Members and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are still in a jubilant mood following the victory of Dr Kayode Fayemi in Saturday's governorship election in Ekiti State.

But for members and loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the next few days will be the season of whys.

Members of the PDP in the state will be asking themselves how the same Ayodele Fayose, who returned from relative political obscurity in 2014 to unseat incumbent Fayemi, could not re-enact his old magic to ensure that his anointed candidate, Prof Kolapo Olusola Eweka took over from him as the state Governor.

Results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed that Fayemi scored 197,459 to beat Olusola, who scored 178,121. The PDC came a distant third position with 1,242 votes.

Fayemi won in 12 council areas including the Irepodun/Ifelodun Council area of Governor Ayodele Fayose while Olusola won in four local governments as against the case in 2014 when Fayemi lost in all the 16 council areas.

The local governments won by Fayemi and his APC are Ekiti East, Ekiti South West, Gbonyin, Ido Osi, Ijero, Ikole, Ilejemeje, Irepodun/ Ifelodun, Ise Orun, Moba and Oye while the four councils won by the PDP candidate are Ado, Ikere, Efon and Emure.

Declaring Fayemi the winner of the poll, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, who is also the Presiding Officer of the election, Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka, said: “Having certified the requirements of the law, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the APC, is hereby declared as the elected governor.”

Saturday’s victory at the polls will make it the second time Fayemi would rule the state. His first term was between October 16, 2010 to October 15, 2014.

How Did PDP Lose?

PDP lost the election because it was a non-issues election.

Fayemi and Eleka skipped the main debate ahead of the election, organized by Television Continental (TVC) in partnership with Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria.

They shunned the debate because they had clear knowledge this was a non-issues election.

Here are the four main reasons why the PDP lost the election

 
1.     Peoples (Un)Democratic Party

With the benefit of hindsight, even the PDP’s flag bearer, Prof Eleka would acknowledge that a lot of things were not very tidy with his emergence at the governorship primary that threw him up.

The general unease that attended the final approval by the party leadership to Eleka’s candidacy was enough red flag to the candidate that all was not well in the party, particularly the state chapter, for him to expect a successful run at the poll.

From the onset, Eleka’s candidacy did not go down well with a lot of big wigs, but there was not much the party could do after insisting on internal democracy.

In the process, it was not possible to know who was for or against the governorship candidate. However, it became obvious that some influential persons in the campaign organization took strategic positions from which they negotiated to work for Fayemi from within and for a consideration.


2.     Eleka’s Inexperience in Politics

Then there was the question of experience and capacity.

Although seen as a nice person, the flag bearer did not impress a lot of people. They believed he had not garnered the necessary experience and expertise required to govern a state as complex and complicated as Ekiti.

While the APC candidate was busy working for his victory, the PDP candidate was just receiving instructions from his boss.

He was not showing any meaningful seriousness to the people of the state on his capability and agility to lead.

The flag bearer also made matters worse by becoming elusive and out of reach to genuine players willing to assist and give a good account of the party.

There was a disconnect between him and the people. All what Ekiti people saw was Fayose. He never acted on his own to show the people his ability, he depended on the popularity of the governor.

3.     Fayose’s Overbearing Presence

The sentiment against Governor Fayose also affected the fortune of the party in the election.

As of the weekend, his government was owing civil servants nine months of salary.

Eleka never took charge of his campaign at all as he was dwarfed by Fayose’s image who looked like he was running for third term himself.

In fact, he was largely referred to by the media and commentators as Fayose’s deputy rather than by his own name.

While other parties had campaign offices, there was none for Eleka. Eleka’s campaign office was located inside the Government House.

Eleka said little and left Fayose to run the campaign. In the end, the loss seemed like a Fayose loss and not his own.

4     APC’s Federal Might

Funding became a major challenge for the PDP as APC outspent the party in the bargain for votes. Except for Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, PDP governors seemed to have kept aloof out of suspicion that Fayose was trying to feather his political nest to position himself as possible presidential running mate in 2019.

The financial backing that Fayemi enjoyed in the election is incomparable with that of any other candidate, with governors, ministers, top chieftains of the party pumping money into his campaign.

Unconfirmed reports had it that the 22 APC governors contributed close to N50 billion to support Fayemi.

While the PDP adopted what is called “pre-paid” method of mobilisation, the APC got better result with its “see and buy” model of inducement.

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