The euphoria that greeted the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in last weekend’s Ekiti gubernatorial election turned sour yesterday as partisan bickering and recrimination surfaced from the winners and losers of the election.
While the victorious Ayodele Fayose slammed the vanquished incumbent, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, for pretence in his quick concession of victory, saying it was a publicity stunt, he also cautioned Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos not to further provoke Ekiti people with supposedly derogatory remarks.
PDP, APC grandstand in Senate
The bickering over the Ekiti election, which also surfaced in the Senate chambers where PDP and All Progressives Congress, APC senators exchanged hot words over the conduct of the election, was also conveyed in communiqués by the two parties. At the end of the first meeting of its newly- constituted National Working Committee, NWC, APC condemned the process of the Ekiti election as badly skewed in favour of the PDP just as the PDP in a riposte flayed the APC of planning mayhem, saying the party was set to return to its bad ways.
Fayemi not picking my calls again —Fayose
Fayose in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that although Fayemi at the weekend conceded publicly and congratulated him, the governor had not picked calls from him since then.
“The governor said I am conceding to defeat. Let me be realistic with you, there is a difference between propaganda and reality. I have been calling the governor since after our meeting but he hasn’t picked the call.
“If you read all papers now, he said I will create local governments before I go; how do you reconcile these things? I am not a propagandist, I am a realist. The governor says he will do employment before he leaves; that means you want to create problem for the incoming government.”
“Their party said we are still studying the ink used by INEC; it is the governor that conceded, not our party,” he said.
Fayose recalled that in 2003, his predecessor, Mr Niyi Adebayo, also conceded defeat but went ahead to conduct a mass recruitment though he had only six months remaining in his tenure.
“I respect the governor; he is our leader, up until the 15th of October, he remains our leader but I want to appeal to APC not to play propaganda with sensitive issues like this.”
“If the governor says I am not going, his party too must make pronouncements otherwise I do not mind them going to court.
“The court will ask you: ‘it is usually the incumbent that rigs, why would somebody who is not an incumbent now rig and defeat you in your ward?
He said that none of the APC Senators or House of Representative members, including former governor, Mr Segun Oni, won in their polling booths.
Fayose commended Fayemi for the bold step taken in conceding defeat, though it was meant to induce public sympathy.
He said though he would run an inclusive government, he would only work with those who were willing to work with him.
Fayemi spoke with Fayose yesterday, says aide
However, a senior aide of Governor Fayemi, however, denied the accusation that the governor had cut off communication with the incoming governor, saying that both men spoke yesterday morning on telephone.
The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also defended the creation of new local governments, saying it was a process that commenced last January and would come to an end by endorsement of the state House of Assembly.
Ekweremadu to the rescue as tempers rise
Meanwhile, the timely intervention of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, stopped APC and PDP senators from exchanging blows as tempers rose yesterday over the outcome of the just-concluded Ekiti election.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Senator Andy Uba, had, while relying on Order 43 of the Senate Standing Order, commended the electoral body for conducting what he described as the most credible election in the country.
Senator Uba, who also commended the people and government of Ekiti State for the peaceful conduct of the election, further praised the security agencies for ensuring adequate security during and after the election and urged all the relevant stakeholders that contributed to the success of the polls to carry on with the same spirit in subsequent elections.
But it was too much for Senator Babafemi Ojudu, (APC, Ekiti Central) who drew the attention of the Senate to the fact that Senator Uba’s younger brother, Chief Chris Uba had led the Police to cause havoc during the election.
Senator Ojudu said: “My colleague (Andy Uba) had already read Order 43, I don’t need to repeat it. I will like to commend the governor-elect of Ekiti State and my governor for accepting the result of the election.
“But I want to say here, Mr. President, that my colleague who stood here to talk, his younger brother Chris Uba, led police to the hotel and smashed all the doors of the hotel…”
He was immediately stopped by PDP senators who shouted at him to sit down.
Senators Smart Adeyemi (PDP, Kogi West) and Philip Aduda, (PDP, FCT) led the PDP senators in stopping Ojudu, leading to a rowdy uproar before Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the session overruled Ojudu, using Order 43 that prohibited discussion of controversial issues in the Senate.