Ekiti Decides: Why The Odds Favour PDP’s Olusola
Ekiti State has been agog with political activities in the last couple of weeks.
Few days from now, the people of the state will be at the polls to determine who governs them for the next four years.
In all, 35 political parties are fielding candidates for the election. But, based on the way they campaigned, the election is likely to be a two-horse race.
Only two parties are in serious contention for the plum job, namely the ruling party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The two other parties that campaigned vigorously for the election are the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN), which are fielding philanthropist Segun Adewale and former Manager of Wema Bank, Bisi Omoyemi respectively.
Unlike the two major parties, Adewale and Omoyemi’s aspirations will be hampered by the fact that they are contesting on platforms that do not have structures all over the state.
Based on campaign, the other 31 parties are in the race just to make up the numbers; they were not able to organise rallies like the four front-runners to interact with the electorate.
Bounce News takes a look at the PDP contender in the election, Professor Kolapo Olusola.
Professor Kolapo Olubunmi Olusola (PDP)
Professor Olusola, who is referred to as Eleka, is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He is currently the deputy governor of the state and will be slugging it out with other contestants during the July 14 election.
The 49- year old governorship aspirant is among the few who had a smooth sail to the governorship ticket of their parties.
Until his election as deputy governor in 2014, Prof Olusola was an accomplished lecturer in the Department of Building, Obafemi Awolowo University for twenty-four years.
Olusola is generally viewed as a political neophyte who was baby seated to the number two seat through the self-effort of Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Before he came on board, he was not in any political line up; hence he rode on the success and strength of Fayose to climb to the top, above the people that were already on the ground.
The emergence OF Prof Ishola as the candidate of PDP was, however, not without the usual political intrigues
In fact, Governor Fayose’s political camp was really bruised by the former Minister of Works and the party’s ex- National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, who almost created a faction that nearly tore PDP apart in the state.
But for the calmness adopted by the governor and the leadership of the party, the crisis would have continued to linger.
Adeyeye has since defeated to the APC.
With the Adeyeye distraction over, the party appears focused to campaign for Ishola’s election as Fayose’s successor.
His agenda for the state, if elected as the governor on July 14, is encapsulated in what he called SHIELD, a continuity agenda that is designed to improve on what is on ground and make it better.
SHIELD is an acronym: S stands for Security, Sustainable Human Development and Social Welfare; H stands for Healthcare; I stands for Infrastructural and Industrial Development; E stands for Education and Enterprise Development; L stands for Leadership and Governance; and the last one, which is D, has to do with Development of Agriculture and Tourism.
As the incumbent deputy governor, he has an advantage over other candidates, coupled with the fact that he has some achievements of his administration on his side to show to the people during the campaigns.
The deputy governor will have so many factors working in his favour in the election. These include the power of incumbency and the financial war chest to successfully prosecute the election, among others
He is from Ikere, which is believed to be the headquarters of Ekiti South Senatorial district and is reputed to have the highest number of votes in the state after Ado Ekiti.
Aside the large population, the election is also a test of the Ekiti South agenda, for which many people had stuck out their necks for the zone to produce the next governor of the state.
The zone has never produced a governor since the creation of the state in 1996.
Olusola is also playing the religious card by picking a Muslim from Ekiti Central as his running mate. He has settled for 39-year-old Kazeem Ayodeji Ogunsakin, to satisfy the yearning of the Ekiti Muslim community who had demanded nothing less than the position of a deputy governor.
Being a son of a former Chief Imam, Ogunsakin, some have contended, fits into the mould and being young, he also represents the youths and also brings the not-too-young to run law into effect in Ekiti State.
Olusola is also basking on the premise that his party won the 2014 election with ease and that the status quo has not changed.
Fayose in the 2014 election polled a total of 203,090 votes, winning the highest number of votes in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
Fayemi, who is presently the APC candidate and then governor of the state came a distant second, with 120,433 votes.
Supporters of the APC found it difficult to understand the tsunami that hit them in the poll because Fayemi had been widely acknowledged as having performed very well.
But that may not be a true reflection of the current state of affairs in Ekiti.
For instance, in 2014, the PDP was in control at the centre and was able to mobilize resources to execute the election in favour of Fayose.
Besides, given the recent defection of some leaders of the PDP to the APC, their influence may not work the way it did in the 2014 elections.
There are also some political baggage that goes with the incumbency factor, which include unmet expectations and political enemies created as a result of actions and government policies.
Olusola is the son of Pa Ojo, the Eleka of Ikere-Ekiti. He attended St. Mathew’s Primary School and Annunciation School, Ikere before proceeding to the OAU to study Building. He holds a Master’s degree in Construction Technology from the University of Lagos and a doctorate degree in Building Technology from OAU.
He started his career as a Graduate Assistant in 1990, became an Associate Professor in 2009 before becoming a professor few months ago.
In 2014, he became the deputy governor, and has been described as a stabilizing factor in the Fayose administration.
His special interest is the education sector. As the supervisor of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ekiti received the award of the ‘Best First Timer Performance’ throphy during the international debate in Singapore.
It also won the ‘Best Performance in Junior Engineers, Technologists and Scientists (JETS) in Interstate Quiz Competition last year and overall best student performance in the 2016 Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN)-organised science written and quiz competitions.
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