Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Ekiti State governor-elect and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, on his victory at Saturday’s governorship poll in the state. Buhari, however, advised Oyebanji to be magnanimous in victory, in a release on Sunday by the president’s media adviser, Femi Adesina.
The president said the APC candidate’s victory was well-deserved, considering his contributions to the development of the state and the party before his nomination, but it was also an indication of the people’s confidence in the ruling party.
In his acceptance speech at his Ikogosi-Ekiti country home, Oyebanji assured that he would not disappoint the people.
The assurance came as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the governorship election, Olabisi Kolawole, congratulated the winner, describing his victory as a popular choice to which he convincingly conceded defeat.
Many prominent Nigerians hailed APC and its candidate over their victory at the poll. They included National Chairman of APC, Abdulahi Adamu; presidential candidate of the party, Bola Tinubu; President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo.
While urging Oyebanji to be benevolent in victory in the interest of the people, Buhari also rejoiced with Adamu and the APC National Working Committee (NWC) for a successful outing, the first in the tenure of the newly elected executives of the party.
The president told the APC national chairman, “This is a good beginning for you and your team. The APC is getting stronger and more united. The victory of our party in Ekiti is an indication of the confidence of Nigerians in the ability of our great party to deliver quality governance to all.”
Buhari charged all APC members within and outside the country to see the victory in Ekiti State as a good omen for the 2023 general election and work diligently to ensure the party’s success. He urged a continuation of the winning trend in the Osun State governorship poll in July.
Felicitating with the people of Ekiti State for the smooth conduct of the election, Buhari affirmed that they were the real victors, as they were able to freely choose their leader for the next four years.
He also lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the law enforcement agencies for their conducts, and urged them to keep the momentum in future elections.
On his part, Oyebanji promised never to disappoint or betray the confidence reposed in him by Ekiti people. He said his victory marked a watershed in the history of the state, saying it would translate into prosperity and growth, as he builds and improves on the legacies of the previous administrations.
The APC governorship candidate polled an aggregate of 187, 057 votes to defeat Chief Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who came a distant second with 82, 209 votes, while Kolawole of PDP scored 67, 457 votes to place third.
Oyebanji lauded the electorate in the state for the overwhelming confidence in him, and assured that he would hit the ground running with his agenda for growth and turnaround of the state.
He commended INEC and the security agencies for delivering to Ekiti State a free, fair and credible poll, in line with the decision of the majority of people in the state.
Commending the other contestants in the election for adding credibility to the contest with their noble and enviable conducts, Oyebanji stated that before his inauguration on October 16, he would be meeting them to source ideas towards the development of the state.
He said, “I thank all other aspirants and their respective political parties for the dignified way they carried out their campaigns, and for contributing to the credibility of the process.
“I will be seeking audience with you all in the coming days, to benefit from your wealth of ideas on how to develop our dear state – to complement our vision and blueprint for the accelerated development of Ekiti. You have all performed creditably and earned places of honour in the history of our state.”
On those who lost their lives in some of the isolated violent incidents during the electioneering period, Oyebanji said, “I use this opportunity to once again convey my condolences to the families of our kinsmen, who died in the pockets of pre-election violence. I join my voice with that of all well-meaning Ekiti kete to the call for full investigations into the incidences and ensure justice is done.”
Kolawole: Your Victory is Popular Choice
The candidate of PDP in Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State, Otunba Olabisi Kolawole, congratulated the APC candidate and winner of the election, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, saying his victory is a popular choice.
In a congratulatory letter he personally signed, Kolawole 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.
“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.
“Democracy must, therefore, deliver to the people dividends of security or protection and enhance their social welfare and well-being basically, among other deliverables.
“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 situation 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.”
Adamu: Ekiti Victory is Precursor of Future APC Victories
National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Sunday, said the victory recorded in the Ekiti State governorship election by the party was a foretaste of expected victories in future polls. Adamu stated this in his letter of congratulations to the governor-elect, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, signed by the senate president’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Dr Samuel Jimba.
Adamu said the victory recorded in the first election in his tenure as national chairman of APC was as a result of the popularity of Oyebanji’s candidature, as well as the robust campaign strategy put in place by the party.
