our party secretariat. APC is fully on ground, nobody can chase us out of the state and whether Fayose likes it or not, we are coming to power at next year’s election.”
But Fayose, who beat his chest about his ability of defeating APC again next year, said he would not join issues with the party but waiting to meet them on the field where he said he would teach them how to play local politics.
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