By; OLADELELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Following his defeat in the just concluded Ekiti Gubernatorial polls held on Saturday, Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, and Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in the poll, Prof. Kolapo Olusola has rejected the results of the election vowing to challenge it in the law court.
“I therefore reject the falsified results being bandied by the Independent National Electoral Commission, which purportedly gave the election to the All Progressives Congress and its Candidate; Dr. John Kayode Fayemi.
“This is the most audacious electoral robbery of our recent history. It shall not stand. By the grace of Almighty God and your support, I will pursue and regain my mandate.
”You are all aware of the unfortunate and dangerous events of the past 24 hours, in which our governorship election was hijacked by political desperadoes leveraging on “Federal might” to pervert the electoral process, subvert the will of Ekiti people, and viciously steal the mandate willingly and freely given to me on a massive scale by our people.
Olusola, who disclosed this to newsmen on Sunday at the Government House ground in Ado-Ekiti,the Ekiti state capital said :”PDP and I won the election overwhelmingly, receiving more than 70% of lawful votes cast and winning in almost all of the State’s 16 local government areas.
“To rig this election, the APC leveraged on its well-advertised but patently obnoxious and anti-democratic “Federal might” to intimidate, harass, victimize, oppress, and brutalize PDP leaders, members, and the voting public all over Ekiti.
“This brutal and barbaric process, which started well before the election, did not spare Gov. Ayo Fayose and me; as the whole world had seen and had condemned. It is quite unfortunate that the harassment has continued even after the election.
According to him”On Saturday, July 14th, the security agencies and INEC upped the ante, threw all caution to the wind, went back on their promises to be impartial and to conduct credible elections; they sided with APC and Fayemi to the chagrin of our party, myself, and the good people of Ekiti State.
“Despite the alarm we had earlier raised, the security agencies not only supported but also supervised the indiscriminate arrest of our party leaders and agents.
“The harassment and brutalization of voters on a massive scale, especially in Ado-Ekiti, Ikere and the suburbs.
“Giving cover, tacit as well as active support to thugs imported into Ekiti by APC to snatch ballot boxes, create confusion, cause mayhem, and drive away voters in PDP strongholds
“Giving cover to APC agents as they financially and openly induced voters and bought votes at polling stations; and driving away our polling agents from collation centres and illegal seizure of documents and materials in their possession,among many other infractions.
“INEC on its own part reneged on its promise to have results counted, declared, and pasted on the wall of each polling station. There was nowhere INEC transmitted results from the polling centres as earlier promised.
“Ballot boxes were illegally moved to INEC offices while our agents were disallowed from following the process.
He said “NEC also allowed late voting by APC in hideouts when it was obvious the figures still would not add up after all the infractions mentioned above.
”Still, when all of these shenanigans still failed to give them the figures they needed, they stopped the announcement of results ward-by-ward, caused a deliberate power outage at the collation centre, with no alternative source of power provided for a long time, and then wrote results in favour of APC and its candidate.
“Without doubt, what has played out in Ekiti is the APC template for the 2019 General Election, where they have mapped out Rivers and Akwa Ibom as States they must capture at all costs, like they are now trying to do Ekiti.
“It is now left for the opposition and opposition figures, most especially presidential hopefuls in 2019, to stand up to be counted in the struggle to roll back President Muhammadu Buhari’s creeping fascism, or throw in the towel without a fight.
“This is not just a sad day for Ekiti but also for democracy in Nigeria. Nothing demonstrates this better than the gloom that has enveloped our dear State since they announced their convoluted result. Ekiti mourns! But I ask our people not to be despondent but to keep hope alive, quoting the inimitable Chief MKO Abiola. This is another battle we will fight and win.
“In doing this, however, I appeal to all Ekiti sons and daughters to eschew violence. They will try and provoke you but the good Lord will help you to keep calm. Taking a cue from our great leader and democrat par excellence, ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, I wish to reiterate that my ambition is not worth the blood of a single Ekiti son or daughter. We are not cultists and bloody hounds like them and shall therefore not allow them turn Ekiti into a killing field like they have done in the Middle Belt.
