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Fayemi And The New Sociology Of Politics

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Ekiti State, formerly
known as the “Centre of Knowledge,” but now “Land of Honour” took her turn in the gubernatorial test on June 21, 2014 with a verdict of “no victor, no vanquished”.  One may be wondering why there was “no victor, no vanquished”  in an election in which three major political parties with three heavy weights engaged themselves in a battle of wills and wits to win the hearts and votes of the electorate at all costs.
While Governor Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on the driving seat of Ekiti Government, tried to use the test to cruise into his second tenure, his major challenger and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Ayo Fayose was determined to   recover the peoples’ mandate which he believed was stolen from him through judiciary gate. Fayose lost to Fayemi in a court of law after a stay of more than three years as landlord of Ekiti State Government House. Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, a member of House of Representatives and candidate of the Labour Party (LP) saw the governorship poll as an opportunity to serve the people as No 1 citizen of the state.
Bearing all calculations by the candidates to win the election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which was leaking its wounds from poor outing in previous exercises was, however, prepared to make a difference in the poll in which 732,166 voters registered across 2,195 polling units in the state with 177 wards.
In a ‘hard fought’ election among the three candidates, INEC released the score card and returned Ayo Fayose of PDP as the winner, having won in all the 16 local government areas of the state with 203,090 votes. the incumbent governor polled 120,433 votes to clinch second position while the LP candidate, Bamidele, settled for third position with 18,135 votes.
Even though there were records of unsavory episodes when the candidates toured parts of the state to sell themselves to the people, the verdict of INEC on the Ekiti gubernatorial poll, did not tear the Ekiti people and their peace apart as earlier predicted in some quarters.
But the beauty of the Ekiti election can better be appreciated in the rare show of sportsmanship exhibited by Governor Fayemi despite the fact that he lost in his bid to return to Government House for a second time. Hours after INEC released the result, Ekiti remained peaceful and Governor Fayemi not only accepted defeat, but also congratulated Fayose, the governor-elect for emerging victorious.
In a broadcast in Ado-Ekiti last Sunday, Fayemi said he had no choice but to accept the results of the June 21 election and congratulated the governor-elect “if indeed the outcome of the election is the will of the Ekiti people.”
Displaying an uncommon disposition that is unknown to Africa politics, Fayemi insisted that “if this is the will of the Ekiti people, I stand in deference to your will. If the result of the elections is an expression of the voice of our people, we must all heed your voice. I have just spoken with my brother, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, congratulating him on his victory. In a few hours from now, I would be meeting the governor-elect to discuss the future of our dear state and how we would work together to institute a smooth transition programme.”
The governor not only participated in the election, he also saw the outcome of the polls as truly reflecting the wishes of the people and therefore accepted in clear terms that “conscience is an open wound, only truth can heal”.
The leadership of APC is worried why and how the party lost to the opponent in the polls even with the power of incumbency, Fayemi believes that there is no need crying over the spilt milk. With no blame for any one for his political summersault, Fayemi, however, thanked the people for support even as he promised to keep faith with them in building Ekiti together.
“Elections tend to be highly divisive affairs that often see a brother rising against his brother. Despite our diverse party affiliations, and regardless of which way we voted on Saturday, we must remember that we are all sons and daughters of Ekiti State. Ekiti is ours to build together”, Faymei added in his post-election broadcast.
Three uncommon features stand out in Fayemi reaction to the Ekiti election. They are, his conscience and political will to concede defeat in the face of realities, his sportsmanship to congratulate his winner (Fayose) and his concern and willingness to build Ekiti together irrespective of party affiliations.
Governor Fayemi may have fought a good fight and kept the faith in the election that was adjudged credible, free and fair by stakeholders, the voice of the people, INEC concurred, was the voice of God. No wonder, he (Fayemi) threw in the towel; a situation that has evolved what could be regarded as a new sociology in Ekiti politics.
Reactions have trailed Fayemi disposition to the outcome of the election. To some, Fayemi’s gentleman disposition to concede defeat is ‘un Africa’, but the APC flag bearer in the polls believed that there is nothing “un-African of un-Nigerian” about his congratulatory message to Fayose. Fayemi who received the governor-elect in his office in Ado-Ekiti, remarked that, “They said my congratulatory message to governor-elect is un-African or un-Nigerian. I don’t think it was so because that was what I was expected to do as a democrat.”
Respecting the wishes of the people in an election, does not make one a political misfit or coward. Fayemi argues that his action was prompted by the belief that “our democracy is fragile and we have to do whatever we can as leaders to strengthen and deepen it the more”.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, agreed that the governor conceding defeat and congratulating his opponents is exemplary in nature and has added value to the country’s democratic principles. In a statement by his Special Adviser on media, Imam Imam, the speaker said “the governor’s action to congratulate his opponent was a clear proof that our politics is imbibing standard global practice associated with electioneering process”.
To the All Progressives Congress, the action of its candidate in the election was the position of the party. “Of course, the governor couldn’t have made such statement without consulting with the party leadership. What he said is the position of the party leadership,” Lai Mohammed, the APC spokesman said.
The Governor-elect must be grateful to God because the man who wrestled power from him four year ago but lost to him in the June 21 polls is not desperate to remain in office, as it is often the case with most incumbents who usually demonstrate the bad loser syndrome. But more importantly, Fayemi has demonstrated to the world that the interest of Ekiti people is more paramount than his personal ambition and that politics can be played with decorum and restraint.
Meanwhile, Fayose who said his coming back as governor was borne out of the genuine intention to promote love and unity among Ekiti people, did not hide his warm feeling about Fayemi conceding defeat to him when he said “His (Fayemi’s) statesmanship conduct would forever remain in history”.
Today, Ekiti is victorious and in the eyes of history, this is a lesson for all politicians that election must not be seen as do-or-die affairs. Politicians must avoid the bad loser syndrome, build and sustain democracy and not pull it down.
As the 2015 general elections draw nearer, time will tell whether politicians will build on Fayemi’s new sociology of politics-where election is contested and decided without going to court or return to the old and expensive order that increases court cases after every poll as well as promotes tension and acrimony in the land.

