Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
On the eve of the historic 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State, there was an upswing in nightlife in the state capital, Ado Ekiti, as faithful of contending political parties stayed awake for the better part of the night.
The air of carousing which pervaded the city was possibly due to the fact that most of the contestants in the governorship race had made disbursement of large sums of money for various mobilisation and logistics purposes.
Unconfirmed reports insinuated that individuals who allegedly received between N5000 and N10000, were largely members of the All Progressives Party, APC, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the Social Democratic Party, SDP. The politicians belonging to different camps were seen buying beers, spirits, as well as other assorted drinks and pepper soup for visitors to the clubs . They were also engaging themselves in talks to secure support for their candidates in the election.
It was also gathered that apart from the monies that were shared to individuals, factional leaders in the different political parties kept custody of large amounts of cash to carry out sundry last minute assignments towards the election.
THISDAY observed that many of the leisure centres along Odo Ado-Ureje- Afe Babalola University Way experienced good patronage as customers converged on the fun spots. The sudden change in financial status led to the good fortune of these night clubs and lounges, which previously experienced low patronage.
Some of the night clubs patronised by revelling political party supporters were: De Royale Night Club, The Jewels , Samso Guest House and Resort , Rendezvous, Paradise Arena, Akuna Matata, and FODA Resort Centre. Previously, only The Jewels could boast of modest patronage, but the eve of the Ekiti State governorship election brought a fair share of good fortune to all the leisure centres.
The notorious red light district of Atikankan and Irona areas were also alive to brisk commercial activities.
The Manager of one of the leisure centres, Jide Arifawo , agreed that such large number of customers have never been witnessed in the club except on Christmas and New Year’s eves .
THISDAY also noted that policemen were stationed in some strategic locations in the capital city.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Operations, Mr. Habilal Joshak, had on Wednesday revealed that the police would be deployed on the roads from neighbouring states to the capital city for stop-and-search
operations. The roads include: Ado-Iworoko, Ado-Ijan-Ikare, Ado-Iyin and Ado-Ikere-Akure as well as Ado-Afao .
Though, police helicopters hovered around the the city and police vans carrying heavily armed men were seen stationed along these roads, stop and search operation had not commenced as at 10pm.
People were seen moving around without being molested by the over 30,000 policemen dispatched to all the 2,195 polling units across the state.