ABIODUN NEJO reports that the 25 February 2023 National Assembly elections in Ekiti State will be another time to separate the men from the boys when it comes to popularity and electoral persecution.
In Ekiti, the All Progressives Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party are the three most vocal political parties that will go neck and neck in the Senate and House of Representatives polls.
While the ruling APC believes he will win all three senatorial districts based on his acceptability as a party and his achievements in state government, the PDP believes that due to the APC’s alleged lack of power, the Ekiti people will vote for Atiku Abubakar for president. and the party’s senatorial candidates.
In addition, the SDP is convinced that the qualities and visions of its candidates, as well as the sympathy of the people of Ekiti for their 2022 gubernatorial candidate, Chief Segun Oni, will get the people to vote for their three senatorial candidates.
southern senate district
While the APC’s Southern District candidate, Chief Yemi Adaramodu, is a member of the House of Representatives and former chief of staff to the Ekiti state governor, the PDP’s Biodun Olujimi is a two-term senator, former representative and former deputy governor, and Abiodun The SDP’s Fasakin is a lawyer and a former gubernatorial candidate.
A political observer, Busuyi Olalere, said: “We expect a tough contest here in the South given the quality of the three contenders, APC, PDP and SDP. These are experienced people in terms of politicking.
“One cannot wish for Adaramodu to leave. Everyone knows that he was popular as a CoS, and people can see the imprint of him as a member of the National Assembly. The same applies to Senator Olujimi, a very strong politician who has been winning her elections. Fasakin, a leading legal luminary cannot be left out either,” she said.
Also commenting, APC State Vice President Sola Elesin said: “Adaramodu has been in the House for the last four years and has performed extremely well. He is currently campaigning in the nooks and crannies of Ekiti’s southern senatorial district.
“It has received more than 15 cacicazgo titles in the last three months from the traditional rulers, who are the custodians of our tradition and the people closest to the bases. Adaramodu looks good to win the election in February,” Elesin said.
Likewise, the PPD’s State Publicity Secretary, Raphael Adeyanju, said that the party’s standard-bearer in the district, Senator Olujimi, “is an experienced person. He is competent, capable and among the most experienced senators in Nigeria, particularly in the South West.
“It would be very reckless for the people of the Southern Senate District, despite the differences of political parties, not to prefer such a person to a rookie. He will be an asset to Ekiti and the South West as a whole,” the PDP spokesman said.
SDP State Chairman Dr Bamidele Ekunola, speaking about the qualities and competence of his party’s candidate for the south, Abiodun Fasakin, said the former Labor Party national legal adviser “would leave no stone unturned to win the elections”. He is popular, and his activities and achievements are high”.
central senatorial district
In the Central Senatorial District, APC candidate Bamidele Opeyemi is a sitting senator, former representative member and former commissioner in Lagos state. The PPD candidate, Lateef Ajijola, is a businessman-turned-politician who previously ran for the Senate and governorship.
The SDP’s standard-bearer in the Central Senatorial District is a businessman, politician, and philanthropist, Chief David Arowolo, affectionately called Oluomo of the Ijero Kingdom, who has a penchant for raising the bar in everything he does.
Noting that the competition between the three candidates would be interesting and full of tension given their strengths, Ado Ekiti resident Kayode Agbebi said: “Ajijola is popular, especially among the young population, while for Bamidele and Arowolo, their milk of kindness, which has had a positive impact on the people of this constituency, is strength for them”.
SDP State Chairman Ekunola said: “Our candidate Oluomo Arowolo has what it takes to win and looks set to win the election. He was supposed to be there last Thursday when he inaugurated his campaign committee in Aramoko Ekiti. The crowd was unprecedented. There is no question of his victory in the 2023 senatorial elections ”.
PPD spokesman Adeyanju, in his comment, said: “Our candidate, Ajijola, is an experienced politician who has aspired to the Senate; he is a candidate for governor. He has really mastered the art of politics.
“It was because of his popularity that PPD members in the Central District decided to vote for him as their candidate. When he gets to the National Assembly, I know he will be a blessing to the constituency and indeed to Ekiti State,” Adeyanju said.
In his contribution, APC Vice President Elesin said that our party’s standard-bearer, popularly known as MOB, is a veteran, and in Ekiti politics, he is not a pushover. He is good enough to go to the National Assembly.
