- On Saturday, June 18, the good people of Ekiti would vote in a new leader that would take over the helms of affairs of the state
- Barely three days to the gubernatorial election, the race to elect Governor Kayode Fayemi’s successor has become more intense than ever
- Legit.ng compiled interesting facts about the exercise and significant progress that makes the Ekiti state election worth the chase by top contenders heading for the ballot
The Ekiti state governorship election is among the top highlights that shaped important conversations in the polity, in the first quarter of the year 2022.
Ahead of the big day on Saturday, June 18, the air of unpredictability that envelopes governorship polls in the state is quite intense.
Since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave the nod for political parties to begin public campaigns, all 16 parties participating in the poll have been traversing the 16 local councils, soliciting support and votes for their candidates, The Guardian stated.
But many political analysts have found it difficult to predict the possible outcome of the upcoming election.
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A lot of factors make the exercise an interesting one, as it tops debate and conversations in the polity but the contenders are all heading to occupy the nation's number one seat, the office of the governor of Ekiti state.
In view of the above assertion, Legit.ng compiled interesting facts about the Ekiti state election slated for Saturday, June 18.
1. The election date is different
In 2009, Appeal Court cancelled the election of Governor Segun Oni after he ruled for over 41 months.
The court ruled that Kayode Fayemi is the winner of the election and ordered them to hand over power to him immediately.
But INEC organise a partial re-run of the election that made Fayemi become the governor of the state in 2010.
This was how the election timetable changed in Ekiti state.
2. The election before 2023
The Ekiti state governorship election is one of a handful of governorship elections in Nigeria that doesn’t happen at the same time as the general elections. Ekiti’s election timeline was disrupted when a Court of Appeal nullified the result of the 2007 election in 2010, thereby resetting the clock for every subsequent Ekiti State governor’s four-year term.
Since the return to civil rule in 1999 in Ekiti, elections in the state, especially governorship have been a combination of surprise and shock due to the high unpredictability and sophistication of Ekiti voters. The electorate in the state has the tradition of voting out parties and governments not doing their biddings and not delivering dividends of democracy every four years. So, every governorship election in Ekiti since 1999 has produced different winners and political parties.
Considering this fact and other factors, some observers are saying the June 18 election is likely to present another interesting scenario. While the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) under the administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi would be hoping to break the jinx and remain in power after the election, the opposition parties appear poised to create an upset.
3. The candidates contesting
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), there are 16 candidates in the race for the governorship position.
Two female candidates are: Christiana Olatawura of the Action Peoples Party (APP) and Kemi Elebute-Halle of the Action Democratic Party (ADP).
For the APC, the party with its candidate who is the immediate past secretary to the state government, Biodun Oyebanji, are banking on the achievements of the incumbent governor, and support from the government at the centre in winning the election.
In PDP, former Governor Ayodele Fayose and the PDP candidate, Bisi Kolawole, have been campaigning ahead of the election.
In SDP, the SDP has become visible in the state with the emergence of former Governor Segun Oni as the party’s candidate. He was governor of the state between 2007 and 2010.
For ADC, the party’s candidate, Dr ‘Wole Oluyede. He was in the APC for years until when he left and joined the ADC to contest for the governorship.
4. Top contenders
Unlike other elections in Ekiti state, this year's own is different because it is not the two main parties in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC), there are other candidates in the race that top discussions in the polity.
In fact, the election will not be a two-horse race. The emergence of Dr. Wole Oluyede of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), former Governor Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Chief Reuben Famuyibo of Accord have expanded the contest.
However, it is sixteen parties that are contesting in this election but for the sake of how people would vote based on popularity and other factors would reduce the number of the main contenders to four.
The four main contenders are;
1. Biodun Oyebanji
2. Debo Ajayi
3. Bisi Kolawole
4. And former governor Segun Oni.
5. The main political parties
In the past weeks, the political parties and their candidates have unfolded strategies and scaled up their campaigns to get the support of the majority of the Ekiti electorate towards succeeding outgoing Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Political watchers are of the view that the Ekiti election will be a keen contest among three parties; the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – APC, PDP and SDP.
Other parties are; A, AAC, ADC, ADP, APGA, APM, APP, LP, NNPP and NRM to mention but a few.
6. Polling units for Ekiti state
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Ekiti state has 988,923 registered voters but 734,746 people have collected their voters card as at May, 2022.
The state has 177 registration areas, 22,244 polling units and for 16 Local Government Areas.
7. The governor (incumbent governor) Kayode Fayemi
No. The current governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi, is serving his second term in office, so there’s no incumbent involved in the upcoming election.
8. Factors that would determine the peoples choice
Though APC is the ruling party in the state but it is not sure if they would retain power.
The development in the state is very slow, due to the change of leadership. Some of the issues opposition parties are using to campaign against the ruling party are matters such as;
- Welfare of workers
- Job creation for young pipo
- human capital development
- Investment drive
- Economic growth
- Social programmes
9. The former governor is in the contest
In the much talked about competition for 2022, Segun Oni was Ekiti state governor between 2007 and 2010 when the Court of Appeal overturned his victory for Fayemi’s first term in office.
Oni is running for a second term in office as the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He also contested for the position in 2018 but failed to win the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
10. Previous election in Ekiti
It would be interesting to note that no sitting governor in Ekiti state has ever won re-election immediately. Only Ayodele Fayose and Kayode Fayemi have served two terms in office, but they were first defeated in their first attempts and had to leave the office to retry later.
Fayose was impeached during his first term between 2003 and 2006, and won a second term in 2014. Fayemi was contesting for a second term in 2014, after becoming governor in 2010, but lost to Fayose in 2014 before he returned to win back the office in 2018.
Oni would, however, hope to join this exclusive club of returnee two-term governors come Saturday, June 18, a few hours from now.
Ekiti 2022: INEC completes preparation as voter inducement persist
Ahead of the Ekiti state gubernatorial elections slated for Saturday, June 18, findings have confirmed that the independent electoral commission (INEC) has completed preparation for the polls.
Yiaga Africa in its pre-election report made available to Legit.ng on Thursday, June 16 revealed that the electoral body demonstrated commitment and readiness to conducting the 2022 Ekiti governorship election.
The report says successfully implemented activities in the election timetable and schedule of activities.