Prof Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday officially declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, as the winner of Ekiti State governorship election.
According to the electoral body, Fayose polled 203,090 votes to defeat incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 120,433 votes.
The Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Prof. Isaac Azuzu, said: “Ayodele Peter Fayose of PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”
The results of the election held in the 16 local governments of the state in which 18 governorship candidates participated, showed that Labour Party standard bearer, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, got 18, 135 votes.
The election, which was rated as peaceful, free and fair, held under tight security and Fayose won in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
Already, in a rare display of spirit of sportsmanship, Governor Fayemi has congratulated Mr. Fayose on his electoral victory. In a state broadcast to the people of Ekiti yesterday, the governor said he had no option than to accept the result of the election and congratulate Fayose.
He said: “Yesterday, Ekiti State decided. Following the gubernatorial elections held in the land of honour, Ekiti State, Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has officially returned the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election.
“If indeed, this is the will of the Ekiti people, I stand in deference to your will. If the result of the elections is an expression of the voice of our people, we must all heed your voice; if indeed the outcome of the election is the will of the Ekiti people.”
The governor revealed that he had just spoken with Fayose congratulating him on his victory, adding that he would be meeting the governor-elect in the next few hours to fashion out ways to institute a smooth transition programme.
Fayemi described the election as a hard fought one, adding, however, that despite party affiliations, Ekiti people should see themselves as one.
He noted that the record of performance of his administration would continue to be a reference point in the history of the state, stressing that he had succeeded in raising the bar of excellence in governance.
Also, Bamidele has expressed appreciation to Ekiti people for their support for him during the election conducted last Saturday, saying as a mature politician, he saw the conduct of the election as scheduled by INEC as a true reflection of true democracy.
In a statement signed by Ahmed Salami, his media aide, shortly after INEC’s announcement of the election results, Bamidele hailed the commission and all security agencies involved in the entire process for their roles and for allowing Ekiti people to be involved in the nation’s democratic process.
He thanked the people of Iyin Ekiti, his hometown, for staying by him through his campaign rallies and the election.
Bamidele said their support was attributable to the tremendous spread and acceptability of Labour Party across the state despite being introduced to them in less than five months.
Prof Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman