How Fayemi Weathered The Storm In Ekiti APC

Kayode Fayemi, Awolowo, APC

Ado Ekiti – It is no longer news that the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi has won the governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress(APC) for the July14,2018 poll in Ekiti State. What would probably make news is how the former governor navigated the curves to pick the party’s ticket.

The exercise attracted media attention not because of the large number and  calibre of people involved but, probably because of the seeming gang up against a particular candidate .

Initially,42 aspirants indicated interest to vie for the ticket of the of the party, but  33 aspirants actually obtained the Nomination and Expression of Interests Forms.

In the final results announced, Fayemi polled 946 votes to beat his closest rival, former Governor Segun Oni, who garnered 454 votes to emerge runner up among other 30 aspirants.

A total of 2, 618 were accredited for the first primaries held on  Saturday, May 5,2018 but was cancelled midway due some unsubstantiated claims of compromise on the part of  the committee and the security agents.

After the fracas, the gladiators were invited to Abuja where they met first with the leaders of the party in the southwest  and later with National working committee.(NWC).

The meeting which Daily Independent learnt was meant to douse the raging tension, however did not achieved the desired results as the aspirants reinforced their attack on one another.

But the attacks were targeted mostly on Fayemi ,who the aggrieved aspirants claimed was using certain undue advantage over them.

Fayemi tactically avoided joining issues with his detractors,perhaps believing their path will crushed in future.

This came after all efforts to stopping him from the race failed. The Ayo Fayose led administration had issued a certain paper indicting Fayemi of some financial misdemeanor .The report which was a product of Judicial Commission of Enquiry also slammed a ten – year  ban on the Minister from holding public office.

Contestants had tried to latch on this to stop Fayemi from being screened at the National Secretariat in Abuja but he also survived the plot.

They also came with the theory that Fayemi will not enjoy the support of party delegates since he had allegedly abandoned them for  years..

While plot was ongoing findings revealed that Fayemi was engaging the delegates and reassuring them of the need to cooperate with in his quest to  return to power and complete the unfinished business in Government House.

It was learnt that Fayemi reminded them of how he assisted many of them into their current positions. And more importantly, how he saved them from being dissolved or relieved of their posts.

Before, the rescheduled primaries, 27 aspirants coordinated by the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu met in Abuja where they explore the possibility of pruning down the long list of aspirants or at the best arriving adopting the consensus option. This also did not workout.

Before the announcement of new date for rescheduled primaries ,the NWC  indicted and later sanctioned some chieftains of the party as well some delegates for complicity in the violence that marred the exercise. Eight members of the party were  barred from participating in the rescheduled shadow election. This reduced the new accredited delegates to 2313.

Also , an engineer, Kayode Ojo  got 245, Hon Femi Bamisile, 171, Dr Oluwole Oluyede, 110, Senator Gbenga Aluko, 83, Hon Bimbo Daramola, 29, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, 23, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, who had  announced his withdrawal from the race, though  unofficially garnered  10 votes

Other contenders like former member of House of Representatives, on Opeyemi Bamidele, scored 11 votes Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, 4, Senator Ayo Arise, 3 and Mr.  Muyiwa Olumilua  polled 2 votes.

Ojudu was alleged to have failed to notify   the committee officially about his withdrawal from the race.

With this victory, Fayemi will slug it out with Deputy Governor Kolapo Olusola, who had picked the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Chairman of the APC Primary Committee and Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura while officially announcing the results , said Fayemi  “having polled the highest number of valid votes , is hereby declared the candidate of  the APC for the July 14 Governorship election”. Al-Makura commended the aspirants for their doggedness

The Minister who was accompanied by APC Ekiti State Chairman, Chief Jide Awe, and some chieftains of the party few hours after the declaration visited some con contenders where he pleaded for their support and cooperation. The first to visit was Engr Segun Oni at his Ifaki-Ekiti country home early on Sunday morning.

Thereafter, he visited Rt.Hon Femi Bamisile, another aspirant and former Speaker of the state House of Assembly at his Ado-Ekiti residence. Fayemi also visited Mr Kola Alabi and Dr Wole Oluyede  at their respective residences in Ikere –Ekiti.

The APC candidate also visited Senator Gbanga Aluko at his Ode-Ekiti country home. Other aspirants visited by Fayemi in their respective homes on Sunday include: Mr Muyiwa Olumilua; Mr Kayode Ojo; Hon Bamidele Faparusi; Dr Adebayo Oriire; Dr Oluwole Oluleye; Mr Diran Adesua,  Mr Victor Kolade, Coker Olumuyiwa and Mr Sesan Fatoba.

Dr Fayemi described his discussion with his co-contestants as “frank and useful” useful discussion, even as he expressed optimism that the party would go into the July 14 poll as a united entity.

The APC standard bearer, had a few hours after his declaration as winner of the governorship primary, told his supporters of the need to maintain cordial relationship with other co-contestants and their supporters.

He had also hinted on plans to constitute a body of all co-contestants into the Candidate’s Advisory Council.

The APC flagbeaerer also cautioned his supporters against harbouring any ill feelings towards his co-contestants and their supporters, saying that they are all leaders who should be accorded great respect in view of their sterling qualities and contributions to the party.

Dr Fayemi, stated this while addressing his supporters at the headquarters of his campaign office, shortly after he emerged as the APC standard bearer for the July 14 governorship election.

The APC candidate noted that the activities of all the aspirants in the past few months had further strengthened the party, adding that any of the aspirants would have made a better governor than any candidate the PDP could present.

He urged his supporters to bury any differences they might have against anybody, stressing that henceforth the party would work together as one big family in the onerous task of dislodging the PDP-led administration in the state.

“If you really want us to succeed in in the quest to form the next government in the state, I urge you all not to carry over pre-primary hostilities in your relationship with my co-contestants and their supporters.

“We are one big family.  We cannot all win in an election. But one thing I know is that all the contestants are eminent Ekiti sons and daughters who are qualified to govern  the state better than the present occupier of the office.

Meanwhile,Oni ,the  outgoing  APC Deputy National Chairman(South)i has hinted that the future of political family  would be determined by body language of its standard bearer, Fayemi.

Oni, on his official reaction to the last Governorship Primaries of APC won by Fayemi clarified that he was not contemplating dumping APC as result of defeat, he however threatened that the option might desirable  if his supporters treated with contempt.

Briefing journalists in his Ifaki-Ekiti private residence, the former governor of Ekiti said it is high time political gladiators dumped the culture of decamping after losing in party primaries.

He called on Fayemi to act fast and prevail on his supporters against making inflammatory statements against supporters of other aspirants.

The post How Fayemi Weathered The Storm In Ekiti APC appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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Author: Popoola Yaqoub