As the plot thickens gradually, beneath the tranquility at this moment in Èkìtì state lies the gathering storm of a fierce political battle that will ultimately determine the political party and individual the will succeed the outgoing governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose. The tensed political ruckus over who becomes the next governor of Ekiti State has indeed created a lot of schism among political pundits in the state, interestingly its going to be a tight contest between Professor Kolapo Olusola, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi.
Amidst speculations over how the people of Ekiti state will vote in this forthcoming election despite the heated political activities, the APC in its usual banter style seems to be quite optimistic that it would conveniently win in this year’s governorship election through Oshiomole's influence while PDP seems to be banking on the grandiose popularity of Ayo Fayose. Interestingly, observers of the politics in Ekiti state are already seeing the unfolding struggle for supremacy by both parties which is set to bring in the stiffest political challenge.
Barring any change in the plans of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), voters in Ekiti State will on July 14 troop out to elect a new governor for the state to replace incumbent Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose. Observers of the unfolding events are of the view that the critical contest which is just one out of the numerous contests may have a significant effect on the political compass in Nigeria, ahead of the 2019 general election. As the election day draws near, with the clock ticking slowly, the political forces in the state have begun to move into camps as in the case of defecters and defectee, with several influential individuals and personalities already returning to the planning table to map out strategies towards winning the election.
Other candidates in the gubernatorial election contest includes Otunba Segun Adewale of ADP, fondly called Oshaprapra, Reverend Tunde Afe of ANRP, Akinloye Ayegbusi (SDP), David Ayodele Adesua (ADC), Ebenezer Femi Ogunsakin (PPN), Dr. Sikiru Lawal (LP), Sunday Balogun (MPN),Mrs, Ilesanmi Anike Margaret (AP), Temitope Amuda (KP), Tosin Ajibade (ID) and Agboola Olaniyi (AD) amongst others with different agendas to either consolidate the existing status quo or set out on a quest to rebuild or rebrand Ekiti state.
Prior to celestial confirmation of Adams Oshiomhole as the APC National Chairman few weeks ago, without much ado, the political gladiators in their tactical culmination after much considerations shifted the burden of leadership to the former Governor of Edo state. Oshiomhole's persona at this time for APC seems to be an expression of preference from the president and other APC state Governors coupled with other critical stakeholders factor.
By virtue of the burdensome task ahead for Oshiomhole, it's crystal clear that he has his eagles eyes fixed at consolidating the legacies of President Buhari ahead of the 2019 Elections through his commodious influence. Beyond the pomp and pageantry attached to his emergence and with the confidence reposed on him, Oshiomhole's task lies with the onus of how to further unlock vast majority of votes in the 2019 Elections using the Ekiti state elections as a test of his political influence. With the change in the political trend in Nigeria, there are expectations that the APC, being the leading opposition party in the state will have a great political battle with PDP and its machineries.
The two dominant political parties, namely the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), power blocs and other relevant stakeholders have begun to sharpen their arsenals and are discreetly deploying measures to have an edge in the governorship poll. Still, the most critical task ahead for Oshiomhole will be how he leads the party into the presidential election in 2019 using the Ekiti state elections as a litmus test as a testing ground to measure his influence and popularity especially now that the eroding goodwill of the APC in the country is under severe hemorrhage.
Gov. Ayodele Fayose known for his political sagacity and uncommon grandiloquence has continued in his strong quest to ensure that his relevance does not end in jeopardy, the "stomach infrastructure" progenitor is indeed working earnestly against losing the seat of the power to APC, especially backing his anointed candidate with all his moves.
Prior to Oshiomhole's emergence, he has rambunctiously seized the public space of Nigeria's political realm to appropriate the people’s minds. As a sacrificial lamb, Oyegun's leadership timeline was apparently sacrificed for some APC Governors second term ambition and coupled with his dilemma with some bigwigs in the party, it furthermore plunged him into deeper problems.
With both political leaders having a background in radical labour unionism, one should literally expect a very tight contest. The battle line indeed has been drawn, the APC have announced its readiness to stop Eleka and PDP from remaining in the Government House beyond 2018, Ayodele Fayose, who insists that his achievement in the last four years will return his party to office come July 14, has vowed that no party, aside PDP, will emerge victorious in the election.
As the election draws nearer, while I'll also serve as an electoral observer in the forthcoming elections, some political observers are of the opinion that the foundation for Kayode Fayemi's emergence as the standard-bearer of the APC is to floor the antics of the PDP under the control of Fayose who seems to be the most dreaded politician in Ekiti.
Alao Abiodun is a Journalist, He can can be reached via [email protected]