He paid tribute to the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, who, as leader of APC, provided guidance for the party as it went into the Ekiti election.
The senate president promised Buhari that the party would continue to be guided by wisdom in all future elections for the consolidation of his legacies.
Tinubu: Ekiti Victory Will Motivate APC for More in 2023
Presidential candidate of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, said the party’s victory in the Ekiti State governorship election would spur it on to more victories in the coming elections. In a statement yesterday by his media office, Tinubu congratulated Oyebanji and the party for winning the governorship election. He also commended the APC governors and members of the NWC under Adamu’s leadership for recording their first major electoral victory. He charged them not to relent in their efforts, but to lead the party to greater victories in the 2023 general election.
Commending Oyebanji for the steadfastness and passion he brought to the campaign, Tinubu 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.
“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.”
Fayemi: Ekiti People Have Spoken Loud and Clear
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, congratulated the leadership of APC on the victory, and also lauded the Ekiti electorate, whom he said spoke loud and clear through the ballot box.
In a message of congratulations in Ado-Ekiti, Fayemi described Oyebanji’s victory as well-deserved, saying it is a befitting honour for a man, who, in the last three decades, has committed his time, energy, talent and resources to the development of the state.
The governor stated, “Ekiti people have spoken loud and clear. The outcome of the election has shown that Ekiti people are honourable people, who always support and reward leaders, who have served them diligently and faithfully.
“I have no doubt that the new governor-elect will serve Ekiti people even more diligently, and create opportunities for other young people.
“Hearty congratulations to our own BAO, the governor-elect, and a bigger congratulations to our party, APC. The biggest accolade goes to the good people of Ekiti State for their display of civility throughout the electioneering period.”
Adebayo: Ekiti Has Shown the World Maturity of Nigeria’s Democracy
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, congratulated the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, saying by the peaceful conduct of the people, they have shown the world that democracy has matured in the country.
Adebayo said the outcome of the election was the people’s verdict on APC’s performance in the last three and a half years, which put the state on the path of steady progress and development
The former governor of the state praised other contestants in the election for abiding by the rules of the game and allowing Ekiti people to make their decision on who should be their next governor. He called on them to accept the outcome of the election and team up with Oyebanji to continue the good work of the incumbent governor.
Sanwo-Olu: Oyebanji’s Victory Testifies to APC’s Good Works
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, congratulated Biodun Oyebanji, saying his victory is a testament to the good work the APC government in the state as well as the sterling qualities of its candidates.
Sanwo-Olu also congratulated he APC leadership at the federal and state levels, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile.
The governor said he did not doubt the party’s victory because Ekiti people were progressives and would always vote for the party. He said the progressive nature of the Ekiti people as well as their culture of reciprocating good gestures were what played in Oyebanji’s victory.
Sanwo-Olu stated, “I must note that our party, the All Progressives Congress, and its government under the able leadership of Governor Kayode Fayemi has delivered beyond the expectations of the Ekiti people. I, therefore, believe it was only natural for the citizens to reciprocate by voting for our party.
“Our confidence was further buoyed by the quality of candidates presented for the governorship poll. The combination of Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji and his deputy, Mrs Monisade Christiana Afuye, is what Ekiti needs to continue with the great work started by the outgoing governor.
“I once again congratulate the winners for running a good race and emerging victorious. I also congratulate my brother-governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who has set a winning template for the party, with good governance over the years.”
Lawan: Ekiti is Indicative of 2023 General Election
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, while congratulating the APC candidate in the Ekiti governorship election, Biodun Oyebanji, said the outcome of the exercise was indicative of what to expect in next year’s general election.
In a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, Lawan also congratulated APC, both at the state and national levels, and the people of Ekiti State on the peaceful and successful conduct of the poll, and for making the right choice. He said the outcome of the election further demonstrated the trust and confidence of Nigerians across the country in APC.
Lawan said democracy had continued to get stronger in Nigeria under the APC federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari. He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for delivering a poll that had been widely adjudged as free, fair, transparent and hitch-free, and wished the governor-elect God’s guidance as he prepared for the onerous task ahead.
