By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Wahab Abdulah & Ola Ajayi
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has congratulated Ekiti State gubernatorial candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the 2007 elections, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, over his victory at the Court of Appeal, describing it as a triumph of truth over falsehood.
However, the Lagos State chapter of ACN has called for stiff penalty against perpetrators of the Ekiti electoral fraud to serve as deterrent to others in future polls.
In his reaction to the verdict, Fashola declared, “By today’s victory, truth and justice have prevailed over manifest falsehood and the perpetrators of injustice have been exposed. It is a good sign that our democracy is on course and waxing stronger.
“The Government and people of Lagos State and, indeed, all lovers of Justice in Nigeria and beyond, rejoice with you today over this victory at the temple of justice after many months of travails and trials as well as manifest attempts by the apostles of falsehood to pervert the course of justice”, the Governor said..
Noting that the court verdict did not come as a surprise, Governor Fashola said the declaration was an eloquent proof of Fayemi’s “resilience and determination to serve the people of Ekiti State and to fly the banner of the party of ideas, the Action Congress of Nigeria, in that state which has for long awaited your progressive leadership”.
Lagos State chapter of the ACN, in its own statement, said Fayemi’s victory at the Appeal Court is a reward for tenacity, courage, resilience and firmness in the face of persistent persecution and has demonstrated that these pay against transient power that was never gained through the electorate.
The state publicity secretary of the ACN, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, noted that the judiciary has, by the judgment, served a final notice to electoral thieves and vote robbers that the game is getting over.
The party therefore called for stiff sanctions against all those that perpetrated the electoral fraud in Ekiti State that saw Mr Segun Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wield an illegitimate mandate for nearly four years.
“We see the victory of Fayemi as a good omen for the liberation of the entire South West from the hands of the impostors former President Obasanjo imposed in 2003 and also the total liberation of Nigerians from the claws of the desperate rapists that have written the history of our democracy in blood and fraud. We congratulate the good people of Ekiti State who have demonstrated uncommon courage in the face of the desperation of the illegitimate regime to cling to power at all cost. We believe this victory belongs to them as the full effort to liberate Nigerians from the claws of vote robbers and electoral thieves gathers momentum.”
Oyo State chapter of the ACN also lauded the Appeal Court judgment that sacked Oni and ordered the swearing-in of Fayemi as the validly elected governor of Ekiti State.
According to the party, the judgment was one of the best things to have happened to Nigerians in recent times.
Speaking through its director of publicity, Mr. Wasiu Olatubosun, the party expressed delight at what it called “restoration of the Ekiti peoples’ mandate after almost four years of reign of terror in the hands of impostors”.
Also reacting, the gubernatorial candidate in the 2007 election in Osun State, Engr Rauf Aregbesola, described the judgment of the Court of Appeal as victory for democracy. Aregbesola said, “Democracy has become the norm and preferred form of government in all civilized societies , for the sake of our people and nation, therefore, it must gain firm root in our land.
“We salute the courage and uprightness of the Justice Ayo Salami -led panel of Appeal Justices, and indeed, the judiciary as a whole, for demonstrating the will to dispense justice, without fear or favour. By this judgement, our faith has been rekindled, in the capacity of the Judiciary, to ensure that justice is ultimately done.
“We share this auspicious moment of joy with our brother, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, as we congratulate him for his dogged fight to claim his mandate freely given by his people in Ekiti State from the vote robbers. We also thank all his supporters and well wishers for their perseverance, resilience and steadfastness during the grueling 42 months of the struggle,” Aregbesola stated.
The occasion turned sour for the most prominent traditional ruler in the state, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, the Ewi of Ado Ekiti after he was humiliated by some youths and students of the University of Ado Ekiti, UNAD, who accused him of supporting the ousted governor, Engr Segun Oni
As the monarch and members of his entourage otherwise known as Ewi- in- Council arrived the venue of the occasion, the youths formed a barricade shouting obscenities at him.
Even while the Master of the Ceremony , Mrs Felicia Ademulegun was introducing the monarch, the youths kept jeering at the first class traditional ruler. He remained in his car for about 15 minutes before joining other well wishers in the stands.
Be magnanimous in victory, Daniel tells Fayemi
Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State has asked the newly sworn-in governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to be magnanimous in victory.
Daniel also contended that the process leading to Fayemi’s assumption of office will further deepen democracy in Nigeria.
In a congratulatory message to the new Ekiti chief helmsman, yesterday, the Ogun governor said Fayemi should see to the development of the generality of the people of Ekiti and prayed God to give the governor the wisdom to steer the ship of the state for the benefit of all.
The roll call
* Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos
* Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo
* Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo
* Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
* Aremu Olusegun Osoba
* Dr. Chris Ngige
* Alhaji Lam Adesina
* Evangelist Dele Olumilua
* Otunba Niyi Adebayo
* Mr. Ayo Fayose
* Chief Bisi Akande
* Mallam Nuhu Ribadu
* Mr. Femi Falana
* Rauf Aregbesola
* Senator Ibikunle Amosun
* Mr. Tunji Odeyemi, Speaker, Ekiti State Assembly.
* Mr. Adaoti, Deputy Speaker, Ekiti Assembly
* Most Revd Felix Ajakaye, Catholic Bishop of Ekiti
* Fuji Musician, Wasiu Ayinde
* Mr. Dele Alake