– THEIR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s Assistant Editor, FEMI OYEWALE was on tour of Ekiti State days before the Saturday, June 21, 2014, guber polls the PDP candidate, Mr. Ayo Fayose eventually won. This was his verdict after a thorough and unbiased private investigation that took him round the nooks and crannies of the state.
His investigation revealed that Ekiti governorship election on Saturday, June 21, 2014, was between two gladiators, Governor Kayode Fayemi (All Progressives Congress) and Ayodele Fayose (Peoples Democratic Party). ENCOMIUM Weekly’s investigation between Friday, June 13, 2014, and Saturday, June 14, 2014, revealed that Fayose had the masses on his side, while the elite followed Fayemi. We reliably gathered that out of the 16 local governments in Ekiti, Fayose had 10 as his stronghold, Fayemi four and Labour Party’s Opeyemi Bamidele two.
Interestingly, out of the 50 electorates we conducted opinion poll on across the local governments, Fayose surprisingly had 35, Fayemi 11 and Bamidele, four.
FACTORS FOR AND AGAINST FAYEMI
Exciting facts had emerged why Fayemi found it difficult to have a smooth victory in the guber election. First, he is unpopular among the masses who formed 70 per cent of the electorate. We reliably gathered that he never had a smooth relationship with the masses who only identified with him on radio and television. Second, he was alleged to have ignored Ekiti indigenes during contract awards. We reliably gathered that most projects were given to outsiders and even common labourers were sourced outside by the consultants. Third, most okada operators we spoke to claimed they were aware that he had contracted out the purchase of tricycles to some consultants which meant he intended to abolish okada once voted in for second term. Also, it was said that the local government staffers had issues with him with the introduction of marking attendance register thrice in a day. Thus, they were reported to have vowed to get back at him.
Furthermore, a leading local singer in Ekiti, who was highly revered by Ekiti people, Kunle Ologundudu had composed a song where he said Governor Fayemi was stealing government funds to build a N10 billion naira university in Ghana and a N2 billion housing estate.
Sadly, the audio CD was produced en masse and distributed freely amongst Ekiti residents. A copy was made available to us too. We learnt the message elicited annoyance amongst the masses. One of the allegations also levelled against him was that he was not a grassroots politician, he never had interpersonal relationships with his people. That was why Fayose challenged him to a popularity test that they should both walk the streets of Ekiti and observe who would be booed or hailed. Fayemi declined the offer.
His strength laid in the fact that he was the incumbent governor and Tinubu’s connection.
FAYOSE’S STRENGTH AND WEAKNESSES
The major strength of Mr. Ayodele Fayose was his carriage and mass appeal. Shockingly, he was arguably the masses’ choice. The reason was not unconnected to the fact that before, during and after his first reign as governor of Ekiti, he was fond of mingling with the common people of Ekiti. Most indigenes of Ekiti had his direct line and communicate with him directly if they had any issue. While discussing with some of the people, they expressed their feelings about him saying he cared about their needs and listened to them genuinely.
Second, he was a grassroots politician. He was born and bred among his people. He understood the politics of Ekiti and handled the affairs himself.
Third, while Governor Fayemi closed down the state university against the forthcoming election, Fayose went on air to announce that they should stay back and come to his camp, Spotless Hotel at Onigari, Ado in Ekiti for small bags of rice and N2,000 to sustain themselves till election. ENCOMIUM Weekly’s check on Friday, June 13, 2014, confirmed students thronged the place from 5 a.m and queued from there to Fajuyi Park. We reliably gathered that he gave 10,000 students and youths the package and the condition was they must have their school identity card and voters card. We were informed the exercise continued just before election day.
Likewise, he had been going to the markets in Ekiti and distributed rice and money too. And he ensured he gave them the package himself from morning till around 11 p.m daily. A reliable source disclosed to us that what Fayose did was to mobilise the masses in the 16 local governments to register and our investigation confirmed that most artisans, aged, youths, amongst others, had their voters card ready.
His weakness was the fact that the elite saw him as a threat and thus endorsed Fayemi as their own candidate.
KUNLE OLOGUNDUDU’S ALLEGATIONS
One major gimmick that was appealing to the emotions of the masses against Fayemi was the audio CD recorded by social crusader and singer in Ekiti state named Kunle Ologundudu. In the copy in our possession, he alleged that Fayemi used the state’s resources to build a N10 billion University of Governance and Leadership at Spintex Road, Accra, Ghana. According to him, when he showed the video and pictures to Chief Afe Babalola, he confirmed the university was worth N10 billion. According to him, the governor was said to have claimed the university belonged to his wife. He divulged that the foundation was laid on June 1, 2011. Though completed, it had not commenced operation.
Second, he claimed while investigating Fayemi in Ghana, he confirmed the story that he had an estate in Ghana at 60/78, Ambassadorial Avenue, Ghana. He claimed that estate agents valued the property on 18 plots as worth N2 billion.
On Friday, June 13, 2014, ENCOMIUM Weekly was in Ekiti to verify the situation on ground and called the CPS, Oyebode and Director General of Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Hon. Daramola Bimbo. But there was no response. We sent a text message which was only responded to by Hon. Daramola with a simple okay. However, on Monday, June 16, 2014, we called the CPS again and he responded thus to the allegation.
“There is no story to confirm or deny. It is a beer parlour rumour. Everybody knows who owns schools in Nigeria. Go and google it. No 21 century journalist should be deceived.”