The 2015 General Elections may have come and gone but the memories linger on, and it is no longer news that the hitherto main opposition party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC), gave a good account of itself in many states of the Federation except in Ekiti State where the APC crashed out like a pack of cards. With the wholesome defeat, however, the APC seemed not to be too disturbed about the outcome of the elections.
Perhaps, one of the reasons for this is that the party won the Presidential seat which is often considered as the major and most significant victory in a country like Nigeria, where the winner takes all. Not only this, pundits say PDP’s seeming indifference in victory might not be unconnected with the fact that its governor, Ayo Fayose, was and is still the number one antagonist of the president-elect, Muhammdu Buhari, fearing that the bandwagon effect of the governor’s actions might be heavy for the poor state to bear. Of importance is the fact that Ekiti is purely a Civil Service State whose survival depends entirely on Federal Allocation.
Governor Fayose, since assumption of office in the last seven has been painting a frightening picture of state finances saying that it requires more than miracle to get Ekiti out of her present financial mess. The governor said the state had reached it elastic limit in terms of borrowing. According to him, the current financial, indebtedness of the state could last for as long as the year 2020 before it could be settled.
All this, coupled with a chain of political confrontations lined up against Fayose, is actually making the PDP supporters uncomfortable.
Barely seven months into his administration, the governor is yet to constitute his cabinet. The few aides appointed by him have not only become subjects of controversies with the party but also a point of attack by the opposition who has faulted the process leading to their appointment. For example, APC faulted the appointment of three Commissioners by the PDP caucus in the state assembly alleging that it fell short of the law.
The appointed aides of the governor have also been lamenting the hash economic situation in the state which they claimed is affecting their productivity. And those who have not been considered for appointment are not too happy with their governor.
Again, many PDP members who are holding Federal appointments knew quite well that the defeat of the party is synonymous with the termination of their jobs. PDP members who are appointed as Local Government Caretaker Committee chairmen and councilors would be serving out their six months renewable terms in few weeks or come, without any assurance of being re- appointed.
Daily Independent recalled a scenario which played out at the new Iyin- road secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the collation of results of the elections. Top leaders of the two main political parties in the state had gathered to collect copies of results. But when the result was finally collated, it was clear that the PDP had won all the seats, leaving APC with none.
The PDP chieftains at the event after collecting the collated results walked out quietly. It was at this point that an APC leader challenged sought to know why the winners were in sober mood, but their reaction was simple. “Let us exchange the results so that your party (APC) wins all the seats in the state and National Assembly and we (PDP) win the presidential. They all laughed it over and left the venue.
As we speak, the APC will not be having any representation in the state, either in the state assembly or at the two chambers of the National Assembly because the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won all the seats. The three Senatorial seats, six House of Representatives seats and 26 House of Assembly seats are being controlled by the PDP.
In fact, supporters of APC in Ekiti State have been exhibiting an unusual confidence since the results of Presidential Election was announced. Their body language is suggestive of that of a party bent on returning to power in no-distant future.
Within the state hierarchy of the party, there have been political re- grouping and re-alignment of forces, apparently to mid-wife the anticipated change.
Among the new group is the APC Restoration Group (ERG). The group has hinted that it has commenced move to end the reign of the PDP in the state. This position was canvassed in a statement made available to journalists in Ado-Ekiti and signed by four serving members of the House of Representatives: Hons Bamidele Faparusi, Bimbo Daramola, Ife Arowosoge and Ojo Oyetunde. They are all members of APC. ERG at its meeting of May 1, 2015 in Ado Ekiti, praised Nigerians for making it difficult for the PDP to rig the outcome of the Presidential race, which produced Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the APC.
The body in a statement in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday disclosed that it recognizes the need to urgently mobilise resources towards strengthening the party and motivate all party stakeholders within the party with a view to reactivating its formidable election winning machinery in the state.
The group expressed deep concern over the state of affairs in Ekiti under the ‘poor’ leadership of the Ayo Fayose-led administration, saying there is urgent need for the party to stand and rescue Ekiti in the midst of the crisis trailing the various arms of Government.
It condemned in strong terms, the instigation of seven members of the State House of Assembly to illegally usurp the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the watch of Governor Ayodele Fayose.
It, however, saluted the courage of the 19 APC lawmakers for their “doggedness, steadfastness and sacrifice,’’ in protecting the sanctity of the Constitution as well as the image of Ekiti people.
“We strongly condemn the present PDP led administration in Ekiti State for its nonchalant attitude towards the continued and prolonged strike of judiciary workers and the politicization of organised labour in the state, as well as indiscriminate politically motivated detention of opposition party members.
“We congratulate and commend the National Leadership, The National Chairman, the National Executive Committee NEC, the National Working Committee NWC, and the entire committed members of our great party, APC, for the successes recorded at the just concluded general elections.
“We also congratulate APC candidates across the country for all the elective positions that they won, most especially our President and Vice President-Elect, Gen Buhari and Prof Yemi Osinbajo; and of particular mention, our Leader in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, now Governor- Elect Sokoto State.
“We acknowledge the unflinching support of our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose legendary commitment morally and intellectually, clearly affirms his leadership,” it noted.
Meanwhile some women group in Ekiti State sees the issues differently as it alleged of a grand conspiracy against certain individuals and community.
Spokesman of the women who are mainly from Ikere-Ekiti, the state’s second largest town, Mrs Mojisola Ogunjemilua, lamented that the violence against Fayose was a direct confrontation against the people of Ikere Ekiti, where the Deputy Governor, Dr Olubunmi Olusola, hails from.
“Why is it that trouble will always come when Ikere son is in Government? Former Governor of the old Ondo State, Evang Bamidele Olumilua, was not allowed to complete his term due to military usurpation. When Mr. Abiodun Aluko and Bisi Omoyeni were also elected, the Deputy Governors at different times in Ekiti under democratic setting, the two were not allowed to complete their terms and now Dr Olusola. Fayose himself, who is from Afao Ekiti shared historical connection with Ikere Ekiti.
“All we want in Ekiti is peace and we are calling on the lawmakers, particularly the two of them from Ikere constituencies to back out of the impeachment within seven days, failing which we will invite the gods to intervene and this will be disastrous,” she said.
The Regent of Ikere community, Ayooye Adegboye-Oyinlola, while addressing the protesters, applauded them for their peaceful dispositions and urged the lawmakers to embrace the olive branch stretched to them by Fayose, for Ekiti to be in peace.
The Regent expressed elation that the kernel of the protest has been for the restoration of peace in the State, calling on all stakeholders to listen to the women for development to be achievable in the State.
A press statement signed by the Chairman of the Ekiti Council of Elders, Prof Tunde Oluwasanmi and presented by the Chairman Committee For the Creation of Ekiti State, Chief Deji Fasuan, begged the feuding groups to refrain from portraying Ekiti as a beleaguered State and disallow external forces from intervening in Ekiti affairs.