By Dayo Johnson & Rotimi Ojomoyela
The deputy governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Kolapo Olusola was last night headed for victory in the PDP governorship primaries. Olusola who is the anointed candidate of the outgoing governor garnered 1,191 votes despite the last-minute collaboration of his two major rivals, Senator Biodun Olujimi and Prince Dayo Adeyeye.
Senator Olujimi, the deputy Senate Minority Whip, had before the commencement of the voting yesterday stepped down for Adeyeye who scored 771 votes.
Delegates were brought into the venue at the Great Eagle Hall, along Ikere-Ekiti Road, in long luxury buses guarded by mobile policemen.
Accreditation of the 1,966 delegates was done at different locations several metres away from the venue of the election.
Apparently learning from the mistake of the botched All Progressive Congress governorship primary, a section of the road leading to the venue was cordoned off by security agents bearing vicious looking security dogs.
Stern looking and heavily armed Security agents, DSS and Mobile policemen mounted security at the major entrance of the venue, other paramilitary agents were also on ground to provide security.
Journalists were made to pass through rigorous security checks before being allowed into the venue of the primary election.
As against the protest of one of the Governorship aspirants, Dayo Adeyeye, that uniform dresses should not be permitted for delegates, each set of local government delegates were dressed in unique Ankara attire, as means of identification.
Delegates from each local government area wore uniform Ankara clothing and were seated accordingly in the area allotted for them in the hall.
The chairman of the electoral committee, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State who was in charge of the process, called the delegates out one after the other and did a personal headcount as they lined up to cast their votes.
First to cast their votes at about 2pm when the exercise started were members of the state executive council, followed by legislators of both the national and state assemblies including former principal officers of the state House of Assembly, and then local government council chairmen
Before the voting commenced, Senator Olujimi announced her decision to step down for Adeyeye, though she did not state her reason for the sudden decision, she appealed to her delegates to cast their votes for Adeyeye, according to her, “in the best interest of the party”
Delegates were asked to cast their votes and vacate the hall immediately.
Speaking after he cast his vote, Adeyeye commended Governor Okowa for doing an excellent job. “I’m very much satisfied with the process and by the grace of God whoever wins, we are going to support whoever emerges. The process is transparent and credible
Prof. Olusola on his part said:“I thank God for this excellent job, entire process peaceful, fair and credible, this shows that our able leaders are projecting PDP as a party worthy of emulation.
Whoever emerges, I’m going to join hands with him to move the state forward.”