“It remains for me to thank Ekiti for standing by me and our great party. Our royal fathers and the Oloris, teachers, civil servants, Okada riders, Labour leaders, market women, artisans, and students – I appreciate your unflinching support. We thank every Nigerian desirous to see the growth and defence of our renascent democracy.
“We thank the international community for their efforts and trust they will not let our people down in this their most trying moment.
Meanwhile,the the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC) now Governor-elect,Dr. Kayode Fayemi urged the Peoples Democratic Party Governorship candidate,Prof. Kolapo Olusola to accept defeat in good faith just like he(Fayemi) did in 2014 when he lost to the incumbent Governo,Ayodele Fayose.
Fayemi made the plea on Sunday while addressing his party members and supporters at a victory rally held at the Party secretariat along Ajilosun road in Ado-Ekiti,the state capital.
“I encourage us all to accept the results in true democratic spirit and commence the journey to reuniting our state. Despite the divisive nature of the contest, I want you to remember our bond of unity as Ekiti people. I, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, hereby offer myself to be the governor of all irrespective of faith, creed or political belief and we determined through the ballot box to change the course of our destiny for good.
“Today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has affirmed your collective verdict and formally returned our party the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the 2018 Ekiti gubernatorial election.
” Today’s victory is to the resilient people of Ekiti State whose brightness and hope never dimmed in the face of untold hardship and all forms of indignity under the PDP leadership who have ruled them like a conquered people.
“As a survival strategy, our people were forced to hail them on the streets all in a bid to survive. They brandished this as a mark of approval, validation and popularity with our people. Ekiti Kete, this is not just a day of our victory through the ballot.
“This is indeed the day of the liberation of Ekiti land. Our collective rescue mission and the audacious dream to reclaim our land and restore our values have attained a new height on the journey to full realization.
“Therefore, by the grace of God, I, Dr. Kayode Fayemi address you today as Governor-elect, alongside Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi as Deputy Governor-elect. Together, we offer our heartfelt gratitude on behalf of our party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) – to you the people for entrusting us with your mandate.
” We are particularly pleased that while there were reports of minor breaches as you would find with any high stakes contest, the entire process was adjudged to be generally free, fair, and credible.
“The very nature of elections are divisive as we cannot all see things from the same perspective, neither can we all have the same preference for political parties and candidates. However, regardless of how we voted yesterday,
” I salute all fellow candidates for enriching the process and for your civility and patriotism in accepting the outcome of this exercise. I look forward to consulting with you all to secure your input as we fine-tune our governance agenda for the years ahead.
” I also thank all government entities that participated in the process in one way or the other, especially the INEC and our security agencies, for upholding their neutrality and professionalism in the discharge of their respective mandates.
” Likewise, I thank all Civic Society actors, the international community, our traditional institutions, religious organisations, trade and labour organisations, and the media, for their activities which have in no small measure contributed to the success of the elections.
” Lastly, we thank our President, Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of our party at all levels for the support in bringing Ekiti back to the progressive fold.
“Ekiti Kete, by the grace of the Almighty God, the end of your travails is near and I congratulate us all for Reclaiming our Land and commencing the journey to Restoring our Value
” As we look forward to the inauguration of the new APC administration on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, I offer my assurances that we will not wait till then to bring immediate succour to you. We will proactively explore all avenues within the limits of the law, especially through the Transition Committee to be set up very soon, to ensure the outgoing administration prioritises the payment of the backlog of salaries to all categories of workers and pensioners.
“We shall also ensure the business of governance is once again conducted in an atmosphere of transparency and accountability as we would cooperate with the relevant agencies of state to determine why our people have experienced so much suffering in spite of the vast resources that has been available to the current administration.
“In the same vein, we would commence immediate consultations with the many corporate organisations and development agencies that had left the state due to the draconian measures put in place by the outgoing administration, in order to once again attract the participation of such enablers of jobs creation, peace, and prosperity in our state.”Dr. Kayode Fayemi stated.