 

APC governorship candidate, Governor  Kayode Fayemi and his wife Bisi on queue waiting for their turn  to vote  during the governorship election in Ekiti  State recently.

APC governorship candidate, Governor Kayode Fayemi and his wife Bisi on queue waiting for their turn to vote during the governorship election in Ekiti State recently.

Samuel Eleonu

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Alleged Anti-Party, PDP Reps Demand Damagun’s Resignation

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Ahead of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a coalition of PDP federal lawmakers has demanded the resignation of the party’s acting national chairman, Umar Iliya Damagun, over alleged anti-party activities.
The lawmakers are calling for Damagun’s removal by the NEC, along with further sanctions, should he fail to resign.
Accusing Damagun of working to hand over PDP structures to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the lawmakers are urging his resignation to allow for a North Central person to emerge as acting chairman, pending the party’s convention as stipulated by the party’s constitution.
They threatened to leave the party if the alleged doctored list of Local Government Caretaker Committees in Rivers and 10 other states, which they claim is filled with APC members and loyalists, was not nullified.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, the spokesperson for the group and member representing Ideato Federal Constituency of Imo State, stated that they cannot remain in a party whose activities are determined by another political party.
The lawmakers alleged that the list of Caretaker Committee members in Rivers State was doctored in favour of former Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, and APC members who have defected from the PDP. They also accused Damagun of not doing anything to halt the plot to impeach Rivers State governor, Siminalayi Fubara, despite allegedly being fully aware of the details.
According to Ugochinyere, based on the PDP zoning formula, it is the turn of the North Central to produce the party’s chairman, and called on North Central leaders to present a credible replacement for Sen. Iyorchia Ayu.
They called on PDP stalwarts such as former Senate President David Mark, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, Senator Abba Moro, and Bukola Saraki to rescue the party from being sold to the ruling APC.
Additionally, the lawmakers urged the PDP NEC to review the party’s sources of finance, investigate allegations of pro-APC supporters funding the party, and set up a committee to investigate all acts of anti-party activity since 2023, with appropriate sanctions to cleanse the party.
When contacted via phone call, Damagum refused to comment when The Tide source inquired about his reaction to the allegations levelled against him by the lawmakers. He simply hung up his phone after our source introduced himself, told him the reason for the call, and refused to pick up subsequent calls.
On his part, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, promised to get back after going through the allegations but did not as of the time of filing this report. He also did not answer several calls subsequently to his phone line.
Also, efforts to speak with the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Ibrahim Abdullahi, were unsuccessful, as he did not pick up the call.

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LG Polls: PDP Wins All In Bayelsa

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The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has swept the local government election conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commission last Saturday.
The PDP won the chairmanship position in all eight local government areas and all the councillorship positions in the 105 wards, according to the results announced by the commission in Yenagoa on Sunday.
The major opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), shunned the poll as it did not field candidates.
In Yenagoa LGA, the BYSIEC’s returning officer, Wisdom Soreh, declared Buloudisiye Ndiwari as the winner of the chairmanship election after he polled 56, 103 votes.
The returning officer for Sagbama LGA, Prof Abiodun Adelegan, declared Alice Tangi as the winner.
She polled a total of 51,543 votes.
In Ogbia LGA, the returning officer, Tams Deiduomo, declared Golden Jeremiah, who polled 42,462 votes, as the winner.
The returning officer for Southern Ijaw LGA, Ebi Stanley-Udisi, announced Target Segibo as the winner, garnering 36,326 votes.
In Nembe LGA, the immediate-past Commissioner for Agriculture, David Alagoa, polled 11,829 votes to win the election as declared by the returning officer, Prof Festus Akpotohwo.
In Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA, the returning officer, Prof Apuega Arikawei, declared Lelei Tariye as the winner with 27,823 votes.
Also, the returning officer for Ekeremor LGA, Prof Joseph Omoro, declared Onniye Isaac as the winner with 35,177 votes, while in Brass LGA, Febo Lucky of the PDP was declared the winner by the returning officer, Prof Joseph Omoro.

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Diri Expresses Satisfaction With Conduct Of LG Poll In Bayelsa

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has commended the state independent electoral commission(BYSIEC) for the organisation of the state’s Local Government election at the weekend.
He also said reports available to him indicated that the polls were generally peaceful across the state.
The Governor spoke to Journalists shortly after casting his vote at 10.15am alongside his wife, Dr Gloria, at his Kalamaowei wari unit 4 ward 6 in Sampou community, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
He expressed the optimism that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will emerge victorious in the 105 wards of the eight local government areas as it was the only party with wide acceptance and vigorously campaigned across the state ahead of the election.
“PDP enjoys the support of the people and judging from the outcome of the November 11, 2023 governorship election, our party will still take the upper hand.
“As you have seen, the voting process was peaceful and seamless and l think if this is the way it is in every other unit and ward, then we expect a peaceful and successful Local Government election to usher in a new leadership at the third tier of government.
“So far, we’re very pleased that there is no report of security breach across the state. At the last security council meeting, l charged the security agencies to be part of this electoral process and to ensure that security of the state was not breached.”
Responding to a question on why the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state did not participate in the election, Diri said only the faction led by Dennis Otiotio under the control of Chief Timipre Sylva boycotted the poll and that the party had more than one faction.
He added that the reason for their action was best known to them.

Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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