The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Ayodele Fayose as the winner of the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State.
Mr Fayose, according to the electoral body scored 203, 090 number of votes to beat the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Kayode Fayemi, who scored 120, 433 while the candidate of the Labour Party, Bamidele Michael Opeyemi scored 18,135 votes to come third.
“Ayodele Peter Fayose of PDP having certified the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected”, said the returning officer and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Professor Isaac Azuzu.
Despite a number of political parties fielding candidates in the election, analysts had tipped the contest to be between the candidates of three parties– the incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi of the APC, a former governor of the state, Ayo Fayose of the PDP, and a member of the House of Representatives, Opeyemi Bamidele of the LP.
Earlier the candidate of the PDP berated the use of money to sway the minds of electorates during the election insisting that he has left everything in the hands of God.
Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, Mr Fayose said “money for me in this game will destroy so many things and will destroy our future. For me, I have been in my house and I have left everything to God. Whichever way it goes, I have taken it as every good gift comes from God almighty.
“I have put in my best during the campaigns and I have left everything in the hands of God”, he said.
The incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also speaking after casting his vote noted that he had cause to speak to the Inspector General of Police after he failed to reach President Goodluck Jonathan.
He noted that he was compelled to reach them over the violation of the election procedure by the Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.
In his words “I haven’t been able to get Mr President or his Chief of Staff. I had cause this morning to speak to the Inspector-General of Police, not once, not twice, particularly about this minister of state who was violating the election procedure.
“I have also had cause to speak to the Chief of Army Staff about some untoward activities by his own men on the ground here”, he said.
He however noted that “it has not reached a stage where this should be escalated to the president yet but I will like to think that the president himself will not want a situation that throws Ekiti into jeopardy”.
Meanwhile, candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Bamidele Michael Opeyemi noted that “it feels good to participate in an election that will herald me into the office as the next governor of Ekiti State” insisting that “that is my fate, that is my belief and that is my conviction.
“I want to say that so far, the process appears reasonable and again my hope and prayer is that what I have witnessed here at my polling unit, will be the standard of what is going on in each and every of the 2,195 polling units being used by INEC to conduct this election “ he opined.
In all, 29 domestic and international observers were accredited by INEC to observe the election. The international observers include the UNDP/DGD, EU Delegation, British High Commission, United States Mission to Nigeria, Canadian High commission, Embassies of Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and France.
Ekiti State has three senatorial districts, six federal constituencies, and 177 registration areas spreading across the 16 LGAs.
There are 2,195 polling units and 2, 803 voting points in the state and about 7,941 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) were engaged as ad-hoc staff to man the booths.
The incumbent was hoping to break the jinx of state governors not being re-elected after a first term, as no governor of the state has been elected for a second term since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 in the state.
Other parties that fielded candidates during the election fared thus: Accord-268, AA–146, AA–146, APC-120, 433, AD–843, CPP-967, LP 18, 125, KOWA –222, CPP–967, PDP-203, 090, MPPP- 137, NCP–322, PDC–921, PPA–1050, SDP–65, UDP-67.