The federal government is pulling out all the stops from the nation’s capital city of Abuja, as the APC seeks to regain control of Ekiti State in Southwest Nigeria, from the PDP.
Former Solid Minerals minister, Kayode Fayemi, is the candidate of the APC in the July 14 Ekiti governorship election.
Incumbent Ekiti Governor Ayodele Fayose of the PDP, is backing his deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola, to succeed him.
The APC still feels that Fayemi, who governed Ekiti from 2010 to 2014 before losing a re-election battle to Fayose, lost to strong arm, illicit tactics from the then PDP controlled federal government.
There were confessional statements and audio messages after the 2014 election, alluding that the PDP deployed tanks, soldiers and money to rig the vote for Fayose.
Even though Fayemi rang to congratulate Fayose soon after the election was called for the PDP, the APC and Fayemi haven’t taken the jarring defeat in good faith, four years after.
Police to keep an eye on Ekiti
A top APC source has told Pulse that the party is doing everything to avoid another humiliating defeat for Fayemi.
On Saturday, April 14, 2018, Fayemi boasted that “We will use local, state and federal power to take over Ekiti from a rapacious government being run by brigands in Ekiti.
“Those of us who travel out of Ekiti, we are being insulted, assaulted and mocked on a daily basis by people asking why the Ekiti they thought was well read, refined and exposed could make a character like Ayodele Fayose their Governor”.
The APC held a mega rally attended by its biggest names on Tuesday, June 19, 2018; with APC godfather Bola Tinubu telling a surging crowd that Fayemi is now the wiser for his 2014 defeat.
Tinubu and Fayemi famously fell out ahead of the 2014 vote, but fences have now been mended by both parties and Tinubu will be deploying every trick in the book to return Fayemi to Ekiti government house.
“I want to encourage you to vote for Kayode Fayemi, because we have modified him. He is now smart, intelligent and ready to serve Ekiti people better,” Tinubu told APC supporters at the rally.
Fayemi has grown into a more seasoned, bare-knuckled campaigner these days; one willing to give as good as he gets.
The federal government won’t be putting boots on the ground before, during and after the Ekiti election, but security forces have been told to ensure that there isn’t sharing of cash at polling units and booths during the ballot.
“The police will pick up anyone with plenty of cash or anyone who is carrying a bag full of cash at any polling unit”, the APC source disclosed to Pulse.
“Suspicious movements before and during polling won’t be tolerated and the police have been mandated to crack down on illicit gatherings”, the APC source further disclosed.
Security personnel have also been told to nip all nocturnal and illicit meetings around Ekiti in the bud, ahead of the vote.
Ekiti Police Commissioner, Bello Ahmed, declined comments for this story when Pulse reached out, but a police officer who doesn’t want to be named for this story disclosed that there’s a round the clock surveillance of all notorious spots in Ekiti in order to ensure that there are no guns or cash making the rounds ahead of the vote.
“What happened in 2014 won’t happen again”, the police officer promised tersely over the phone.
Violence and boasts
APC had to cancel a contentious primary election in Ekiti over violence and vote rigging claims.
At one of its rallies, a trigger happy police officer mistakenly shot a handful of its chieftains who had to be flown to Lagos for better medical care.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has also promised that its processes are now more transparent and that rigging the vote for either candidate, will be difficult to pull off.
However, incumbent Governor Fayose has promised Fayemi another embarrassing defeat on his watch. Fayose swept all 16 local governments in Ekiti to emerge winner of the 2014 election.
The vocal State governor has also warned the APC led federal government that its tactics will yield little.
“Fayemi should expect to suffer worse defeat compared to that of 2014.
”Let me tell the president and his men that they will be disgraced here in Ekiti because the power of the people is greater than the power of those in power,” Fayose declared.
“I thank the APC for giving Ekiti people a candidate they love to vote against at all times”, Fayose boasted.