By Gbenga Sodeinde
As Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Biodun Oyebanji, aka BAO of the All Progressives Congres (APC) the winner of the Ekiti State governorship election, many within and outside the states have been wondering, asking the important question: “What is the secret behind this breaking of the jinx of a sitting governor desiring to instal his successor in Ekiti?” .
Since the creation of Ekiti it has become an Impossible for any outgoing governor to handover to a successor from his political party, but the incumbent and outgoing governor, Kayode Fayemi has now broken the agelong jinx.
Governor John Kayode Fayemi on Saturday, June 18, 2022, broke that jinx when BAO won the gubernatorial poll having polled 187,057 votes to defeat his closest rival, Engr. Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who garnered 82,211 votes. The Peoples’ Democratic Party’s fortunes in the states dwindled as it got 67,457 votes. 13 other political parties were also defeated by BAO in the poll.
Again, the Alliance For Democracy (AD), which metamorphosed into the Action Congress of Nigeria. ( ACN) and currently bears the All Progressives Congress (APC) has never won Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital past elections before June 18, 2022.
But this time, the APC did not only *win* Ado Ekiti, but did so with wide margin against other political parties. This happened in spite of the fact that the Deputy Governorship candidate of SDP, Chief Ladipupo Owolabi is from Ado Ekiti. The APC polled a whooping 23,831 votes against the SDP,’s 15,214 and the PDP polled a scanty 7,575.
This could be described as highly impressive performance in the history of the Progressives party in the state. So was the impressive performance of the APC across the sixteen local Governornment areas of Ekiti state.
This landslide Victory was not without a secret, and the secret behind this is simply Governor Kayode Fayemi, and his amiable wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi. Ask me how?.
The answers are not far fetched reconsidering the numerous life -changing, pro- people legacy projects and many achievements of governor Fayemi which Ekiti people have realized and were of the opinion that it would *be* the best option if these things are allowed to continue.
This is because they know that majority of the projects have already started yeilding fruits in terms of creating endless job opportunities for the people of Ekiti and making *life* much better for them.
It is true that other past Governors have done some projects in Ekiti but majority of them have no direct impact on the people’s lives as regards in particular, creating employment opportunities for them.
But what is significant about Fayemi’s legacy projects is that they have direct and positive impact on the people. Fortunately, the Governor-elect was part of Fayemi’s success in this area as the Secretary to the State Government, meaning that he knows better and to continue this legacy.
For the records, we should list some of these legacy projects. It is to to Fayemi’s credit that 1,000 teachers were recruited through the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) in order to boost the capacity of TESCOM at providing qualitative education for the teeming children in public secondary schools in state.
In a bid to boosting commerce and the state’s economy, and create more job opportunities for Ekiti people, Fayemi resuscitated the moribund Ikun Dairy Farm and that factory has come alive producing about 9, 000 litres of milk per day while many Ekiti people who spoke to this writer have commended the Governor for the initiative as this has already created countless job opportunities for them. This was done on partnership with Promasidor group of companies.
Fayemi equally revived and expanded rice and cassava farming through partnerships with the Federal Government and key private sector players, as well as expanding the farming opportunities for our teeming youths by creating and empowering the Youth in Commercial Agriculture Development programme (YCAD).
What about African Development Bank ( AfDB) ‘s huge financial support for the construction of the Agro-Cargo Airport, the Knowledge Zone, the Ado Ekiti Ring Road, the Ado-Akure Dualisation and Reconstruction, the Agricultural Processing Zone, the World Bank supported Aero-Magnetic Mineral Survey among other people oriented legacy projects that Ekiti believed should continue?
There are also the World Bank, European Union, United Nations System, USAID, Africa Development Bank, and several other partners, including Federal Government agencies that now working assiduously with the Ekiti State government on massive development of the state through knowledge economy, infrastructure and industrial development, agriculture and rural development and social investments, that the people have seen and wished to continue in the state?.
Fayemi’s great attributes is another major factor that contributed to Oyebanji’s victory at the poll, apart from the fact that his administration is the first administration to embrace Female Gender Equality in government as well as take Gender-Based Violence seriously without prejudice.
Similarly, the great Mother General, Erelu Bisi Fayemi’s attributes is another major factor that have contributed immensely to Oyebanji’s success at the poll.
Erelu Fayemi is a source of inspiration to Ekiti women is such a great woman who believes in the complimentary role of women in a men-dominated society by touching lives of Ekiti people directly in one way and another irrespective of their political backgrounds and affiliation.
Her kindheartedness knows no bounds as she firmly believes that being the First Lady does not really matter, the positive impact one can use the office to have in the lives of the citizenry is paramount.
It is worthy of note that Erelu Fayemi as Ekiti State First Lady, does not use her position as a ceremonial tool for junketing and gallivanting the length and breadth of Ekiti with circus-like jamborees, a practice common with many First Ladies in Nigeria. Neither does she see her position as a conduit pipe to siphon the commonwealth of Ekiti State.
Thus, her life changing personal interventions have saved lives in Ekiti, changed many lives for the better, and brought joy to many homes in the state. But for want of time and space, l would have mentioned the numerous life changing interventions of this angelic woman but ask an average and sincere Ekiti woman, she will testify that her efforts and support were other major secret behind the success of Oyebanji at the poll last Saturday. Historic Victory and Secrets Behind Breaking the Age-long Jinx .
Gbenga Sodeinde a journalist writes from Ado Ekiti. email@example.com.