History plays a role and shapes our future. Today, I share with you critical issues, facts and matters arising as the people of Ekiti State prepare to exercise their franchise in electing its 9th Governor & 4th Democratic Governor on Saturday, July 14, 2018.
According to Executive Director, YIAGA, Samson Itodo; “Let us not remain statistics, let us not remain figures, let us use our thumbs to vote and that is what democracy is all about.”
Ekiti State with a population of 3.27 million (Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, 2016) is one of the six states in the South-West Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria and was created on October 1, 1996 out of the old Ondo State. It consists of eighteen (16) local government areas with Ado-Ekiti as its capital.
As the two front runners for Ekiti Guber poll – the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) – in rounding off their campaigns, pundits would have began an uneasy permutation about the possible outcome of Saturday’s contest with no one ready to place a bet on any of the two leading candidates: Prof. Kolapo Olusola (PDP) and Dr. Kayode Fayemi (APC).
The outgoing governor, Ayodele Fayose of the ruling People’s Democracy Party was elected in 2014 with 203,090 votes against the APC and LP with 120,433 and 18, 315 votes respectively.
In deciding who succeeds Mr. Fayose as the Governor of Ekiti State come Saturday, July 14th, the citizens have to make a choice between the 34 INEC Approved Candidates that would participate in the July 14th governorship election in the State.
With 919,513 Registered Voters that are expected to vote in the 2,195 Polling Units across the State with Smart Card Readers deployed by INEC for the election. There are over 220, 662 Unclaimed Permanent Voter’s card as at June 14, 2018 despite the CVR exercise by the electoral umpire in Ekiti State.
With the economic recession currently pervading the country, Domestic Debt Profile of Ekiti State as at December 31, 2017 stood at N117.5 billion with External Debt profile of $78 million as at December 31, 2017. The State is currently running with the Budget of N98.6 billion for the year 2018.
Governor Ayodele Fayose alleged that the All Progressive Congress (APC) already brought in security operatives who are mercenaries to rig the election. He also made public a video of alleged preloading of card readers in Ekiti by APC. INEC has however debunked the claim as all card readers are in their possession.
Armed policemen on Wednesday, July 11th sealed off Ekiti Government House and prevented supporters of Governor Ayodele Fayose from entering. A rally scheduled to take place at the new pavilion located at Fajuyi, which was within the vicinity of the Government House, was reportedly botched as policemen allegedly teargassed the participants including Governor Fayose.
Some of the critical issues that engulfs Ekiti State, the Land of Honour and Integrity of Nigeria ranges from Unpaid workers’ salaries between five to eight months, Unpaid pensions of six to nine months, Debt to revenue ratio of 475.7% with 14.5% unemployment rate and perennial history of election violence.