Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, has emerged as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) flag bearer for the July 14 governorship poll.
Olusola won a keenly contested governorship primary held amidst tight security at Great Eagle Event Centre, Ajebamidele, Ikere Road,
Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
The deputy governor polled 1,190 votes to defeat former Minister of State for Works, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye, who garnered 770 votes.
Total number of void votes recorded was seven in the primary election that lasted for about seven hours.
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who is the Chairman of the Ekiti PDP Governorship Primary Electoral Committee declared Olusola winner at exactly 8.30 pm.
Declaring the result, Okowa said: “We have come to the end of the congress and in the first instance, you are aware that just before voting started, Senator (Biodun) Olujimi stepped down and we have only Prof. Kolapo Olusola and Prince Dayo Adeyeye.
“It was definitely a keen competition, at the end, we had total number of 1,968 accredited voters and Prof. Kolapo Olusola scored 1,190 votes and Prince Adedayo Adeyeye scored 771 votes.
“That brings the total valid votes to 1, 961 with seven votes voided; I want to also announce that both aspirants told us that they didmaccept the results.
“Before Prince Adeyeye left, he told me that he was quite satisfied with the conduct of the primary. I must thank all members of the State Congress Committee as appointed by the National Working Committee.
“I want to thank everybody for your patience for the success of this primary. I want to thank the representatives of INEC who came out in good numbers.
“I want to thank the Press, because without you, the world will not hear about it. I must also thank agents of our aspirants.
“I hereby return Prof. Kolapo Olusola as the duly nominated gubernatorial candidate of the PDP for the Ekiti State gubernatorial election. I want to congratulate Prof. Kolapo Olusola for his victory at this gubernatorial state congress.”
In his acceptance speech, Olusola appreciated everybody who contributed to the success of the PDP governorship primary extending his hand of fellowship to Adeyeye.
Olusola said: “Today is historical, the victory of today has not only validated our loyalty to the party but it has also rekindled our trust in the democratic process.
“I humbly and sincerely appreciate all our party stalwarts who have contributed to this victory, more importantly my mentor, a man with golden ideas who has stood solidly behind me, His Excellency, Chief Peter Ayodele Fayose.
“I saluted the doggedness of my co-contestant, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye. I extend my hand of fellowship to you (Adeyeye). There is no victor, no vanquished.
“Every hand must be on deck to economically develop Ekiti, the development witnessed under Governor Fayose must be sustained and we assure our people of transparent and inclusive governance.
“We are aware of the intent of desperate interlopers to coerce Ekiti into economic slavery. Ekiti people are set and prepared to resist these interlopers loaded with evil intention. We are going to record another 16-0 victory.
“I appreciate our dynamic delegates for making a good choice. I thank Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose for standing behind me daring all odds.”
But Fayose who was invited by Okowa to make his speech taunted the All Progressives Congress (APC) by suggesting that the Delta governor be allowed to conduct primary of the main opposition party.
Fayose said: “I want to recommend you (Okowa) to the APC to conduct a credible primary because the APC cannot conduct congresses, they beat people and machete people.
“We will keep you (Okowa) here till Friday when the APC said they will have their primary, otherwise, they will not have a candidate. Those of you who want us to keep Governor Okowa here should say aye.”
But Okowa fired back: “I have declined Governor Fayose’s request to conduct the APC primary, I am not their member, I am going back home because the people of Delta State need me.”
The Delta governor said the closing prayer at 8.47 pm bringing a daylong event to an end.
Fayose promised to extend a hand of fellowship to Adeyeye and Olujimi to ensure that they work for the party’s victory at the governorship election.
The Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, who is the third aspirant in the race, stepped down for Adeyeye shortly before voting went underway.
Olujimi, whose action was greeted with applause, said she decided to collapse her structure for Adeyeye “for the progress of the party.”
Her words: “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.
“I knew I was going to be a sacrificial lamb, we want to take our party back. The only way we can do it is to bring on board people whoare broadminded so that and that is why I did what I did.
“I think it is fair for us to have a say in the way our party is run and the way people emerge from our party. The only way to do this is to allow broad minded people to be at the helms of affairs.
“We can work at the field as a true party and as a family. If we allow somebody that has been lauded over us, we will not work wholeheartedly for the party and that is why I step down.
“They are both from the south. However the deputy governor joined the party three and half years ago. You saw the way he was imposed on us and the governor said that nobody can go against it.
“Only those of us who have courage went against him and we are going to wait for the result.”
Speaking on the overall conduct of the shadow poll, Olujimi said: “Well, the exercise has been very transparent. Governor Okowa is a veteran in this matter and he is doing what he know how to do best, conduct a credible, transparent primary.”
After Olujimi stepped down, Electoral Committee Chairman, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, asked her and her agent to step down from the dais.
Okowa said 1, 966 delegates are voting to elect the party’s flag bearer.
Voting commenced at 2.16 pm at the primary.
There is tight security in the vicinity of the venue of the primary as armed policemen, operatives of Department of State Services (DSS) and plain cloth security men stood guard to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order.
Sorting of ballot papers ended at 7.00 pm while counting commenced at 7.15 pm.