The expected has happened as Ekiti State, deputy governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola,(anointed candidate of Gov Fayose) Tuesday emerged the candidate of the party for the upcoming governorship election slated for the July 14.
In the PDP contest, even the last minute decision by the Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Biodun Olujimi, to step down and withdraw from the race could not salvage the situation as Olusola polled 1,190 votes to defeat his closest rival and former Minister of Works Dayo Adeyeye who got a total votes of 771.
Governor Ayodele Fayose had on September 6, 2017, endorsed his deputy to succeed him, which led to a fierce battle between him and other contestants, who thought he was tactically trying to preclude them from the race.
But shortly before the commencement of voting at 2.15 p.m., the third contestant in the PDP primary, Olujimi, stepped down for Adeyeye, saying: “I have to make myself the sacrificial lamb to make our party great.”
The chairman of the primary committee and Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, while announcing the results praised the contestants and delegates for displaying maturity, pointing out that this had again confirmed that the PDP was truly a democratic party.
He said: “By the power vested in me as the returning officer, I hereby return Prof. Kolapo Olusola as the duly nominated gubernatorial candidate of the PDP for the Ekiti State governorship election, having scored the highest number of votes cast in this election.
“I want to congratulate Prof. Kolapo Olusola for his victory, I wish him well.”
Tactically taunting the APC over the violence that marred its primary and rendered it nugatory, Okowa also said: “If you think this exercise was not peaceful, just look back and examine what happened in the past.”
He thanked Fayose for his support, particularly for the security men and members of the panel, saying this accounted for the success of the poll.
The Delta governor commended Fayose for playing a fatherly role and urged party members to immediately bury the hatchet by rallying behind Olusola for the PDP to retain Ekiti in the governorship election.
Elaborating further, he added: “Just before the commencement of voting, Senator Olujimi stepped down and this reduced the number of the contestants to two. It was a very tough contest and just before Adeyeye left the hall, he came to tell me he was satisfied with the conduct of the exercise.
“I thank the members of the panel and the PDP NWC for reposing confidence in us. In the primary election, 2,086 were accredited for the election but only 1,968 were allowed to vote on account of disqualification.”
Responding, Olusola said he would continue to be loyal to the party and thanked those who facilitated his victory.
“I humbly thank all our party stalwarts who made this victory possible, particularly, Governor Ayodele Fayose.
“I want to thank the doggedness of my co-contestant, Prince Adeyeye. History will have it that he put in his best for a better Ekiti. I am determined to move Ekiti forward by sustaining those legacies that were started by our amiable governor.
“We are aware of the plan by the interlopers who wanted to grab power through the back door. Whether they like it or not, we shall give them another 16-0 again with the support of Ekiti people.
“I thank Governor Fayose for standing firm behind me despite all the odds, I shall remain eternally grateful to you for this love,” he said.
Fayose in his response jokingly recommended Okowa to the APC for the conduct of the rescheduled primary in Ekiti, saying: “APC is worse than the PDP in every aspect.”
He said he would reach out to Adeyeye and Olujimi to assure them of their relevance in the party.