by Abdulwaheed Musa
My submission on the just concluded Ekiti State gubernatorial election may stun some people because of their ill-conceived notion. The submission is largely influenced by the unsullied, unbiased and very objective investigative journalism of few friends and in particular Comrade Femi Owolabi (a card carrying member of APC), credible live reports and trusted information sources (even from some Governor Fayemi’s aides; needless to mention that his Deputy Chief of Staff, Egghead Odewale, is a friend and a senior comrade).
As at the time of penning down this piece and based on my cowries, I can confidently write that Fayose is the next Governor of Ekiti State. It is what it is. The Ekiti people have decided. No doubt, the PDP deployed its antics and the Federal might also played its part to enhance the winning process. They muzzled their powers and beat the APC to it.
Interestingly, there was this allegation that people voted Fayose because of rice. The truth is that, as election drew nearer, both Fayemi and Fayose cronies shared rice (either raw or cooked), money and other petty items. The Ekiti people collected from both parties and made their choice. Irrespective of what one makes out of that, the people’s choice must be respected. An African adage has it that you don’t cry more than the bereaved.
Elsewhere, I read about violence and voters intimidation been reported across the state; PDP agents snatched ballot boxes and ran into the bush while counting was going on at a Polling Unit in Ikole LGA. While I won’t want to disagree with such reports, I can confirm that some of the reports on ballot box snatching were false. The obvious point is that votes actually counted.
My own reliable sources were up and down. They didn’t see one ounce of violence yet they did walk around for quite a bit (within the ambit of what the extant law permits). No single life is lost (at least to my knowledge). Security men and women did their jobs clean and very professionally. This is perhaps the second time in all my entire life that I’ll commend the Nigeria Police. Please, keep it up and sustain the good work.
I was sceptical about condemning their deployment as the state was totally militarized. Remarkably, it turned out that the presence of the heavily armed over 40,000 security personnel didn’t interfere with the people’s choice. I make bold to say that if that is what the country needs for a violent free election until we get things right, so be it.
Yes, the security agents clamped down on some APC leaders and Journalists in Ekiti. Thus, issues bothering on violation of people’s fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution must be addressed. Indiscriminate arrests and intimidation of people considered to be APC leaders is also condemnable.
In all honesty and to the best of my knowledge, none of the impunity and condemnable acts of the FG or the PDP can be said to be largely responsible for the victory of Fayose in the election; unless there more grievous things we are yet to be told.
To me and saner Nigerians, elections shouldn’t be a do or die affair; albeit it has to be credible. Earlier on, I saw Fayose live on Channels Television, having boasted with the huge supports he has from his people, saying he’ll accept the outcome of the election whichever way it goes. It was a show of camaraderie and demonstration of being a democrat regardless of what you and I hold against him.
For once, people (the masses, artisans, traders, teachers, civil servants, market women and other electorates) were allowed to exercise their legitimate rights and their votes counted.
I must commend INEC for a job well done. Ultimately, I salute and earnestly hail Mr President for providing the enabling environment for people’s votes to count. I can only call upon him to allow similar arrangements prevail in 2015 even if he eventually declares to run. Let the Nigeria people, to whom God has given such sovereignty, decide. I’m confident that even if that’s the only thing he is able to achieve, Nigerians and indeed the world will have his name on marbles and be celebrated (even if he is voted against).
Upon official announcement of the results of the election by the state INEC, I expect APC to toll the line of honour and accept the results and congratulate the PDP candidate. Whatever complains and other related observations they may have thereof should be passed onto the appropriate quarters to enhance subsequent elections for more credence. To my mind, that is how democracy is being run. That is how the democracy can be nurtured to maturity.
Several pre-election independent reports have it that Fayemi worked for his people and his administration has creditably performed. Alas, one man’s food may be considered a poison by another man. On the general analysis and as I pondered deeply on what must have influenced the choice made by the Ekiti people, I drew up my conclusion: Fayemi is a good man but Fayose is more popular. The Ekiti people have spoken and the audible declaration is for Fayose. I therefore join other well-meaning Nigerians and the people of Ekiti State to congratulate Dr. Peter Ayodele Fayose -the Ekiti State Governor in waiting.
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