Former Governor Ayodele Fayose’s anointed aspirant for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary, held in Ekiti State, yesterday, Hon. Olabisi Kolawole, has emerged the party’s candidate for the June 18 election.
Kolawole, who polled 671 votes, defeated his arch rival and former governor Segun Oni, who garnered 330 votes out of a total of 1200 delegates that participated in the keenly contested primary out of which only 1185 votes were cast.
Announcing the results at the Uncle Eagles Hall in Ado Ekiti, venue of the election, Chairman of the Ekiti PDP Gubernational Primary Election and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, said Kolawole polled 671 to trounce Oni and other aspirants.
Similarly, a former member, House of Representatives, Hon Wale Aribisala, scored 56 votes;a former deputy governor, Kolapo Eleka, 93, Ayodele Kazeem, 06, while Kayode Adaramodu scored 10 votes respectively.
In the same vein, Mrs Adekemi Adewumi got 0 vote, Lateef Ajijola, 03 and Mrs Biodun Olujimi got 02 votes.
Emmanuel said: “Bisi Kolawole, having scored the highest number of votes cast in this election, is hereby declared the winner in accordance with the guidelines of our party.”
He congratulated all the aspirants, saying the process was an internal affair of the party and about the PDP.
Kolawole, who hails from Efon in Ekiti Central Senatorial District, was elected a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly in 2007 and was appointed a Commissioner for Environment in 2014 by Fayose.
In his response, Kolawole commended the leadership of the party for providing a level playing ground for all aspirants, saying no breach of security whatsoever.
“Let me commend someone who is a good coach who discovered me. He just has seen something in me or read my antecedents. He is a wizard. I thank him for willingly giving me his endorsement, making me the winner of this primary. The person is former governor Ayodele Fayose.
“Today, I want to say that we are all winners. Engineer Segun Oni is my brother and friend and I know that he will support this process. I want to commend other aspirants and appreciate them. Nobody can do it all alone.
“We are committed to delivering the people from sufferings being meted out to them in the last three years. You could all attest to the fact that the process of this election was free and fair, so, I willingly accept to be the flagbearer of our great party in the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti,” he said.
Citing cases of bias and fraudulent practices, the Senator representing Ekiti South, Mrs Biodun Olujimi, had earlier written to the Committee notifying it of her withdrawal from the race.
While addressing newsmen, Olujimi said her decision to withdraw from the primary was informed by alleged irregularities during the accreditation of delegates.
The PDP chiefain said she could not be part of a political process that had excluded party delegates, who were mainly her supporters, adding that the development ran against the tenets of participatory democracy.
“I pulled out because every other aspirant has full complement of delegates from their local government. It pleased the party to give me only 12 automatic delegates in mine.
“I have six local governments in my district as a sitting senator. They gave full complement of delegates to somebody in four of my local government. And the two that were left, including my own local government. They gave me twelve delegates out of seventy-eight.
“And in the second local government, they gave me only ten delegates. How do you go from your home with a broken hoe and then, you are going to ask the people to give their own to you to till the ground?.
“I feel maybe it is because of my gender or maybe the party feels I have not done enough for it. That is why they would have done that to me. So, when they’ve done that to me, it didn’t make sense to continue with the process,” she said.
When asked how the party arrived at giving out automatic delegates to aspirants, she said,“What happened was that for two years, we’ve been fighting over an illegal congress and somehow, a few weeks ago, they approved it for one group.
“There have been two groups that have been fighting. And we said there was no congress,because it was hijacked. Two weeks ago, the party approved that one group should take all the fourteen executives, and those of us that had been fighting should wait.”
Again, when asked whether she stepped down for any aspirant, Olujimi said she didn’t step down but only pulled out of the race, and instructed his supporters to vote for any aspirant of their choice.