“He was in the house; He currently sits in the Senate, where he is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He is very popular among the people of Ekiti, especially in the senatorial area of his, where he has positively influenced life,” the APC chief said.
northern senate district
For the Northern Senate District, the APC is featuring Cyril Fasuyi, a businessman and politician who previously served as Director General of the Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji Governorate Campaign Organization.
The PDP candidate for the district is Funso Ayeni, a politician and philanthropist rated by the people as competent and experienced to lead the Northern District to the longed for promised land.
And in the SDP, a former banker and politician, Akinloye Ayegbusi, the party’s former gubernatorial candidate, is the party’s candidate.
According to Ekunola, Ayegbusi, whose campaign officially started on December 26 alongside the Reps candidates in the Otun Ekiti district, is poised and ready to win the election, with all the necessary plans and committees in place.
A PDP member, Kayode Agbede, while commenting on the party’s candidate, said: “Ayeni is the man to beat in the 2023 senatorial election in Ekiti North. He is acceptable to the people in view of his philanthropy and vision for the district.”
And for APC candidate Fasuyi, the party’s state vice president described him as a veteran, saying, “He was the general manager of the BAO gubernatorial campaign team and he was successful, if he could be successful in the whole state of Ekiti, how much less. the senatorial district of him. I think he will perform extremely well in the next election.”
The APC appears to have had its own internal disputes after the 2022 gubernatorial primary. While the party was able to work it out with challengers, including Bamidele, who is now the APC’s senatorial standard-bearer for Central, one challenger, Kayode Ojo, who turned out to the courts to seek redress, he lost in the lower, appellate and superior courts. .
Except for the ill feelings of some members of the Ojo group, the APC senatorial candidates appear to be at home with the party and its members, but that is not the case for the PDP and SDP candidates.
The PPD crisis due to the discontent of some deputies with the ex-governor Ayodele Fayose threatens to have negative repercussions for the three candidates.
Following the court rulings, just at the beginning of this month (December) the PPD held new senatorial primaries, in which Ajijola and Ayeni, who are in favor of Fayose, emerged as candidates for the Center and the North, respectively.
In the south, seemingly irreconcilable differences between Fayose and Olujimi remain a problem, as loyalists of the former governor of the Ise/Orun and Emure local government areas in the south back APC senatorial candidate Adaramodu for the 2023 National Assembly elections against the PDP. candidate, Olujimi, in November.
They had based their action on what they called a “collective conviction,” that Adaramodu’s competence, plus that whoever disrespected Fayose, who is the PDP leader in the state, should not take an elective stance.
But in a countermeasure, some PDP leaders in the senatorial district, who met in Ado Ekiti days later, threatened to discipline Fayose loyalists for alleged anti-partisan activities.
In a statement signed by the district PDP chairman, Chief Femi Tijani, the leaders reiterated their support for Olujimi’s re-election bid and warned those who were fanning the fires of party discord by flaunting anti-Olujimi cards. and threatening to act against his interest in the senatorial contest to distrust his actions or face the consequences.
Once again, some PDP National Assembly candidates view the inclusion of SDP members by the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization in the Ekiti State Presidential Campaign Committee and Campaign Management Committee as an apparent threat. for your success in the elections.
As such, in a letter to the Director General of the PDP CCP, Aminu Tambuwwal, from seven candidates for the National Assembly, including Ayeni and Ajijola, on December 18, titled “Rejection of the PCC and CMC of Ekiti State”, the candidates to the National Assembly they said: “The persons appointed as Campaign Directors for the Central and Northern Senate Districts are members of the SDP.
“In the aforementioned senatorial districts, the SDP is fielding candidates for the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the House of Assembly. On the list, most of the nominees are not members of the PDP. They are members of the SDP. Our elections will be held alongside those of the president.
“The implication is that SDP members will work against us as our Senate campaign managers for our elections. In this sense, as actors/candidates whose elections will be held in parallel to the presidential election, we reject the composition of the CMC in its entirety, and we demand the implementation of the previous list presented by the party”, the PPD candidates pointed out.
Also in the SDP, disputes over genuine senatorial candidates in the Northern and Central senatorial districts could be a threat, though the party says it is exploring internal mechanisms for resolution.
A former state attorney general, Obafemi Adewale (SAN), and a former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Princess Titilayo Owolabi-Akerele, who were vying for the Center and Northern tickets respectively, challenged the candidates of the two districts. .
Owolabi-Akerele, who called the alleged substitution of his name by someone else’s for the 2023 Ekiti North senatorial contest illegal, insisted that “such illegal action cannot be sustained in the face of the law and the new Electoral Law.”