•Victory symbolises acceptance of APC, say Buhari, Akeredolu, Oyetola, Adamu •PDP candidate congratulates winner •SDP’s Oni to challenge results in court
It’s a new dawn in Ekiti, Governor-elect Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji declared yesterday while accepting the result of Saturday’s election.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate trounced ex-Governor Segun Oni and Mr. Bisi Kolawole, candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respectively.
He won in 15 of the 16 local government areas. The PDP candidate won in one but Oni who scored the second highest number of votes did not win in any local government area.
Oyebanji, who is due to take office in October, had his first activities as governor-elect by receiving a delegation of APC governors and embarking on a road show with Deputy Governor-elect Mrs. Monisade Afuye yesterday.
Savouring the joy of victory, he promised to build on the legacies of his predecessors and accelerate socio-economic and political development of the state.
Speaking from his Ikogosi residence, Oyebanji promised to preside over a government of inclusion that would tap from the talents of the vast stakeholders.
In their congratulatory messages to Oyebanji, President Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governors Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) and Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), said his victory symbolised the acceptance of the ruling party by Nigerians. The party leaders urged Oyebanji to work hard to surpass his predecessor Governor Kayode Fayemi’s achievements.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Kolawole, conceded defeat, wishing Oyebanji God’s guidance.
But, SDP candidate Oni rejected the outcome of the results as lacking credibility.
Fayemi led Kebbi State Governor Bagudu and his Jigawa State counterpart, Abubakar Badaru to meet Oyebanji at Ikogosi.
Minister of Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, joined them. Also there was APC National Women Leader, Dr. Betta Edu.
Bagudu, who described Oyebanji as a humble, experienced and hardworking technocrat, urged him to sustain the tempo of performance which has become the legacy of Fayemi.
He described the victory of the governor-elect as a reward for character.
Bagudu also praised Fayemi for his achievements, saying his feats made it easy for Oyebanji to win.
Fayemi admonished Oyebanji to move close to other progressive governors for training and tutorials. He said under Oyebanji, there will be no abandoned project. He also said the governor-elect would reposition the Ikogosi Tourist Resort.
The governor-elect said he was greatly humbled by the victory, describing Fayemi as his benefactor and godfather, and ex-Governor Adebayo as his grandfather.
He said while he held three positions – Special Assistant, Special Adviser, and Chief of Staff – under Adebayo, he also held three positions under Fayemi, which are Commissioner, Director of Office of Transformation and Secretary to the State Government.
Oyebanji said although Fayemi will be leaving the Progressive Governors’ Forum in October, he will go to Bagudu, Badaru and other members for training and tutorials.
Tinubu hails Oyebanji, Ekiti APC over victory
Asiwaju Tinubu congratulated the governor-elect and the party for winning the weekend election.
Tinubu commended Oyebanji for the steadfastness and passion he brought into the campaign, which he said paid off with the emphatic and outstanding victory.
Tinubu was also full of praise for the party’s governors and members of National Working Committee of APC under the leadership of Senator Abdullahi Adamu for recording their first major electoral victory, charging them not to relent in their efforts to lead the party to greater victory in 2023 general elections.
He said: “I congratulate our Governor-elect Abiodun Oyebanji and his Deputy, Mrs. Monisade Afuye, for their great success at the election.
This victory is our victory as members of the All Progressives Congress.
I salute the people of Ekiti State for voting for progressive leadership and continuity. I commend the leadership of our party for leading APC to this major victory in Ekiti. Also deserving of praise are our party’s governors led by their Chairman and Governor of Kebbi for their hard work and tenacity to achieve victory for the party.
This feat should motivate and inspire us as we go for more victories in the coming elections.
“I must commend the now outgoing-Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and his team whose progressive leadership in Ekiti made it possible for APC to retain government for the next four years. I am confident that the Governor will finish well and strong.
“While thanking the people of Ekiti once again for standing by APC, I urge them and indeed the generality of Nigerians to continue to maintain their faith and confidence in our party.”
PDP candidate Kolawole wished Oyebanji God’s guidance, saying his victory is God’s choosing, because power belongs to Him.
