BY DAPO AKINREFON
Dr. Kayode Fayemi rolled out the drums and dignitaries to herald his quest for an unprecedented second term in office last Thursday.
The Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, came to life last Thursday as political associates of Governor Kayode Fayemi thronged the 15,000 capacity stadium for the flag-off of the campaign for a second term by the governor.
Major streets in the state capital, especially those linking the stadium were not only locked by traffic, but were guarded by fierce-looking security agents.
Trade associations, students groups and artisans appeared in Ankara, vests and fez caps with “Kayode Fayemi for Second Term” and the APC’s logo boldly imprinted on them.
On hand was a combined security of Policemen and officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the State Security Service (SSS) and the state owned traffic agency were at their best to control the crowd at the stadium.
Also available to thrill the people and lend their support at the flag off of the campaign were popular actors, actresses, musicians and comedians.
Popular fuji maestro Adewale Ayuba, hip hop sensation, Olamide, Jesse King and popular traditional musician from Ekiti state, Elemure Ogunyemi thrilled the audience with their hit songs.
While dishing out his hit song, hip hop sensation, Olamide got Fayemi and his amiable wife, Ereelu Bisi to dance to the tune.
The event was attended by eight APC governors: Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Abdufatah Ahmed (Kwara), represented by his deputy, Elder Peter Kishira; Alhjai Yari Abubakar (Zamfara); Owelle Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).
Also on ground to show solidarity were former Ekiti State Governor and APC Interim National Vice-Chairman, Southwest, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; former Borno State Governor Ali Modu Sheriff; three Senators and five House of Representatives’ members from Ekiti, joined by their colleagues from other states; APC interim National Woman Leader, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, Senator Ajayi Boroffice and the Iyaloja-General of Lagos, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo among others.
Victory shall be ours—Awe
Firing the first salvo, APC Interim Chairman in Ekiti State, Chief Jide Awe urged the electorate to be peaceful as the election gathers steam.
While he boasted that the APC does not need any external force to win the polls because it has Ekiti people on its side, he took a swipe at the PDP for allegedly seeking federal might to win the polls.
Awe was quick to say that “despite the threats and portents of coercion against the re-election of Dr. Fayemi, the people of Ekiti have already made up their minds to re-elect him.”
…And the governors spoke
The APC governors and other dignitaries took turns to give solidarity speeches.
A former governor of Borno State, Senator Sheriff, who described Fayemi as a “performing governor” said the APC is focused on performance and transparency adding that the party would continue to ensure that Nigerians are united in their resolve to enthrone good governance.
On his part, Nyako said local and international agencies have adjudged Fayemi as a transparent leader with honesty of purpose and described him as “one of the most focused governors in Nigeria.”
Okorocha said Fayemi is ordained by God to institute change in Ekiti, adding: “If Fayemi contests for governor in other states, he will win.”
Abubakar stated that the huge turn out at the rally showed that the people appreciate what Fayemi has done in the last three-and- a-half years.
Amosun said Fayemi has done all the things his predecessors said were impossible, adding that unlike before, Ekiti now has good roads, social security for the elderly and many other life-enhancing programmes.
Ajimobi, who arrived late for the event, said Ekiti is a land of intellectuals and should not be governed by non-intellectuals, just as Ahmed represented by his deputy, said Kwarans are solidly behind Fayemi.
My records speak—Fayemi
Ushering Fayemi to deliver his address was hip hop sensation, Lamide.
He was accompanied by his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Ekiti state deputy governor, Professor Modupe Adelabu and Director-General of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Hon Bimbo Daramola.
While he enjoined the people to protect their votes from being stolen by “election riggers” and “vote robbers”, he said it was imperative for the electorate to ensure that the good work is continued.
An elated Fayemi, who first addressed the spectators in Yoruba language, maintained that no one can deny the achievements of his administration.
Pledging to work harder, if re-elected, Fayemi said he has faithfully implemented his Eight-Point Agenda and fulfilled all the promises contained in his inaugural address when he assumed office on October 16, 2010 and at the same time promised to do so if given another opportunity.
Explaining that he has brought transparency and accountability to governance, he was quick to add that no official of his administration had been summoned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Besides, he said the June 21 governorship election was not about him, but about “consolidating on the achievements of the last three-and-a-half-years and ensuring that the state does not go back to the dark days of one-week-one-trouble, violence and looting of public funds”.
In his appeal, Fayemi told the electorate not to be deceived by “the propaganda of the opposition” that he would ban commercial motorcyclists and sack teachers, if re-elected.
Further debunking claims by the opposition that he would demolish markets, if re-elected, he said the administration has built modern markets across state.
As the campaigns of the three major political parties garners steam, it is expected that mud-sliding, might characterize the electioneering campaigns as a means to gain cheap political points.