A former member of upper legislative chamber representing EKiti North Senatorial District, Senator Ayo Arise on Wednesday applauded the flooding of Ekiti State with security operatives ahead of the June 21 governorship election taking place in the state.
“The security men are just there to maintain law and order and ensure that people express their willingness to choose a leader” he said on Channels Television’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily.
He noted that “we have had experience with isolated elections like this in the past and people flooded the state with all manner of thugs, miscreants and the electoral process was actually hijacked by those miscreants and we couldn’t have peaceful elections.
“That’s why we appealed to Mr President (Goodluck Jonathan) that we want a one man, one vote situation and we do not want people taking over the electoral process”, he said.
To have a violence free and rancour free election, the former federal legislator advocated for the constitution to “make political office(s) less attractive” insisting that “the way it is now, everybody wants to be a politician because it is a gateway to prosperity somehow”.
He urged Nigerians to begin to “channel their energies towards other avenues of attaining recognition in the society” so as to reduce the urge to make elections in Nigeria a desperate affair.
Fayose Has Done More Than Fayemi
Senator Arise noted that despite holding the power of incumbency, Governor Kayode Fayemi remains an unpopular candidate in the forthcoming elections because of the candidacy of Mr Ayo Fayose whom he claimed has provided more infrastructures in the state capital and other local governments than Governor Fayemi during his time as governor of the state.
Though Mr Fayose was impeached during his term, Mr Arise noted that it is not a prerequisite for the disqualification of a candidate, insisting that “Section 137 of the Constitution is very explicit on who can become a president or a governor.
“He has committed nothing that will disqualify him on the grounds the fact that he was impeached” he boasted.
However, joining the conversation via the telephone, the Special Adviser on Legislative Matters to the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Oladapo Karounwi rejected the comments made by the former senator, insisting that “he has dished out a lot of lies that I will quickly inform Nigerians on the correct situation of things”.
He noted that “the level of infrastructural development in Ekiti State for the last three years is unprecedented” and insisted that “the achievement is very feasible, touchable, memorable and even the blind can see.
“I am happy that the Senator did not deny that Dr Kayode Fayemi has touched every facet of life in Ekiti State”, he said.
He further noted that it is very strange for the Senator to say that the developments in the state under Fayemi are centred in the state capital alone because he is aware of a number of local government roads that have been constructed, outside of other facilities that have been put there in Oye Township, where he (senator Arise) is from.
He continued, adding that “all the schools in Oye have been upgraded, reconstructed, remodelled; health facilities have been upgraded.
“So we virtually have touched every facet of the state” boasting that there is no village that will not count up to five projects that this government has done for them”.
Debunking the claim of the Senator that Mr Fayose is corrupt –free, Karounwi argued that “the issue of Mr Fayose is still before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)”.
Lies From The Pit Of Hell
A representative from the Labour Party, Mrs Babatunde Olatunde-Bruce, also via the telephone, debunked rumors that the Labour Party had joined forces with the People’s Democratic Party ahead of the June 21 election.
“There is no pact with the Ayo Fayose Organistion, we are not having any pact with the APC either” she said, accusing the camp of the PDP of sharing false text messages to that effect, insisting that “it is a lie from the pit of hell.
“We have asked our people and the entirety of Ekiti people to disregard that message” she said
She said the candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Opeyemi Bamidele is “the best candidate among the three of them. He is untainted, he is the most experienced and he has spent 12 years in the executive arm of government and three and a half years so far in the legislative arm of government”.
She further noted that as a lawyer, Opeyemi has spent over twenty years and has wide network within the judiciary; therefore he is most experienced.
The Media and Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party in the state also noted that “we have a pact with the good people of Ekiti” revealing that “our pact is to mend this broken heart through our manifesto of change, which we have launched and have given out to the people of Ekiti, to hold onto and to also hold us accountable when we get to government”.
At least 18 parties have presented candidates for the election. However, the contest is realistically between the APC, PDP and LP.