An experienced popular Journalist, Mr Aanu Adegun, who was among the Press men who covered the just concluded Ekiti State gubernatorial election, has shared his experience with the public through a comprehensive opinion article he posted on his Facebook page and made a copy available to Starnews.com.ng.
In this opinion, Mr Aanu said that he was surprised that Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the election.
Mr Aanu said that Fayemi was not in the thoughts of the majority of people he interacted with in Ekiti State before, during the election and after the election.
The full report he gave about the Ekiti Election read:
“Ekiti election: My Personal Observations As A Reporter
By Aanu Adegun
Ekiti gubernatorial election might have come and gone, but going by the calls I received from friends, colleagues and acquaintances who wish to hear my personal views of the lost and won poll, I wish to share my personal experiences here.
From Lagos to Ado-Ekiti
Right from Ado Park in Ojota, Lagos state, on Wednesday, July 11, the story has been of Governor Fayose and Eleka. Drivers and most co-travelers who I interacted with claim they are in support of the governorship candidate of the PDP.
Interactions with residents of Ado Ekiti
On getting to Ado, Ekiti state capital, the story was the same. Most residents, from Okada riders to street passers, food vendors, and area boys etc who I spoke with claim they are for PDP’s Eleka. They claim it is continuity they want.
What most local folks say about Ayodele Fayose
In Ado-Ekiti, I discovered that majority of the local residents there love their governor, Ayodele Fayose whom they fondly call Oshoko. At least 80% of those I interacted with have a good thing to say about him. (Trust me to speak with as many people I can speak to.) I was actually surprised because this negates my perspective of the governor from Lagos.
Those I interacted with claim they would be voting for Eleka because of Oshoko.
Fayemi not in thoughts of the majority I interacted with
Another thing I discovered was that many are not in love with governor-elect Fayemi. In fact, I discovered that he was not in their thought. They sing and breathe Fayose.
I even asked some of them about Fayemi’s project when he was governor and believe it or not, many could not point out projects from the days of Fayemi’s first tenure. Personally, I suspect that Fayose completed these projects.
I was surprised Fayemi defeated Eleka.
Truthfully, based on interactions with local residents at Ado-Ekiti and Ikere, I never gave Fayemi a chance because I felt this was the view of the majority.
I really felt for Ikere people. Majority of them really wanted Eleka to win. Maybe I am prejudiced in my feelings because my mama was a student there when I was born, I really can’t say. But the truth was that when Eleka won some polling units I monitored, I saw wild celebration and genuine happiness.
Intimidation and arrest of some PDP members
I heard about harassment and intimidation of some PDP supporters but I really did not give it a thought until I got to Ikere late in the evening of Friday, July 13.
I was on a bike in search of a hotel when I saw many people in front of a police station protesting.
The protesters were shouting and I asked the okada rider the reason for their protest.
In his reply, the okada man told me they were PDP supporters and some of their key leaders had been arrested.
Was the election rigged?
Was the election rigged? I really don’t understand how this particular scenario played out (Time and court will tell – if it gets to that stage) but I want to believe the election was not rigged but completely bought.
APC and PDP both bought votes but APC escalated the art
The fact is that PDP and APC are both election fraudsters. PDP bought votes in some areas but APC multiplied the money and areas in which they bought their own votes. Apart from this, APC stopped PDP from buying more votes while they (APC) were buying heavily.
They said APC did what PDP did in 2014
A PDP chieftain told me at Ado that what happened (intimidation, vote buying) was exactly what PDP did to Fayemi in 2014. I find this alarming because it showed that APC is truly not different from PDP.
Ikere and Ado’s votes
APC ‘killed’ Ikere and Ado-Ekiti votes:
Please note that the two local governments bring the best of vote returns and in most cases decide who wins the election (According to local observers).
At a unit in Ikere, an agent of APC who was buying votes told me that they cannot win the unit but needed to ‘destroy’ the total vote casts. (That is, make sure the gap between PDP and APC is not too much).I also suspect that such a scenario played out at Ado-Ekiti.
A PDP leader shared a story about Fayose and why his own mother wanted to vote for Fayemi
On a lighter mood, after Fayemi was declared winner on Sunday, July 15, a PDP chieftain who blamed Fayose attitude for the loss told me that he had one time wanted the position of local government chairman only for Fayose to call them (those interested in such positions) and told them bluntly that those over 50 should forget such ambition.
Going further, he said he had to fight his own old mother when she said she wanted to vote for the man paying money to old people. The man now told me that in his first coming, Fayemi used to pay N10,000 to the elderly ones. He said Fayose scrapped it when he assumed office.
A lie about Fayose
Before I left Lagos, I learnt that Fayose failed to pay drivers some money he promised them after they parked their vehicles at the government house when President Buhari visited for APC mega rally.
This was a lie – according to a driver who spoke to me on the eve of the election. The driver said he was among those who parked their cars. He said some cows were even killed and they all enjoyed themselves on the said day.
He also admitted that they were paid some money but not 10, 000.
And if you lose, what will you do? – I asked PDP candidate, Prof Eleka?
When I asked Eleka this question, he was yet to vote because the card reader had failed to read his card but he declared that because he could not vote does not mean he would lose.
Such confidence in politicians because, yes, another governorship aspirant I spoke with also told me that same day that he too would win.
Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, July 15 – The day Fayemi was declared winner
Now, let us look at that day like this: If the people really love Fayemi, after he was declared winner, Ekiti people would have come out in multitude to celebrate. (Not the few Okada riders on display).
And if they really dislike Fayose, they would have also come out to celebrate his downfall (over the loss of his anointed candidate).
None of this played out. The people were beaten, banding together in small group and talking in hush tones, shutting up at the approach of anybody.
I asked some of them on Sunday and Monday about the election and they told me that they had accepted their fate.
Who dare protest?
But then who dare protest when on major streets in Ado-Ekiti, security personnel are strategically placed and their vehicles constantly on patrol in a show of power.
Please note: I don’t support Fayemi or Fayose’s Eleka. I have only revealed what I saw and observed at Ado-Ekiti and Ikere, the biggest LGAs in Ekiti state. For all I know, we deserve better political parties, people as leaders.”