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Is Fayose to blame for PDP’s woeful outing in Ekiti election?

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The just concluded governorship election in Ekiti state saw the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) put up an underwhelming performance which culminated in an embarrassing third place finish.

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Going into the Saturday poll, the PDP candidate, Bisi Kolawole, was tagged as one of the favourites to win the election alongside the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, and a former governor and Social Democratic Party (SDP) flag-bearer, Segun Oni.

Oyebanji polled a total of 187,057 votes to defeat his closest challenger and Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Segun Oni who scored 82,211, while the PDP finished third with 67,457.

Indeed, the contest, which involved a total of 16 candidates and parties, was reduced to a three-horse race featuring the aforementioned candidates.

This was a fair prediction if you put into context the pedigree of the parties and the candidates on the ballot.

For instance, Oyebanji belongs to the ruling APC party, and it’s a no brainer that he’ll be massively propelled by the power of incumbency. That’s not to diminish his competence in any manner.

Until recently, the APC candidate had functioned as the Secretary to the Ekiti state government, this was after serving as the Commissioner for Integration and Intergovernmental Affairs during Fayemi’s first tenure in 2010.

Long before then, between 1999 and 2003, Oyebanji had served in three different positions in the administration Governor Niyi Adebayo, including being the Chief of Staff to the governor.

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The SDP candidate appeared like the most experienced among them having previously governed the state for three years between 2007-2010 before he was removed from office following an Appeal Court judgement..

Regardless of that, Oni has kept himself relevant in Ekiti politics having defected to the APC in 2014 where he was made the Deputy National Chairman South from 2014–2020 when he rejoined PDP.

Oni angrily left the PDP in February this year after he was defeated in the PDP governorship primary by Kolawole.

Kolawole, who was heavily backed by former Governor, Ayodele Fayose, became the party’s flag-bearer.

On his part, he has also been in the corridor of power for a while having served one term in the Ekiti State House of Assembly and a three year stint as the Commissioner for Environment under the tenure of Fayose.

However, the manner in which he emerged as the PDP candidate didn’t go down well with a lot of party stakeholders and this may be the reason for his poor outing at the poll.

Apart from Oni who left the party, former Deputy Governor and the flag-bearer in the 2018 election, Kolawole Eleka, is one of the top chieftains of the party who voiced their displeasure over what they termed as an imposition by Fayose.

By virtue of his status as a former governor, Fayose is the de facto leader of the PDP in Ekiti, and his influence also spread to other states in the South-West.

As much as the election seemed like a personal battle for Fayose to maintain his political relevance in Ekiti, it was equally important for his party to make a statement and boost confidence as the 2023 general election draws ever so near.

Surprisingly, neither Fayose nor the PDP showed any serious intent to win right from the get go.

As an opposition party, your main goal going into any election should be to win and that can only be done by putting up a united front. Both Fayose and the PDP failed in this regard.

It seemed the simmering internal wrangling in the PDP at the national level may have also played a role in their loss in Ekiti.

There’s an air of uneasiness blowing across the party since the conclusion of the presidential primary where Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, felt hard done by.

Wike is an ally of Fayose and the latter backed the former to the hilt at the presidential primary which outcome may have given rise to some resentment towards the party.

While the presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, and some governors of the APC were in Ekiti for the party’s mega rally few days before the election, the PDP flag-bearer, Atiku Abubakar, didn’t step foot in the state as the party failed to hold a mega rally.

After fielding a less popular candidate, one would imagine that Fayose would lobby the national body for a maximum support, or at least his friend, Wike, would show enough interest, but what played out last Saturday looked like an orchestrated self-affliction.

Although it can be argued that the combined votes of the PDP and SDP candidates would still not have been enough to stop the APC from winning, there would have been some respect in the margin which would have won the PDP some confidence.

The goal here isn’t to chat a path to victory for Fayose and the PDP, but to examine what both entities could have done to avert the electoral disgrace.

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Politics

Cracks in APC as 20 senators plan to defect to PDP, NNPP others

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No fewer than 20 senators are set to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties.

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The ruling party, which had earlier lost over 10 senators to the opposition parties is troubled by the wave of defection as more lawmakers that lost their return tickets to the National Assembly during the party primaries are set to leave the party.

On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, Senator Dauda Haliru Jika representing Bauchi Central, announced his defection to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Worried by the wave of defection in the party, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, met with the APC senators behind closed doors at the National Assembly complex, Abuja yesterday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Adamu admitted that the APC is worried about the development.

The meeting with the senators was most fruitful. The issue of defection is an unfortunate development when it happens but this is a season where there are all sorts of behaviour in the political space and ours is not an exception.

“In every election year, this kind of thing gives cause for stakeholders to sneeze and Nigeria is not an exception so is the APC, not an exception. I don’t care about what is happening in other parties, my focus is on the APC. But we all know that the occurrence is not only happening in the APC, it’s happening across other political parties too. And because we are the ruling party, our problems are exaggerated before the public.

“There is no responsible leader that would not be worried when he loses one member not to talk of two. At the moment we are faced with the stark reality of our problems. I have committed my colleagues at the National Assembly to face the problem squarely and see the problem as solvable. We are in politics, I don’t know what would happen tomorrow, and nobody does,” he said.

According to Punch, a source in the National Assembly disclosed that not lesser than 20 senators are planning to leave the APC within the next week.

“The party chairman came to have a meeting with the APC senators because he said that they learnt through intelligence that not lesser than 20 more senators were planning to defect to other parties within the next one week.

“The chairman asked each of the aggrieved senators to lay bare their grievances which we all did one after the other. Having heard our problems, the chairman instructed that we put them into writing,” the source said.

The lawmaker said during Adamu’s meeting with them, the party chairman asked the senators to put their complaints into writing and promised to address all issues raised.

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Bala Mohammed meets Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt [Photos]

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has held a closed-door meeting with his Rivers State counterpart, Gov. Nyesom Wike.

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The National Vice Chairman of the PDP, South-South Dan Orbih was also part of the meeting.

The meeting with Bala Mohammed came after pictures of the Presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi meeting with Wike in his country home emerged online.

Obi says his visit to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was for the duo to discuss vital national issues.

Earlier today, I visited Port Harcourt, to confer with H.E. @GovWike on vital issues of national interest,” Obi’s tweet, shared alongside photos of him and the Rivers leader, read.

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Politics

Peter Obi explains why he visited Wike

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Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party says he visited Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to discuss vital issues of national interest with him.

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Obi’s visit to Wike in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, sparked a conversation on social media as many believe the meeting was about the forthcoming 2023 elections.

But hours after the meeting, the former governor Anambra took to Twitter to explain the reason he held a meeting with Wike behind closed doors.

“Earlier today, I visited Port Harcourt, to confer with H.E. @GovWike on vital issues of national interest,” Obi tweeted.

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