From Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
As the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State draws near, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called on the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Kayode Fayemi, to be prepared for defeat .
Atiku said the APC should be ready to accept defeat in the spirit of the 2015 concession of defeat by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Atiku who was in Ekiti with members of the PDP Governorship Campaign Council Monday expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness of his party for the upcoming election.
PDP bigwigs who paid visit to Ekiti included Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, former Senate President David Mark, former Kano State governor Ibrahim Shekarau, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, former Ogun State governor Gbenga Daniel, among others.
Atiku said, â€œWe are satisfied that the PDP is prepared for this election. We hope that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will accept
the outcome of the election.
â€œThey should be democratic for the first time. We have seen how democratic they are, but for the first time in 2015 we have opposition
party taking over from the ruling party. We expect them to do the same.’
Governor Ayodele Fayose said, â€œThey (PDP leaders) are here because they know that PDP has won this election. Everyone is on the same page with us. The only thing the APC is holding on to is to rig the election. We have told INEC that this is a pointer to the 2019
election. They should save their image.
â€œThe country is bigger than all of us. Let me tell them, if rigging has been tried elsewhere it wonâ€™t work here. The people will defend
this election. We are aware of plans to bring thugs here to disrupt the election, the people will stand up to them.
â€œThe PDP leadership are in the state today to strengthen our hands and assure us of their support. I want to say that this election is about the people for the people and it must be so. Ekiti election is not only about Nigeria, the whole world is watchingâ€.
Fayemi while speaking in Ijero local governments, where many PDP members renounced their membership, said the PDP had become a desolate party that canâ€™t win any election in the state.
Fayemi in company of his deputy, Bisi Egbeyemi, and party chiefs, including party Chairman Jide Awe, received defectors in Aramoko, Erio, Ido-Ile, Okemesi, Ikoro, Ijero, Ijurin, Iloro, among others. He urged voters to reject continuity agenda of Fayose to perpetuate poverty among Ekiti people.
Fayemi expressed delight that it was mainly those giving APC headaches that defected to APC in Aramoko and assured them of equal treatment in their new party.
â€œPDP is now empty in Ekiti, virtually all its viable leaders are now in APC. PDP is gone and I know it canâ€™t win elections here in Ekiti,
because it has been abandonedâ€, Fayemi said.
He urged the people to dismiss Fayose’s lies on debts, saying though he borrowed N25billion to implement projects that are verifiable, including completing projects started by Segun Oni’s administration, he paid
back N14.5billion of the loan before leaving office while Fayose had so far borrowed N56billion but did nothing with it except a bridge built at over-bloated cost.
He urged the people to reject continuity of sufferings, unpaid salaries and lies that Fayose wanted to sustain by working to install
Prof Eleka as his successor.
In Erio-Ekiti, home town of Fayose’s wife, residents regretted that though Fayose is their son-in-law, they had not seen any development assistance from neither Fayose nor his wife in the last three years.
The community presented a copy of the Holy Bible to Fayemi, declaring that APC candidate represented a soldier of Christ who will always win his battles. They said victory is sure for Fayemi on July 14.
Fayemi expressed shock that the road he initiated leading to Erio worship centre was abandoned by Fayose, promising to complete the project and implement other ones they choose in his pre-budget meetings with the people.
He promised to continue his pro-people schemes, including social security, free education and helping students to pay for public examinations and scholarships.