The Nation newspaper’s ODUNAYO OGUNMOLA recently reviewed the chances of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) towards the Ekiti State gubernatorial election (http://thenationonlineng.net/ekiti-2018-state-of-the-race/). He concluded that the APC should comfortably win in 12 of the 16 Local Government Areas of Ekiti State, conceding one Local Government to the PDP.
But a critical examination of the facts in the well-researched story reveals that it is the PDP that should comfortably win nine of the 16 local governments, leaving four to the APC with three being battleground zones that could go to either of the two major gladiators.
Ado Local Government
Personalities expected to work for PDP victory at the poll include former Ado Local Government Chairman and deputy governorship candidate, Mr. Deji Ogunsakin, current council chairman, Mr. Clement Bamisile; House of Assembly member representing Ado 1, Mr. Musa Arogundade; Assembly member representing Ado 2, Mr. Tope Fasanmi; SUBEB Chairman, Senator Bode Ola; and two former council chairmen, Mrs. Tosin Ajisafe-Aluko and Mr. Taye Fasuba.
APC gladiators in the state capital include deputy governorship candidate, former council chairman, former commissioner and now deputy governorship candidate, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi; former deputy governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; former National Assembly member, Senator Babafemi Ojudu; former commissioner, Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu; oil magnate, Chief Remi Oguntuase; former presidential aide, Mr. Bodunde Adeyanju; former NULGE President, Chief Oluyemi Esan; two former Assembly members, Mr. Tope Olanipekun and Mr. Edu Mayokun, former Sports Council Chairman, Mr. Ade Adetola; two former LG secretaries, Mr. Fatai Adeyemi and Mr. Odunayo Talabi, who had just joined from PDP.
The votes of Ado are unpredictable and they can go either way owing to the fact that it is a densely populated city with non-indigenes outnumbering indigenes.
Verdict: battle ground (I don’t agree with this position, given the number of young voters in Nigeria now. The PDP deputy governorship candidate is a youth and he is from Ado Ekiti. This local government is for PDP)
Ikere Local Government
Some PDP chieftains in Ikere include the deputy governor and PDP flag bearer, Olusola; House of Assembly member representing Ikere 1, Mr. Wale Ayeni; Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Olayinka Ogundayomi; current Ikere LG chairman, Mr. Aderemi Ayeni; former LG chairman, Mr. Ola Alonge.
Ikere is the hometown of the PDP governorship candidate and naturally he should win his base. But there are concerns about division in the town, which could affect Olusola. The town has three other governorship candidates among who are two former governors vying on the platform of other parties. They are Chief Adebisi Omoyeni of Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN) and Chief Abiodun Aluko of Accord. Two of them left PDP over the crisis that trailed the alleged imposition of Olusola by Fayose before the primary was conducted. A young candidate, Mr. Tosin Ajibare of Independent Democrats (ID) is also vying for governorship. The votes to be raked in by other aspirants who have their supporters in the town could whittle down Olusola’s votes and this may work in favour of APC which is making inroads in the community. APC ‘warriors’ in Ikere include five governorship aspirants: Dr. Wole Oluyede, Chief Sesan Fatoba, Mr. Kola Alabi, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye and Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua. Others include former old Ondo State Governor, Bamidele Olumilua and new entrant to APC and House of Assembly member representing, Mr. Sunday Akinniyi.
Verdict: PDP (This is very correct too, as the local government is the base of the PDP governorship candidate).
Ido/Osi Local Government
PDP has won consistently in this council area since 1999 but the winning streak appears to be under threat for the first time in 19 years. This is because many of those who made it happen for PDP in the past had quit the party. They include former Governor Segun Oni, former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, who has moved to the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Other former PDP members now in APC camp include former council chairman, Mr. Yomi Ayorinde; former Director General of Micro Credit Agency, Mr. Cyril Fasuyi. APC chieftains in the area include former House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Chief Adetunji Orisalade; former SUBEB Chairman, Prince Akintade Olayisade and former council chairman, Pastor Gbenga Agbeyo.
The PDP gladiators in the area include Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Modupe Alade; House of Representatives member for Ido/Osi/Moba/Ilejemeje Federal Constituency, Mr. Thaddeus Aina; House of Assembly member for Ido/Osi 1; Mr. Jacob Olayode; House of Assembly member for Ido/Osi 2, Mr. Abiola Jeje and Commissioner for Works, Mrs. Funmilayo Ogun.
Verdict: APC (This verdict may not be correct. Engr. Segun Oni and his supporters remain unhappy with the primary that produced Fayemi. The SSG position in any state is a very powerful political position. And the holder is from this local government. My take is that the PDP is most likely to retain this local government).
Moba Local Government
This local government used to be a progressives stronghold but it went to the PDP in the 2014 election. It will be a straight fight this time around. Olusola is depending on House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Kola Oluwawole; House of Assembly member for Moba 2, Mr. Badejo Anifowose and Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi. Resisting PDP challenge are APC chieftains including former Assembly member Mr. Olajide Olaniyi; former Moba LG chairman, Mr. David Olusoga; former Senior Special Assistant on Legal Matters, Mr. Ibrahim Olanrewaju and a veteran politician, Chief Michael Atejioye.