APC: Fayemi’s Achievements Laid Foundation for Our Victory
The APC leadership has said the towering accomplishments of incumbent Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, provided a solid foundation for the decisive victory of the party in the just concluded governorship election in the state.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Felix Morka, in a statement, said without a doubt, the well-deserved victory in Ekiti State was an eloquent testimony to the acceptance of the party under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the sagacity of Adamu, and the uncommon commitment of members of the NWC.
APC said, not surprisingly, the opposition PDP came a distant third position in the election, despite its claim to a self-serving and self-assigned rescue mission in Nigeria. It stressed that the people of Ekiti State and, by extension, Nigerians were not, in any way, deceived by the ceaseless propaganda of a desperate party that only sought a return to power to continue its ruinous escapades.
APC stated, “As we savour the joy and euphoria of victory in the just-concluded gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) wishes to congratulate and profoundly appreciate the wonderful people of Ekiti State for reaffirming their confidence in our party by rallying round the governor-elect, Biodun Oyebanji.
“It bears mentioning that the towering accomplishments of incumbent Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode John Fayemi, provided a solid predicate for this decisive victory. We thank you for your service to your state and country.”
APC urged the people of Ekiti State and Nigerians, in general, to sustain their support for the party by voting overwhelmingly for all APC candidates in subsequent elections.
Akeredolu: BAO, APC Victory Symbolic
Chairman of the South-west Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), congratulated the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, saying his victory is symbolic.
Akeredolu also saluted the people of the state for the smooth conduct of the exercise.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, the governor described the victory as an unequivocal testament to the acceptability of APC and the excellent performance of the incumbent, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The governor stated, “I congratulate my brother, Biodun Oyebanji Abayomi, on this victory. I rejoice with our great party, the APC. I salute the people of Ekiti for their resilience and peaceful conduct. This victory is for the people of Ekiti State and all lovers of democracy across the country. It is a mark of renewed commitment of the people to our party, the APC.
“No doubt, BAO’s vast experience in public service is an asset that would be deployed for the good of the people of Ekiti State. As a former commissioner, Chief of Staff, and later Secretary to the State Government, the governor-elect is well equipped to take the state to the next level.
“I have no doubt that BAO will consolidate on the gains of the outgoing administration of Governor Fayemi and leverage on the continuity of our party in government to further deliver dividends of good governance to the people.
“This is our first win since the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the presidential candidate of our party. This election is, however, symbolic as it shows the preparedness and commitment of our people to vote en masse for the APC in next year’s general election.”
House Lauds INEC over Ekiti Governorship Election
The House of Representatives lauded INEC for the successful conduct of the governorship election in Ekiti State, which has been adjudged a triumph for democracy, according to metrics by independent domestic and foreign observers.
The lawmakers, in a statement by their spokesman, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, also commended the Nigeria Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and other security agencies for keeping the peace and demonstrating vigilance against electoral malpractices.
While assuring of their commitment to the improvement of the electoral processes, the House expressed optimism that the successful run of the election in Ekiti would inspire more Nigerians to vote in the 2023 general election.
The statement said, “As the first gubernatorial election to be conducted by INEC under the new Electoral Act 2022, the election presented a unique opportunity to assess the operational implications of some provisions of the newly issued INEC guidelines and the Electoral Act 2022, which was recently passed by the National Assembly under the leadership of the distinguished Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, and the Honourable Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
“According to reports from independent election observers, there was marked improvement in election logistics management, as well as the deployment of personnel and essential materials, such as the Voter Register, Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), voting cubicles, and ballot boxes, which resulted in early commencement of voting.
“The House is also pleased with reports that the BVAS functioned properly in 94% of observed polling units, and was promptly fixed in the 6% of polling units where it malfunctioned. This, indeed, validates the faith that was placed in INEC to deploy election technology to improve our electoral system.
“The House also seizes this opportunity to call on INEC to extend the June 30th voter registration deadline to accommodate the increasing number of Nigerians who wish to register to vote.”
IG Hails Ekiti Electorate, as PSC Salutes Police Performance
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba commended the electorate in Ekiti State for cooperating with the Nigeria Police and other security agencies in the governorship election.
