The city of Ado Ekiti, capital city of Ekiti State, stood still on Friday, 10 March, 2018 as the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu publicly declared his intention to run for the governorship seat of the state.
The Ekiti State Governorship Election takes place in July this year as contained in the election time table released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It was a mammoth crowd of All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts, members, loyalists and lovers of Senator Ojudu who trooped out in Ado, to sheer and nudge him to victory as he stormed Okeyinmi Street to declare his intention to run as the next governor of the state this morning.
Vehicular movement swelled and indigenes trooped out in numbers to show solidarity for the only son of the soil in the race for the Oke Ayaba plum office which none of their own has occupied since the state was created on October 1, 1996.
Business activities suffered a little hitch as many small business entrepreneurs close down shops while a chunk of the popular motorbike riders (Okada) abandoned commercial service to provide complimentary glamour to the colourful event with theatrical riding display.
Traffic snarl ruled the day as the only route allowed for passage by the seating governor could not accommodate the massive movement of participants who came in from different parts of the state.
Earlier, the governor, Ayodele Fayose had ordered the dismantling of the campaign posters, standing banners and billboards of Ojudu that adorned the streets of Ado Ekiti but for the swift intervention of loyalists who mounted resistance.
The journalist turned politician entered into the receiving hands of party faithful who were being treated to good melodious music coming from popular fuji musician, Saheed Osupa. Ojudu immediately dissolved into the fanfare with sweat provoking dance steps.
“I am here to liberate my people. I am here to take Ekiti to the Promised Land. I am learned. I will not watch and see my people perpetually being humiliated by those who have no plan for us. I am here to set our people free and then restore our economy. Today I declare my intention to run as the governor of this State. Today, I enjoin all of you to come with me and let us rescue our state from the claws of our oppressors.
“We shall not waver, we shall not surrender, we shall not rest, until our today is bettered for a promising tomorrow. We shall all join hands in this struggle to save our state,” he said.
The train later moved colourfully to the Ajilosun end of the town where the APC state secretariat is located to meet party leaders who received him before he made his declaration to contest.
The party leaders were full of praises as they all eulogised Ojudu and commended him profusely for his past developmental activities in the state and the country in general.
The huge support for Ojudu from his hometown, Ado Ekiti, is understandable. Despite having the highest number of votes and voters in all elections in the state and being the state capital, the town has never produced the state Governor since the state was created on October 1st, 2018.
Ojudu is thus seen as championing the cause of Ado people hence the overwhelming endorsement given to him by the executive members of the party from the ward to the local government level earlier in the week.