Ekiti: Will APC Break Re-election Jinx?
Since the beginning of the present Fourth Republic in Nigeria on May 29, 1999, no political party has successfully governed Ekiti State for two consecutive terms of eight years. While many political parties have remained the ruling party in some states from 1999 till date or at the helm of affairs for two, three, four or five consecutive terms, it is a common tradition in Ekiti for the electorate to change governor every four years. It has always been a case of opposition taking over from the ruling party.
In 1999, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo was elected as the first governor in the present political dispensation on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). Adebayo’s re-election bid was unsuccessful as Mr. Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the 2023 governorship election. Like his predecessor, Fayose also failed to get re-elected as he was impeached from office before the 2007 gubernatorial poll. Engr. Olusegun Oni emerged as the PDP gubernatorial candidate and contested against Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the Action Congress (AC). The election was keenly contested and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Oni as the winner of the 2007 poll but following a legal tussle that lasted for over two years, a Court of Appeal sacked Oni and the legal process and supplementary election in some areas led to the emergency of Fayemi as Ekiti State Governor in 2010.
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Governor Fayemi’s hope of securing a second term was truncated in 2014 as he was defeated by former Governor Ayodele Fayose, who contested on the platform of PDP. Fayose by his victory set a record of defeating two sitting governors in Ekiti. Fayose backed his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola succeeded him in 2018 but his plan did not see the light of the day as Fayemi, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the gubernatorial poll.
Fayemi having governed Ekiti for eight years – 2010 to 2014 and 2018 to 2022, is expected to complete his tenure in office on October 16 and he is working tirelessly to ensure that the candidate of his party, Biodun Oyebanji wins today’s election to succeed him.
The outcome of today’s governorship election is going to determine either continuity of the ruling party or the end of the reign of the party in power in line with the tradition of the state. As the people of Ekiti State elect a new governor today, is a tradition going to repeat itself or will APC break the jinx? The outcome of the poll will determine the answer.