By Abel Udoekene
“No matter who wins this election, nobody will accept the outcome of the result, The PDP will cry intimidation, the APC will cry manipulation and rigging” an Election observer, at Isan Ekiti, July 14, 2018.
“Take it or leave it, Ekiti People love Fayose more than Fayemi, but let me warn you, Fayose is not the one on the ballot paper, who is Eleka?” Otunba Taiwo Ayodele, Efon Alaye, May 17, 2018
“I am a PDP stalwart, I will vote for Fayemi, Eleka was imposed on us but in 2019, Buhari will not win in Ekiti state….mark my word” – A PDP Elder statesman, Eda-ile, Ekiti East, May 18, 2018
This is why PDP lost.
The truth must be told no matter how hard and harsh it may sound because it is only the truth that can heal, build and restore a broken country.
Let me start by stating clearly that there was an election in Ekiti State and in every election, two things must happen – winning and losing, in this case the PDP lost and the APC won, as a strategist, one thing I believe all political parties should do after every election, is to sit down and analyse what transpired during the electioneering process and possibly take account of money spent, area won, lost and reach out to those they may have offended during the campaign process.
One thing that was a cause of concern, especially for PDP supporters after the results of the election, started coming in was the result of Fayose’s polling unit, Eleka’s polling unit, and Fayemi’s polling unit.
For instance, at Polling Unit 001- St David’s Anglican Primary School, which is Fayose’s unit, APC got 106 votes while PDP got 304.
In polling unit 009, Ward 11 Ogilolo in Isan Ekiti which is Fayemi’s units PDP got just 2 votes, while APC got 186.
In polling unit 001, Okeruku Ward 2, Eleka’s unit, APC got 105 votes while PDP got 425.
For the record, in this 3 units, our team was on ground, so was many other reporters, the election process at ‘these units’ was free and fair to our knowledge, the result was counted and announced at the presence of many reporters. But it was a shock to many PDP stalwart that APC could muscle out 106 votes at Fayose’s unit which was supposed to be a PDP stronghold and 105 votes at Eleka’s unit who was the PDP candidates.
Why did this happen?
Few days to Ekiti State PDP governorship primary election our team was on ground in Ekiti state. From Ekiti East to Ikere Ekiti, Ado to Efun we were moving down the villages to sample opinions of Ekiti state indigene ahead of the governorship election.
From our findings, it was clear then that the PDP had a very big chance of making history as the first party in Ekiti to retain the governorship seat in a stretch.
All was going on well, but a night to the PDP primary, there was a high level political meeting between a Former Minister of State for Works Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who was an aspirant in the primary, deputy senate minority chief whip Senator Biodun Olujimi (who was also an aspirant) and some other PDP stalwart who were bent on making sure that Fayose does not impose his deputy on the party.
According to an aide of the former Minister of work who spoke with our team, some PDP stalwarts had asked Senator Biodun Olujimi to step down during the meeting and support Dayo Adeyeye in order for them to have a united force to face Fayose and eventually present a popular candidate at the poll. The idea didn’t go well with Senator Olujimi’s supporters who stormed out of the meeting only for Senator Olujimi to changed her mind and support Adeyeye at the floor of primary after so many consultations.
“You will recall that oga (Adeyeye) has earlier raised an alarm about the intimidation of his supporters by Fayose’s men, from Mr. Banji Aluko (a former local government chairman of Ikere) to Sunday Olorunfemi (Ikere local government deputy chairman), to Tunde Ajewole (Ikere PDP Treasurer), and many others, but till today nothing has been done by the national leadership of the party” Adeyeye aide noted
“APC are even begging oga to leave Fayose alone in the mud but he says he wants to stay in the PDP, I don’t know what will happen if the plan to restore order in the PDP does not work, but if Oga leave, PDP will not win in Ekiti in July, oga get loyalist who gets loyalist” he added.
Two days after the primary election, we spoke with Adeyeye and he called Fayose a devil, according to him “I will not sit down and watch Fayose run Ekiti in proxy”
He noted that they (Olujimi and him) had tried to convince the Governor of Delta state, Ifeanyi Okowa before the primary to see reasons why the PDP should not allow Fayose to continue with his plans of imposing his deputy on the party, but Okowa did not address any of the issues he and Senator Olujimi raised.
He noted then that despite intimidation by Fayose and even when people were forced to wear Eleka’s Uniform to the venue of the primary, he still manages to get 771 votes and ‘this’ according to him, did not send any message to the PDP about his strength in the Party.
2. Tinubu Factor
I was somewhere in Lagos when I received a call from a freelance journalist (a core PDP supporter) in Ekiti who wanted to give me an exclusive story for publication with just a few exchange of calories.
He told me that Fayose was meeting with Tinubu and some APC stalwarts at a location in Ado, though he didn’t give me details of the meeting and we were not on ground to verify the information, but there was confirmation from a very reliable source that both Fayose and Tinubu was in Ado on that day, whether they meet or not we cannot categorically confirm it.
3. Security agents
There was a lot of tension a day to the election. Our survey revealed different security formation stationed at different strategic areas before, during and after the election.
Some PDP stalwarts complained to our team that their presence at their environment has not given them the freedom to go out during the late hours of Friday to do their final election arrangement. According to them, if they cannot go out for the late night arrangement, it may affect the outcome of the election.
Our team did not confirm if the security agents have given them any movement restriction order, but a police officer who spoke with us on the condition of anonymity disclosed thus:
“Oga we dey do stop and search, this na dey normal routine for every election, we don’t want anyone to smuggle in anything were go bring problem tomorrow” a police officer, July 13, 2018, Irepodu
“I would have been out mobilising, but I can’t risk my life for anything, the police are everywhere, as I am talking to you, there is a police van in front of my house ” PDP elder statesman, Irepodun, July 13, 2018
4. The Fayose versus Fayemi factor
Before election day, most people were thinking that Fayose’s name will be on the ballot paper, one woman who spoke with our team disclosed that she did not cast her vote since she did not see Fayose’s name on the ballot paper.
This was a big advantage for the APC, who explore the opportunity and buy some people over, while some decided to go home in protest that INEC has omitted Fayose’s name from the ballot paper.
(Please note Fayose was quoted more than 12 times during the campaign with the following statement “I will win”)
5. Vote Buying and ballot box snatching
Vote buying was done simultaneously by both PDP and APC.
There was some recorded incident of ballot box snatching, notably at polling unit 12, Ward 6, Efon LGA, polling unit 6, ward 2, Ilejemeje LGA and some few others. This according to INEC officials was insignificant considering the peaceful nature of the election.
“We have received reports of ballot box snatching, we will surely look into it, but I don’t think it will affect the outcome of the election, if you combine all those units together, you will not get up to 1000 votes” INEC official Ado.
On a final note, Fayose was very confident that PDP would win the election that he takes so many things for granted, just like APC are very confident that Buhari will win in 2019 and they want to do away with Senate president Bukola Saraki and members of the R-APC.
Abel Udoekene is a social media strategist, creative writer and an Agriculturist. He can be reached via [email protected]
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