By Emmanuel Aziken, Emma Ovuakporie, Henry Umoru, Dapo Akinrefon, Gbenga AribIyi, Ben Agande & Demola Akinyemi
ADO-EKITI—Ekiti State Governor-elect, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, yesterday, said he won the election because of his past performance and catering for the welfare of the people.
Fayose spoke to reporters on how he took Ekiti state from the incumbent governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan led the outpour of congratulations to winner of last Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose. The All Progressives Congress, APC, whose candidate and incumbent governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi lost the election, last night, espoused reasons their standard bearer was defeated in the election.
However, Fayemi was gracious in defeat as he conceded that he lost the election.
The PDP candidate, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, who governed the state between 2003 and 2006 before he was removed from office, won the election in a sweeping victory in all 16 local government areas of the state. He was trailed by Governor Fayemi of the APC.
The third major candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele of Labour Party, LP, came a distant third. Fayose polled 203,090 votes to beat Fayemi, who polled 120,433 votes, while Bamidele polled 18,125 votes.
As congratulations poured in for the governor-elect, yesterday, the outgoing governor, Dr. Fayemi was also commended from across the country for his dignity in quickly conceding victory following the declaration of the results early yesterday morning by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Fayemi is to meet Fayose today to set the process for what the outgoing governor said would be a smooth transition. Fayose who reciprocated Fayemi’s gesture at a press conference in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, also praised the governor for his courage and allowing peace to reign in the state.
Apparently disappointed with the outcome of the poll, APC leaders it was learnt, yesterday, are now proposing to their governors to direct their message to suit the circumstances they find in their states.
Expressing shock that the electorate in Ekiti turned away from Dr. Fayemi, a member of the National Executive Committee, NEC of the party told Vanguard that the governors may now have to moderate their populist programmes.
“We have learnt our lessons. In the future, governors might now ask of what use it is to build roads, improve education, social welfare, infrastructure if that would not win you re-election.
“It is a celebration of corruption. What does it matter if somebody who had been impeached can come back like this?”, he asked.
National officers of the APC also blamed their woes on what they cited as the influence of money, saying that the PDP literally opened up the treasury to buy the election.
Releasing the results yesterday, the Returning Officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti, Professor Isaac Azuzu, said Fayose polled 203,090 votes to defeat other candidates who participated in the exercise.
Giving details of the results at about 4.20 a.m. yesterday, he said: “We have come to the grand finale of this exercise. Accord-268, AA—146, APC-120433, AD—843, CPP-967, LP 18125 , KOWA —222, CPP—967, PDP-203090, MPPP- 137, NCP—322, PDC—921, PPA—1050, SDP—65, UDP-67.”
Fayemi concedes defeat
Fayemi was quick to concede defeat in a mid-morning live broadcast to the people of the state.
The governor in the address titled, “If this is the will of the people:” said: “Yesterday, Ekiti State decided. Following the gubernatorial elections held in the land of honour, Ekiti State, Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has officially returned the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election.
“If indeed this is the will of the Ekiti People, I stand in deference to your will. If the result of the elections is an expression of the voice of our people, we must all heed your voice.
“I have just spoken with my brother, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, congratulating him on his victory. In a few hours from now, I would be meeting the Governor-elect to discuss the future of our dear state and how we would work together to institute a smooth transition programme.
“It has been a hard fought election. As expected, in the course of the campaigns, there were unsavory episodes as the candidates toured the nooks and crannies of the state to sell ourselves to the people. Elections tend to be highly divisive affairs that often see brother rising against brother. Despite our diverse party affiliations, and regardless of which way we voted on Saturday, we must remember that we are all sons and daughters of Ekiti State. Ekiti is ours to build together.
“On our part, over the course of the campaigns, we presented our scorecards before the people of Ekiti State. We never at any point took your support for granted. We campaigned, we canvassed and we traversed the nooks and crannies of this state. Our performance and achievements in office will remain the backdrop against which the next government and indeed future governments will be assessed. We are proud that with the support of Ekiti people, we have raised the bar of excellence in governance. In all, we gave our best, for conscience and for posterity.
“Indeed a new sociology of the Ekiti people may have evolved. However, the task of understanding how the outcome of this election has defined us as a people will be that of scholars. For us as an administration and a cadre of political leaders in Ekiti State, we have fought a good fight, we have kept faith.