He said: “Following the announcement of your victory in the June 18 Ekiti Governorship Election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), I hereby write to congratulate you accordingly,” the letter reads.
“I believe that power belongs to God and He bestows upon whoever he chooses. I also believe in popular choice that the unfettered expression of the peoples mandate as one of the crucial hallmarks of democratic principle and practice.”
He asked the governor-elect to ensure the welfare and security of the people of the state, as those were his motivation while vying for the position.
“Democracy must therefore deliver to the people dividends of security or protection and enhance their social welfare and well-being basically, and among other deliverables,” he said.
“These were the motivation for my own ambition in the governorship of Ekiti State which I feel strongly to reiterate here in view of the precarious situations of our people at the moment.
“Please take urgent actions aimed at redressing the plights of our people when you fully assume the mantle shortly.
“Finally, I wish you the guidance of the Almighty God in the onerous task ahead. Congratulations to your spouse and running mate.”
We’II challenge election outcomes in court, say SDP, ADP
Oni and Mrs Kemi Elebute-Halle, the candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP) rejected the results, saying the outcome will be challenged at the tribunal.
Oni made this known on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti, through Mr Owoseni Ajayi, his State Collation agent and former Attorney-General, who spoke with reporters in Ado-Ekiti.
Elebute-Halle said that the victory of Oyebanji was “tainted with vote buying and corruption”.
The SDP candidate said that the results, as declared by INEC, did not reflect the true decision of the people, lamenting that the process was allegedly marred by financial inducement.
Ajayi, who said he refused to sign the election results said: “We are rejecting the results, because the election was characterised by violence and intimidation of voters.
“As a result, we will definitely challenge outcomes of these results in the court of law for posterity and generations coming to know that when conducting elections, you must follow the rules and procedures.”
In his acceptance speech, Oyebanji said his victory signalled the beginning of a
new dawn for Ekiti, adding that the state will witness socio-economic growth and development.
Speaking with reporters at his Ikogosi residence, the governor-elect, promised to build on the legacies of his predecessors.
He said he would not betray the trust reposed in him by the electorate, adding that he would run a people-oriented administration that would accommodate, serve all, irrespective of their religious, ethnic and political inclination
He said: “It’s a new day for us in Ekiti, and I must start by thanking the Almighty God who has sovereignty over the world.
“Ekiti Kete, we are grateful for privilege you have given to us to bear your sacred mandate at this crucial time in history.
“In the course of time, we would set-up a transition committee and ensure a seamless transition, and demonstrate our preparedness and clarity of vision with the effectiveness and efficiency with which we will hit the ground running on assumption of office.
“We would continue our consultations to seek more input into our blueprint for the state, and would in the coming days open formal channels through which you can send suggestions to us. We want to continue to listen to you and engage with you, so that as we have promised, together with you, we will keep Ekiti working.”
While applauding the electorate for their peaceful conduct during and after the poll, Oyebanji lauded the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a credible, free and fair exercise.
The governor-elect called on Kolawole, Oni and other contenders to join hands with him and work towards making Ekiti a better place.
He thanked President Buhari, APC National Chairman, Adamu, Asiwaju Tinubu and other leaders of the party for their support.
He said: “I thank our leaders: our dear president H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR: the national chairman of our great party the APC: Senator Abdullahi Adamu; as well as our presidential candidate for the 2023 general election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for this well-deserved victory for our party you supported us to achieve, and which hopefully signals what to expect in Osun State next month and the general elections next year. I thank all members of the National Working Committee of our party; I thank the Progressives Governors Forum, and the Chairman of the Ekiti Gubernatorial Campaign Council, H.E. Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, as well as all members of the council, for graciously supporting us to achieve this crucial victory.
“I thank our leaders, H.E. Otunba Niyi Adebayo, CON, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, and former Governor of Ekiti State, H.E. Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON, Governor of Ekiti State, and H.E. Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Deputy Goveror of Ekiti State, for their leadership, and for laying a foundation for us to build upon. I also thank H.F. Erelu Bisi Fayemi, First Lady of Ekiti State for your immense contributions to the success we have collectively achieved.”
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