Prof. Olusola Eleka, PDP guber candidate, Ekiti State.
By Ibe Uwaleke
The incumbent deputy governor of Ekiti State, Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka on Tuesday night at the end of a five-hour keenly contested gubernatorial primary, picked the ticket as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of the state. The governor, Ayodele Fayose, nominated Olusola Eleka as his possible replacement in the July 14, 2018 guber election.
Opposition party, All progressives Congress, on Saturday last week failed to produce a candidate for the same July election after its primary was marred with violence and internal wrangling which forced the Nasarawa governor, Tanko Al-Makura-led committee to flee the venue for safety after postponing the congress indefinitely. The National Working Committee of the party has again fixed Friday May 11, 2018 for a repeat of the exercise.
But PDP own primary held on Tuesday was far better than what obtained in the APC congress as the whole exercise which was televised live by African Independent Television (AIT) was peaceful as both aspirants and their agents conducted themselves with decorum.
The chairman of the committee that supervised the election, the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa acknowledged this uncommon behaviour of the people and thanked them and other stakeholders including the security agents, party chieftains and accredited journalists for making his committee accomplish its duty in peace without rancour which characterised other parties congresses.
At the end of the election, Olusola Eleka polled 1190 votes out of a total accredited votes of 1968 to beat his only opponent and the former publicity secretary of PDP, Prince Adedeji Adeyeye who collected the remaining 771 votes, bringing the total votes cast to 1961 with seven void votes.
The aspirants at the end of the poll expressed satisfaction with the exercise as it was peaceful transparent and credible.The third aspirant, the former deputy governor and the Senate deputy minority leader, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi stepped down for Prince Adeyeye before the commencement of the election.
As agents had their eyes fixed on the sorting baskets, supporters moved from one end of the hall to the other during the sorting and counting of the ballots.
When Fayose was asked to comment on the outcome of the exercise, he has this to say: “Interesting.” He was later heard telling one of his aides: “Too close, I can’t believe it.” Meaning that Adeyeye came too close to his candidate, Olusola who pulled through with a difference of 419 votes.
Reacting to his victory, Olusola thanked Fayose, whom he described as his mentor, the congress committee led by Dr. Okowa, the security agents and all stakeholders who made the election possible.
He said the PDP would record another “16-0” in July election which was the feat Fayose achieved in all the 16 local government areas of the state in 2014.