Ekiti 2022: The Choices Before The PDP
By Sunday Olubunmi
Ekiti PDP produced the State governor in 2003 with the emergence of former Governor Ayo Fayose who defeated Otunba Niyi Adebayo the incumbent. It was a term ridden with political tremors because the party won the popular votes without a corresponding political structure in the State. The opposition took advantage of the PDP weak political structure and turned the narrative against the Party in government, eventually truncating the first term of Ayo Fayose as governor.
By 2006, the opposition, Alliance for Democracy (AD) had regained popularity, parading virtually all known political and opinion leaders in Ekiti as members and sympathizers. The party was posed to produce the governor come 2007 until *its* primary election was riddled with allegations of manipulation. This led to all aspirants leaving the party and Fayemi was declared the winner of the controversial primary.
Remarkably, all aspirants left the AD with their supporters in one sweep. This was a major turning point in the political history of Ekiti. Ekiti PDP became a party to beat at the polls, the PDP can now boast of a formidable political structure and the numbers to win and sustain its victories.
Since the 2006 exodus of political elites from the AD into PDP, the unity of PDP has been the deciding factor of elections in Ekiti. In 2022, the unity of PDP will again play a major role in determining the next Governor of Ekiti.
*The current* handlers of the PDP must be mindful of who becomes the party’s flag bearer in Ekiti come 2022. If the PDP is interested in regaining *its* lost glory, a candidate that unites the party is the only winning ticket. This is the truth that every PDP lovers in Ekiti must accept and be committed to actualize.
Everything about Ekiti come 2022 seems to depend on the unity of the PDP, including the APC that is bitterly fractionalized. Let see a few of the possible scenarios:
*APC – Fayemi and Swaga Factions:*
If Fayemi’s faction emerges as APC candidate, Swaga faction won’t support him. If swaga wins the primaries, Fayemi’s APC won’t support. A United PDP benefits either way.
*PDP Fayose, Repositioning Group, South Senatorial District Agenda and Others:*
If Bisi Kolawole wins the PDP primaries the Repositioning Group (RG) may not work with him, South Senatorial District Agenda (SDA) may work against him in protest. If Oni wins, Fayose’s group won’t support him. Some RG also won’t . SDA may work against him. APC, especially the Fayemi faction seem to have a strong joker against him. If Eleka wins, Fayose will feel slighted and may work against him.
In search of a united PDP in Ekiti, the only true binding factor that is practically accepted across factions and parties in Ekiti today is Kayode Adaramodu. Fayose has openly demonstrated his acceptance of his personality and he is unapologetic about it. Many people in Ekiti believe Kayode Adaramodu is senator Biodun Olujimi’s joker because of their long standing and robost relationship.
Segun Oni and Adaramodu have a long history of cordial relationship that politics cannot destroy. Adaramodu was a major supporter in making sure Segun Oni became a governor in 2007. Senator Duro Faseyi and majority of the party leaders within the Repositioning Group see Adaramodu as the new face of the party in Ekiti.
Most importantly, his popularity within and outside the PDP is a major electoral asset. By reason of birth and marriage, the people of EKiti South West, Ise/Orun, Emure and Ekiti West local governments (one-quarter of the total LGAs in Ekiti) are presenting Kayode Adaramodu as their son.
Kayode Adaramodu may be the unity PDP needs to win with relative ease if he gets the party’s nomination.
Ekiti PDP leaders need to see beyond the current division within the party and resolve to present a winning candidate, Kayode Adaramodu, for the deserved victory in the coming election.
Sunday Olubunmi is a PDP member, writes from Ekiti.