“To members of our party, our campaign team and indeed all Ekiti people who defied the siege on our state to cast their votes for our party, I salute your exemplary courage and doggedness in the face of harassment. Thank you for staying the course. The incidences of brazen harassment, intimidation and allied infractions on fundamental human rights, which many of you suffered in the hands of agents of the state, would be documented and communicated to the appropriate authorities, for the records.”
I’ll work with Fayemi and Bamidele to develop Ekiti — Fayose
Accepting Governor Fayemi’s olive-branch, Fayose promised to work with the governor and the second runner-up in the election, Mr Bamidele, of Labour Party to develop Ekiti State.
Fayose, who addressed newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, said though he emerged winner of the contest, there was no winner or loser in the elections.
He said: “To Governor Kayode Fayemi, my brother Opeyemi Bamidele and others that we contested together, that have conceded and accepted me as their governor-elect, I want to thank them too; I want to assure them that I will work with all of them. The government belongs to all of us.
“Four years is a very short time in the life of any administration; I want to let them know that it will be four years of all of us in government. There is no winner, no loser.
“Governor Fayemi has called me to concede defeat and I will see him tomorrow (today) hopefully for us to let the public know that we are together, irrespective of our past. Ekiti belongs to all of us because a governor has only got a term and tenure but Ekiti will remain forever.
“I salute Fayemi’s courage for accepting me and his readiness to allow peace and love reign in our state. I am assuring you that this is Ayo Fayose who is older, wiser and ready to work with everybody.”
A wave of congratulations and commendations went to Fayose and Fayemi respectively over the victory and concession.
Be humble in victory, Jonathan tells Fayose
President Goodluck Jonathan in his reaction called on Fayose, who he backed from the primaries to observe that his second stint as governor was a grace from God Almighty.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati, he said: “Be humble and magnanimous in victory, commit yourself to forming an administration that will work for the advancement of the interests of all Ekiti people, irrespective of political affiliations or loyalties.”
The President charged Mr Fayose to regard his second chance to serve as governor of Ekiti State as a “sacred mandate from God Almighty and his people which he must discharge with immense dedication, wisdom and vigour to achieve a much more rapid pace of socio-economic development in Ekiti State for the benefit of its people who resoundingly reaffirmed their trust in his leadership by voting overwhelmingly for his election.”
The statement read: “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan heartily congratulates the Governor-Elect of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on his overwhelming victory in Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
“President Jonathan also commends the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Security Services and the good people of Ekiti State for the successful and peaceful conduct of the elections in keeping with the present administration’s avowed commitment to ensuring that elections in all parts of Nigeria are progressively freer, fairer and more credible.
“President Jonathan calls on Mr. Fayose to regard his second chance to serve as Governor of Ekiti State as a sacred mandate from God Almighty and his people which he must discharge with immense dedication, wisdom and vigour to achieve a much more rapid pace of socio-economic development in Ekiti State for the benefit of its people who resoundingly reaffirmed their trust in his leadership by voting overwhelmingly for his election yesterday (Saturday).”
Tambuwal congratulates Fayose, commends Fayemi
Speaker Aminu Tambuwal of the House of Representatives also congratulated Fayose for his victory and commended Fayemi for putting dignity to the office by conceding defeat and congratulating Fayose on his victory in the governorship election.
Tambuwal said the governor’s action to congratulate his opponent was a clear proof that “our politics is imbibing global standard practices associated with electioneering process.”
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal implored the governor-elect to work closely with all persons and interest groups to move Ekiti State to a new level.
He said the Independent National Electoral Commission ,INEC, deserved commendation for its conduct of the election, and advised the electoral umpire to properly appraise all aspects of the exercise and improve for future polls where necessary.
The speaker appealed to the people of Ekiti to remain law-abiding as the transition to new administration begins in earnest.
The deputy president of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu also spoke in the same vein. In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, he said that it was an important win for the PDP in the South West, even as he stressed that the free and fair electoral processes that threw up the winner was vital for the growth of democracy in the country.
