All eyes are on Ekiti State, the land of honour and pride, as the state goes agog with political activities towards the governorship election slated for June 21, 2014. The fact that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced 18 candidates to fly the flag of their different parties on Election Day shows how deepened democracy is in the state.
On the other hand, reality is dawning on the electorate, that there is the need to begin to separate the men from the boys, while the grain is also being sifted from the chaff.
Day in day out, the gap gets widened between the potential winner, the also ran and the pretenders. The ray of victory shines brighter and clearer. Candidates who emerged without clues are beginning to thin away while those still in contention are trailing the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the incumbent Governor John Kayode Fayemi, from behind. Three reasons account for this: One, Governor Fayemi’s performance in office stands him out as a man of vision and not of sheer ambition. Two, the people-centred nature of the Governor, laced with cosmopolitanism as opposed to primitivity and hooliganism, makes the people to see his interaction with them as upscale and value-adding. Three, honesty and integrity are twin virtues which keep his fiscal and moral records clean and which make him walk his talk all of the time.
Some of the signs geared towards a Fayemi victory on June 21 include the quality and number of people joining his campaign train from the opposing camps on daily basis. This has to do with the general concern for the future of Ekiti State. No Ekiti son or daughter would at this point want to be counted as leaving certainty, which Dr. Fayemi represents for the uncertainty which any other candidate may represent. The governor, on the other hand, has expressed his determination to want to continue with his unalloyed pact with the people. His sincerity in implementing those need-specific projects, according to the wishes of the people and as provided for in his administration’s 8-Point agenda for the state is incontrovertible.
It is on record that Governor Fayemi has not presented any budget in the last three years without first consulting the people in each and every community of the state at a village square meeting where problems are discussed and where the people make requests of what they want. These constitute the budget inputs, which thereafter translate to projects in the communities. Certainly, Ekiti people who would not want such benefit to be shortlived are determined to ensure victory for Governor Fayemi at the poll, that his good works might continue.
In ensuring that Ekiti no longer retrogresses and that a qualitative future is assured for the people, positive-inclined leaders like former Governor Segun Oni have joined other well-meaning leaders like the first civilian governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo in the Fayemi campaign train. The former governor believes that there is the need to erect a new platform to build the future for Ekiti and this should be paramount to the heart of everyone, who is concerned about what the future generation would say. Oni was not just a member in PDP, he was a disciplined leader with progressive mind and his political group within the party, Irewolede, was unarguably the strongest and largest political family within PDP.
A serving member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Bunmi Oriniowo; a former Commissioner of Local Government in the state, Abiodun Bamiteko; a former Commissioner of Lands, Kayode Babade; a former Commissioner of Information, Chief Taiwo Olatubosun; a former House Majority Leader, Hon Lai Oke; and a former Special Adviser on Strategy, Ben Oguntuase; are some of the well-meaning PDP leaders who have ported to APC and actively involved in the campaign of Gov Fayemi. Add to these are no fewer than 200 PDP women leaders led by Mrs. Omotunde fajuyi who have vowed not to work with those who do not have the heart of decent.
Dumping PDP for APC and bringing such valuable contribution to the Fayemi train by these leaders can only translate to a toggled fact: Surer victory for Dr. Fayemi and an irredeemable loss to the opponents. Oni himself affirmed this much that his decision was informed by the need to join hands with like minds in ensuring a good future for the state.
All else equal, God-willing and with every vote counting, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, a man of vision and mission, will triumph over other candidates on the election day.
Segun Dipe is the Director of Media and Publicity, All Progressives Congress (APC), Ekiti State chapter.