By Rotimi Ojomoyela
There is no doubt that the echoes of the July 14, 2018 Ekiti governorship election will linger for a while, and will continue to elicit mixed reactions.
As the Independent National Electoral Commission, announced the result of the election and declared the winner in the early hours of July 15, an absolute calm descended on Ekiti after almost two months of cacophony of campaign noises since INEC lifted the ban on campaign in April 15, 2018.
NBC shuts down Ekiti Broadcast Service
What could have triggered a major crisis and chaos in the state was averted, when the National Broadcasting Commission wielded the big hammer by shutting down the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State over attempt by Governor Ayodele Fayose to declare his Deputy and Candidate of the PDP as the winner of the election.
The commission in a statement signed by its south west monitoring chief, Professor Armstrong Idachaba cited breach of the Electoral Act and Broadcasting Code by the media outfit as the governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose went on to announce results in favour of his deputy and PDP’s governorship candidate Olusola Eleka
According to Professor Idachaba, “the Commission has taken the decision to curb the continued breach of the Electoral Act and the Broadcasting Code on Political Broadcast. The Commission is particularly irked by the unauthorized declaration of results by the state Governor in the state Broadcast station.
“This was after he went on air to make malicious and unsubstantiated comments against INEC, the Police and the SSS.
The station will remain shut down until further notice.”
Immediately Fayemi was announced as the winner, the state capital , Ado-Ekiti was thrown into momentary frenzy, there were celebrations across the state, which later culminated into a victory rally by the winner and its party.
Ado-Ekiti was agog, as the colourful broom train of the victory party, defied the morning drizzle, moved from the popular Fajuyi park through the heart of the town and finally gathered at the party Secretariat in Ajilosun area, along Akure Road.
The traffic was held up for several hours on that Sunday morning by the broom bearing mammoth crowd and a long motorcade, with shout of ‘Change’, the slogan of the party.
In his speech tagged Victory Speech at the party secretariat, the Governor-Elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi described his victory as a symbol of liberation from hunger, poverty and indignity suffered by the people of the state under Governor Ayodele Fayose led administration in the state.
Fayemi said the victory marked the beginning of collective rescue mission of the state from mis-governance foisted on the state by Fayose.
He appreciated fellow constants in the governorship race for enriching the process and for their civility and patriotism in accepting the outcome of the exercise.
Amidst the calmness that enveloped the state there was the allegation of vote buying, which the two parties denied vehemently.
The disappearing act
But while this allegation was being thrown back and forth, Governor Ayodele Fayose disappeared from the public. Some unconfirmed reports had it that he left the state immediately after his broadcast on the state broadcasting outfit. The source added that his feet developed wings upon hearing that security agents had taken over the Government House. For the whole of Sunday and Monday till the early hours of Tuesday, Fayose’s whereabout remained shrouded in mystery.
But in the late afternoon on Tuesday, Fayose made a surprise appearance and drove round popular areas of the town, after which he headed straight to the palace of Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemi Adejugbe. He told the traditional ruler that his security had been withdrawn by the Federal government.
Fayemi receives certificate of return
To put a seal on Fayemi’s electoral victory, the National Commissioner in charge of Oyo, Ekiti and Osun States, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, presented Fayemi with the Certificate of Return at a ceremony held at state INEC office, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
Deputy Governor-elect Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi also received his Certificate of Return at the event.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. AbdulGaniy Raji, expressed delight that the election was held despite the tension that preceded it.
Raji commended the people of Ekiti State for the maturity displayed before, during and after the election which he said was successful.
In his remarks, INEC National Commissioner, Soyebi noted that the
presentation of Certificate of Return marked the end of the process of the Ekiti governorship election.
Soyebi who described Ekiti as a homogenous state urged the people of the state to continue being their brother’s keepers.