As various political parties in Ekiti State get set for July 14, 2018 governorship poll in the state, the dust raised over the emergence of the incumbent deputy governor , Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka, as the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to be cleared. It is, however, noteworthy to declare that the Ikere Ekiti born academic is reaping the reward of his loyalty to his boss.
The Professor was a PhD holder and a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife before he became the running mate of Dr. Ayodele Fayose in the record breaking 2014 gubernatorial election which sent out Dr. Kayode Fayemi from the governor’s office.
As a new entrant into politics he was subjected to a lot of name calling, mudslinging and outright lies by his political foes and envious friends alike.
It was a common story in the town that Fayose was high handed in the treatment of his deputy and that he was subjecting Eleka to a series of degrading and inhuman treatment on a daily basis.
Cynics even spread the story that the deputy governor was frustrated and was planning to resign from his position but people waited in vain for the resignation.
In the face of the challenges that the rumours and mudslinging posed for him Prof. Eleka remained resolute in his service and loyatyl to his principal and a great understanding which led to mutual trust ensued between them.
It did not come as a surprise to any discerning mind that Fayose picked Eleka as his man for the governorship ticket of PDP, but the pronouncement attracted the ire of Prince Dayo Adeyeye, former minister and National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, who saw himself as heir apparent to Fayose.
In a highly pulsating and keenly contested primary, Eleka emerged the candidate of the PDP for the July 14 governorship election in the state.
In the election conducted under heavy security , he garnered a total of 1,119 votes to defeat Adeyeye, who polled 771 out of 1,961 accredited delegates.
The Governor of Delta State , Dr Ifeanyi Okowa displayed openness and
maturity in the handling of the poll that was beamed live by major electronic media in the country. The security arrangements were tight and people were frisked to the pants before gaining entry into the venue. This added more credibility to the poll and made it different from the violence-ridden primary of the All Progressives Congress(APC) .
The security around the venue was tight as combined forces of the Police, men of the Department of State Services(DSS) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) cordoned off all roads leading to the Great Eagle Hall in Ado Ekiti.
In spite of the transparency of the primary, Adeyeye , who initially lauded the process had to resign from the PDP and promised to announce his next political journey later. However, his dissension seems to be like a lonely voice in the wilderness and his disagreement is gaining little or no traction, because many believed that the conduct of the election was praiseworthy and substantially credible.
Before the commencement of voting, Senator Biodun Olujimi stepped down for Adeyeye to make the victory hard for the deputy governor, but this could not salvage the situation. Olujimi, a former Deputy Governor to Fayose during the first ccoming said she decided to collapse her structure for former Minister for the progress of the party.
She said: “For the benefits of our party I offer myself as a sacrificial lamb to make our party great. I am collapsing my structure for Prince Dayo Adeyeye. ”
While announcing the results, Okowa hailed the contestants and delegates for displaying maturity, pointing out that this had again confirmed that the PDP was truly a democratic party.
He said: “By the power vested in me as the Returning Officer ,I hereby return Prof Kolapo Olusola as the duly nominated gubernatorial candidate of the PDP for Ekiti State governorship election, having
scored the highest number of votes cast in this election. I want to congratulate Prof Olusola for his victory, I wish him well”.
The Delta State Governor commended Fayose for playing a fatherly role,
urging party members to immediately bury the hatchet elicited by the scramble for the governorship ticket by rallying support for Olusola for the PDP to be able to retain Ekiti.
He thanked the party members for their patience and heads of security agencies for doing a good job, saying : “we thank you for doing a good
The visibly elated Olusola could not hide his joy as this was clear in his response after his victory. Olusola said he would continue to display loyalty to the party and he thanked those who facilitated his victory.
“I humbly thank all our party stalwarts who made this victory possible, particularly , Governor Ayodele Fayose . I want to thank the doggedness of my co-contestant, Prince Adeyeye. History will have it that he put in his best for a better Ekiti.
“I am determined to move Ekiti forward by sustaining those legacies that were started by our amiable governor. We are aware of the plans of the interlopers who wanted to grab power through the backdoor. Whether they like it or not, we shall give them another 16-0 again with the support of Ekiti people.
“I thank Governor Fayose for standing firm behind me despite all odds, I shall eternally be grateful to you for this love”, he said.
In actual fact, Fayose was the greatest beneficiary of this victory. The whole world knew that Fayose had a rich history in the politics of this nation. Having defeated two incumbent governors at two different election, people would have been disappointed if he lost just a mere party primary.
To complement this, and also to balance the Fayose went ahead to pick a young, vibrant, grassroot politician and immediate past Local government Chairmsn of Ado Ekiti, Deji Ogunsakin.
While Eleka the PDP Governorship candidate is a Christian and a Christ Apostolic Church CAC pastor from Ikere Ekiti in Ekiti South Senatorial district of Ekiti State, his Deputy is a Muslim with a very solid background in his religion.
Meanwhile, the PDP campaign train has visited Ekiti West, Ijero, Ido/Osi among other local government areas where the train was received by mammoth crowd of joyful supporters who pledge that unalloyed loyalty to the continuity agenda.
It is worthwhile to note therefore that 100 percent loyalty pays most especially to a boss who deserves it as Eleka’s loyalty to his boss, Fayose has been indeed rewarded.