Verdict: APC (This verdict may not also hold ground. The Speaker, House of Assembly is also a very powerful position. If the man remains in PDP along with his colleague, the party will most likely win this local government).
Ilejemeje Local Government
PDP chieftains in this area include the Senator representing Ekiti North, Duro Faseyi, House of Assembly member for Ilejemeje, Mrs. Cecilia Dada and LG Chairman, Mr. Ebenezer Oladipupo. On the APC side are Afenifere chieftain and Second Republic Senator, Chief Ayo Fasanmi; former Assembly member, Mr. Segun Erinle; former LG Chairman, Prince Adegoroye Bamigboye and former commissioner, Mr. Folorunso Olabode.
Verdict: APC (For APC to win the local government of a sitting Senator is almost like crossing the Red Sea. I’ll give this local government to PDP).
Ekiti East Local Government
PDP top notchers are Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi; House of Assembly member for Ekiti East 1, Mr. Ojo Ade Fajana; Assembly member for Ekiti East 2, Mr. Dare Pelemo; former Assembly member, Mr. Dele Ajibola and Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Mr. Taelolu Otitoju.
APC chieftains working to deliver the area to their party include former Speaker, Mr. Femi Bamisile; former commissioner, Mr. Apalara Wole-Adewumi; former Assembly member/council chairman, Mr. Rotimi Ajidara; former Assembly members, Mr. Akinloye Akinyemi and Mr. Gbenga Falaye.
Verdict: Battleground (There is no battleground here. This local government should go to the PDP).
Ekiti West Local Government
This local government is up for grabs and can go either way. Leading the fight for PDP is House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Mr. Sina Animasaun; former Deputy Speaker, Mr. Olusegun Adewumi; Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Kehinde Odebunmi; current LG chairman, Mr. Francis Ayodele and his predecessor, Mr. Kolawole Omotunde.
APC bigwigs expected to be on the field for their party include State Chairman, Chief Olajide Awe; former Assembly member, Mr. Gbenga Odebunmi; former Assembly member, Mr. Kayode Fasakin; former LG Chairman, Mr. Tajudeen Akingbolu and former Attorney General, Mr. Wale Fapohunda.
Verdict: APC (If the current and former local government chairman are PDP members, they should be able to hold the grassroots for the party. And the Deputy Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly is also from here. PDP should win this local government).
Ekiti Southwest Local Government
APC received many PDP members into its fold which may be the deciding factor. Fayemi’s foot soldiers in this council area include former Chief of Staff, Yemi Adaramodu; former Assembly member, Tope Agidi; former LG chairman, Mr. Genge Kola; another former LG chairman, Dr. Azeez Olaniyan; former Commissioner, Chief Oluwole Ariyo; former Assembly member, Mr. Amire Kolade; former Special Assistant (Media) to Deputy Governor, Mrs. Yemisi Ayokunle, former ministerial aide, Mr. Makinde Araoye and Mr. Yemi Alatise.
On the PDP side are current LG chairman, Mr. Lanre Omolase; House of Assembly member for Ekiti Southwest 1; Mr. Wale Onigiobi; Assembly member for Ekiti West 2, Mr. Michael Adedeji; Commissioner for Education, Mr. Jide Egunjobi and Alhaji Gani Bankole.
Verdict: APC (Since the two current House of Assembly members are from this local government, it will be a very tough battle for the APC to upstage the PDP. This should also go to the PDP).
Ikole Local Government
Former Deputy Governor, Chief Paul Alabi; House of Representatives member, Mr. Kehinde Agboola leads Fayose’s foot soldiers which include House of Assembly member for Ikole 2, Mrs. Titi Owolabi; current LG Chairman, Mrs. Abiola Olukayode and Commissioner for Public Utilities, Chief Tunde Ogunleye.
APC stalwarts expected to make difference include House of Assembly Minority Leader, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan; former Assembly member, Chief Adebayo Morakinyo; former Civil Service Commission Chairman, Alhaji Afolabi Ogunlayi; former Special Adviser, Chief Biodun Akin Fasae; former Pension Board Commissioner, Chief Segun Ajibulu, Mrs. Moji Fafure and Mr. Samuel Abejide.
Verdict: APC (With its House of Assembly member, APC should be able to make a strong showing here. But PDP has a former Deputy Governor and current House of Representatives member on its side. Ordinarily, one would have given this to the PDP. But the APC House of Assembly member stayed my hand. A David might defeat Goliath. This could be a battleground).
Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government
This local government area is the home base of Governor Ayo Fayose and former Governor Adeniyi Adebayo. Fayose will do everything possible to win while Adebayo and his troops will also want to win it for their party. Backing Fayose is his Chief of Staff, Chief Dipo Anisulowo, Assembly member for Irepodun/Ifelodun 1, Mr. Posi Omodara; Assembly member for Irepodun/Ifelodun 2, Mr. Sanya Aladeyelu; current LG chairman, Mr. Dapo Olagunju and former envoy, Amb. Toye Olofintuyi.