He said: “I send hearty congratulations to Mr. Ayodele Fayose and our party men and women who worked hard for this important victory.” Senator Ekweremadu also extolled the incumbent Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi for his efforts at developing Ekiti State for almost four years he has held sway, but called on “him, the rest of the candidates and good people of the highly erudite state to join hands with the winner to move the state forward”.
Why we won Ekiti governorship poll – PDP
Reacting to the victory in Abuja, yesterday, the PDP, attributed it to strict adherence to the principles of internal democracy.
The party in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, said the victory was the result of transparent conduct of its governorship primary which produced a popular candidate that was the choice of party members.
PDP Governors congratulate Fayose
The Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum (PDPGF) has said the landslide victory recorded by the candidate of the party, Mr Ayo Fayose in the gubernatorial election in Ekiti State has shown the confidence that Nigerians have reposed in the ruling Party and pledged that Governors elected on the plattform of the Party would continue to execute programmes that would better the lives the people.
Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, who is also the chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum, spoke on behalf of his governor colleagues.
Speaking in a similar vein, National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, gave an insight into how Fayose won, attributing the victory to the unity in Ekiti State, and pleaded that this be emulated in other states.
Muazu said: “I wish to dedicate the victory of Ayo Fayose to all our supporters and President Goodluck Jonathan for his steadfastness and commitment to free and fair election. This victory is particularly possible because of our unity in Ekiti State and I wish we replicate this in all elections.”
Fayose’s Victory: A game changer in Southwest
Meanwhile, Lagos State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, described the election of Fayose as a game changer.
The party also commended INEC, and security forces for guaranteeing a free and fair process.
In a statement by the state Publicity Secretary, Mr Taofik Gani, the party said it saw the victory as a ‘good omen for PDP in the South West and Lagos State in particular.
It also appealed to defectors to return to the winning party, saying “we congratulate governor-elect, Dr Peter Ayodele Fayose, the good people of Ekiti State, the national secretariat and, of course, our Leader, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, on this ‘game changer’ victory in the South West geo-political zone.”
Bukola Saraki congratulates Fayose, hails INEC
In his reaction, APC leader in Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki, hailed the INEC, over the conduct of of the election and congratulated Fayose, whose victory he attributed to his closeness to the grassroots.
Saraki, who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, said in a statement issued in Ilorin yesterday, that by the conduct of election in Ekiti State, INEC had shown remarkable improvement in the conduct of elections in the country.
He noted that despite heavy military presence, the election recorded a high turnout of over 51% of the electorate who turned out in large numbers to vote for the candidate of their choice.
Similarly, Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the political will to make available the enabling environment which made for successful conduct of the election.
Governor Mimiko hinged the good conduct of the election on the sincere demonstration of President Jonathan’s determination to ensure results of elections in the country reflected the true wishes of the people.
Adeyeye congratulates Fayose’s victory, hails Fayemi
The Ministerial nominee from Ekiti State, Prince Dayo Adeyeye also congratulated the governor-elect for his landslide victory and hailed Governor Fayemi for conceding defeat.
“By conceding defeat to us, Fayemi has shown the Ekiti man in him,” said Adeyeye, who stressed that PDP and APC members were no arch-enemies but merely found themselves in different political platforms.
“We in the PDP and those in APC are not enemies but patriots who happen to have different ideas of how to develop the state we all love so much. Obviously, there is no shortage of patriotism on the side of any of us,” he noted.
Oyetibo lauds Fayemi,
“The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, must be commended for his forthright, mature, civilised, honest and candid response to the results of the Ekiti Governorship election when he accepted the declared results and congratulated the winner and Governor Elect, Mr Ayo Fayose, in a television broadcast. Nigerian politicians must learn that there is honour in accepting defeat and congratulating the winner in a contest.
“Politics and elections should be seen as a medium whereby the contestants offer to serve the people. The people should therefore be allowed to be the judge as to who should serve them. Afterall, no one has a fundamental right to be the governor of a state or the representative of the people. It is against this background that the response of Dr Kayode Fayemi should be seen as the act of a man of character and honour. As for Mr Fayose, the Governor-elect, he should see his election as an uncommon second chance to serve in an office from which he had previously been removed. He must devote his energy and resources of the State to the service of the people. He must learn from the reasons the people voted against the incumbent governor. The people have given so much to him by way of political support, he must in like measure give so much to the people by way of service and judicious application of the resources of the state,” he said.