- As Fayemi accepts defeat
By Umar Mohammed-Puma & Chris Alu
President Goodluck Jonathan and his deputy, Architect Muhammad Namadi Sambo, yesterday symbolically popped Champagne in the Presidential Villa in celebration of the victory recorded by Ayodele Fayose, the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) flag bearer in Saturday’s Ekiti governorship election.
This is just as the outgoing Ekiti governor, Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday accepted defeat to the PDP candidate in the election as he congratulated the winner, Fayose.
Also at yesterday’s victory party in the Aso Rock Villa was the PDP National Chairman, Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, where they trio, along with other top aides clinked glasses during a toast in celebration of the victory of their party in that state.
In a statement issued earlier yesterday by his media aide, Reuben Abati, Jonathan congratulated Fayose on his overwhelming victory in the election
The president also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security agencies and the good people of Ekiti state for the successful and peaceful conduct of the elections, which he said were “in keeping with the present administration’s avowed commitment to ensuring that elections in all parts of Nigeria are progressively freer, fairer and more credible”.
According to the statement: “President Jonathan calls on Mr. Fayose to regard his second chance to serve as governor of Ekiti state as a sacred mandate from God Almighty and his people which he must discharge with immense dedication, wisdom and vigour to achieve a much more rapid pace of socio-economic development in Ekiti state for the benefit of its people who resoundingly reaffirmed their trust in his leadership by voting overwhelmingly for his election yesterday (Saturday)”.
Meanwhile, Fayemi, in his congratulatory message, described Fayose’s election as the wish of the people “which must be respected”.
In a congratulatory message to the governor-elect and the people of Ekiti state yesterday, Fayemi said that it was democracy in action where the peoples’ decision was final.
Conceding defeat, Fayemi said he had already congratulated Fayose on his elections and was looking forward to meeting with him today, in order to discuss the future of the state, and how to work together for a new transition.
“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.
I have just spoken with my brother, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose, congratulating him on his victory. In a few hours from now, I would be meeting the Governor-elect to discuss the future of our dear state and how we would work together to institute a smooth transition programme.
“It has been a hard fought election. As expected, in the course of the campaigns, there were unsavory episodes as the candidates toured the nooks and crannies of the state to sell ourselves to the people.
Elections tend to be highly divisive affairs that often see brother rising against brother. Despite our diverse party affiliations, and regardless of which way we voted on Saturday, we must remember that we are all sons and daughters of Ekiti state. Ekiti is ours to build together”, the statement stressed.
On his part, Fayose expressed gratitude to the people of Ekiti for massively voting for him just as he also promised to work with his predecessor for the development of the state.
Fayose, in his reaction to Fayemi’s message, also commended the outgoing governor for the spirit of sportsmanship for conceding victory to him.
The governor-elect who spoke shortly after he was declared winner in Ado-Ekiti by INEC returning officer, Professor Isaac Azuzu, said he re-dedicated the victory to the people.
He therefore called on the people of the state to join hands together in order to support his government, promising that the era of developing the state has come.
Fayose however tasked all his teeming supporters who ensured his victory not to engage in any disparaging remarks that could cause violence in the state.
He warned against any remark that could lead to attack on the personality of the outgoing governor. He said: “We must respect each other so as to allow peace to reign in our dear state.”
Fayose also pledged to work with Opeyemi Bamidele of Labour Party (LP) in order to develop the state.
See pages 5, 6, 10, and 38 for additional reports on the Ekiti guber poll.