In a similar vein, the Police Service Commission (PSC), which supervised the police officers deployed during the poll, confirmed that the election was largely peaceful and orderly and commended its men.
The IG also lauded the efforts of the police officers deployed for the poll, under the direct supervision of Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of election security, DIG Johnson Babatunde Kokumo.
The IG noted that the police officers conducted themselves professionally, which built trust with the electorate and, ultimately, led to a successful electoral process.
A statement last night by the Force Headquarters said the IG emphasised that the timely situation reports released by the police effectively covered all communication gaps with the people and eliminated every iota of doubt regarding the massive security presence in the state.
The police chief, while admonishing Nigerians to toe the line of peaceful conduct in forthcoming elections, assured all citizens of improved management of security during electioneering processes. He called on well meaning Nigerians, particularly, the electorate and political actors, to accord necessary support to the police and other security agencies in the 2023 general election, and in the Osun State’s off-season governorship election, slated for July.
The PSC, in a statement by its head of Press and Public Relations, Mr Ikechukwu Ani, affirmed that the Ekiti election was a huge improvement and good test-run for the 2023 elections.
SERAP Urges INEC to Prosecute Vote Buyers or Face Legal Action
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) gave the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, seven days to gather information about reports of vote-buying, undue influence, intimidation, ballot box snatching, and other electoral offences by the three leading political parties in the just concluded governorship election in Ekiti State.
SERAP also urged INEC to promptly and effectively prosecute those arrested, and bring to justice anyone who sponsored, aided and abetted them.
In a letter dated June 18, 2022 and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said corruption of the ballot box intruded on the freedom of Nigerian voters to make up their minds and vote buying and other forms of electoral corruption froze out the less wealthy candidates and parties.
SERAP said if voting was as important as INEC always claimed, now was the time to end the buying of democracy by wealthy politicians and their sponsors.
The letter read, in part, “Vote buying encourages poor governance and weakens citizens’ capacity to hold their ‘elected officials’ accountable for their actions. When political candidates or their sponsors decide to buy the support of the people rather than contest fairly for their votes, there are possibilities that such candidates and sponsors will show a disregard for democratic rules and a disposition to adopt illegal means becomes inevitable.
“There are reports of a brazen pattern of vote-buying and electoral bribery in several polling units during the just concluded Ekiti governorship election. There are reports of bargaining prices for votes and payments made in uncompleted buildings and bags of foodstuff being shared after votes have been cast.
“Acting swiftly to address the brazen impunity and reports of vote-buying and electoral bribery and other electoral offences during the Ekiti State governorship election would also send a strong message to politicians that INEC, under your watch, would not tolerate such practices during the 2023 general election.
“Prosecuting allegations of vote-buying, undue influence, ballot snatching, intimidation, and other electoral malpractices during the Ekiti State governorship election would be entirely consistent with the Nigerian Constitution, the Electoral Act, and the country’s international human rights anti-corruption obligations.
“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within within days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel INEC to comply with our request in the public interest.”
Situation Room Affirms Vote Buying Rampant in Ekiti Poll
The Situation Room, a civil society coalition, said it observed the incidence of vote buying and selling going on unabated during the election in Ekiti State.
In a statement issued by Convener of the Situation Room, Eneh Obi, the group said vote buying during the Ekiti election followed a familiar pattern of similar across the country, and in particular, the 2014 governorship election in the state.
Obi stated, “The description of this phenomenon as ‘stomach Infrastructure’ in the 2014 election has evolved into a new nomenclature now described as ‘See and Buy’. The ability of Ekiti politicians to make light of such a grave violation of extant law is most unfortunate. Situation Room strongly condemns this blatant violation of the electoral law.”
However, the Situation Room said the election was generally peaceful, with voters playing a key part in the peaceful election environment and commended voters for their comportment at the various polling centres.
It noted that INEC’s strategy of voters’ redistribution failed to address the problem of over concentration of voters in some polling units.
According to the election monitoring group, a glaring example was the situation at Surajudeen School, Ado Dallimore (Ward 9), Ado Ekiti LGA, which had about five thousand registered voters shared between just two polling units.
It said some of the voters complained that their request for transfer of registration to their preferred polling units was not approved before this exercise