Following Adebayo into the battle are former House of Representatives member, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele; Ambassador to Hungary, Dr. Eniola Ajayi; former LG chairman, Mr. Toba Adaramola; former Assembly member, Mr. Ayodeji Odu; APC Publicity Secretary, Chief Taiwo Olatunbosun; the Jamiu brothers, Mojeed and Hakeem.
Verdict: Battleground (This cannot be a battleground. It is very unliely that a Fayose will lose his local government. PDP should win easily here).
Ijero Local Government
This is a PDP zone but defection of many members has weakened the party. Former Assembly Majority Leader, Mr. Lai Oke and Mrs. Yemisi Afolabi are leading the PDP fight. But APC members determined to win the area include former Assembly Chief Whip, Mrs. Omowumi Ogunlola; former governorship aspirant, Mr. Kayode Ojo; former Commissioner, Mr. Dapo Kolawole, Chief Femi Oyebanjo and former LG Chairman, Mr. Ojo Atibioke.
Verdict: APC (This should not be a straight APC win, but a battleground environment. The election could go either way).
Efon Local Government
Fayose’s henchmen are led by Director General of Kolapo Olusola Campaign Organisation, Chief Bisi Kolawole; current House of Assembly member, Mr. Afolabi Akanni and former LG chairman, Chief Idowu Akinyele. Working to deliver for APC are former Executive Secretary of PPPRA/PTDF, Dr. Oluwole Oluleye; former Deputy Speaker, Mr. Oladapo Karonwi; former Assembly member, Mr. Folorunso Ogundele; former Commissioner, Prof. Adio Folayan; former governorship aspirant, Mr. Victor Kolade, serving House of Reps member who recently defected from PDP, Mr. Olamide Oni and former Commissioner, Mrs. Ronke Okusanya.
Verdict: APC (If a PDP House of Representatives member could defect to APC here, this verdict could hold true. APC should have it).
Emure Local Government
Party chieftains of note have defected from the PDP leaving the current Attorney General, Mr. Kolapo Kolade as the arrowhead of Fayose’s army. But the APC parades tested politicians like former Assembly member, Mr. Febisola Adewale; another former Assembly member, Mr. Boluwade Kehinde; former Commissioners, Chief Dele Okeya and Mr. Debo Ajayi.
Verdict: APC (Most Attorney Generals are not politicians. The APC appears to have core politicians on its side. This should go to APC).
Ise/Orun Local Government
This has been a PDP stronghold since 1999 but the trend is expected to change in the forthcoming poll. Former Minister of State for Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Afolabi Ojuawo, former Attorney General, Mr. Owoseni Ajayi and current Assembly member, Mr. Adeniran Alagbada led key PDP members and leaders to APC leaving their former party highly weakened to mount a serious challenge. They will work with other APC chieftains they met in the party including Mr. Femi Ajayi and Mrs. Remi Ajayi to deliver the council area to APC.
Verdict: APC (I strongly agree with this)
Gbonyin Local Government
The PDP troops are led by former Acting Governor/Speaker, Mr. Olatunji Odeyemi; House of Reps member representing Gbonyin/Emure/Ekiti East, Mr. Akin Awodumila; current SUBEB Commissioner, Mrs. Sade Akinrinmola; current LG Chairman, Mr. Tope Ogidi and current Assembly member, Mr. Ayodele Fajemilehin. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to withstand the firepower of APC chieftains including former Senate Minority Whip, Senator Gbenga Aluko; former House of Reps member and Deputy Director General of Fayemi Campaign, Mr. Bamidele Faparusi; former governorship aspirant, Dr. Makanjuola Owolabi; former House of Reps member, Chief Aderemi Ajayi; former PDP state chairman, Chief Ropo Adesanya; former Commissioner, Mr. Paul Omotoso and former LG chairmen, Mr Femi Awe and Mr. Paul Abegunde; former Local Government Service Commissioner, Folu Ibirinde and Fayemi campaign spokesman, Mr. Wole Olujobi.
Verdict: APC (Not correct. It could be another battleground)
Oye Local Government
This is Fayemi’s home base and he will be complemented by party stalwarts such as Senator Ayo Arise, former House of Reps member, Mr. Bimbo Daramola; former Assembly member, Mr. Sunday Adunmo; former Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Gani Owolabi; former Assembly member for Oye 1, Mr. Ade Ajayi; former governorship aspirant, Dr (Mrs.) Mojisola Yaya-Kolade; senatorial aspirant, Dr. Olusegun Osinkolu and former Oye Council chairman, Mr. Bamitale Oguntoyinbo.
The PDP gladiators are led by the House of Assembly member representing Oye 1, Dr. Samuel Omotoso; his counterpart in Oye 2, Mr. Tunji Akinyele; Oye LG Chairman, Mr. Sunday Alonge.
Verdict: APC (Being Fayemi’s base is a big plus for APC. It is doubtful if the two House of Assembly members representing PDP can withstand Fayemi as politicians in this local government. It should go to APC).