The deputy governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Kolapo Olusola has been elected as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the for the state’s gubernatorial election slated for July 14, 2018.
Olusola polled a total of 1,191votes to defeat his rival, former national publicity secretary of the PDP caretaker committee, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, who collected 770 votes in the governorship primary election, held in Ado Ekiti yesterday.
The third aspirant and senator representing Ekiti South, Abiodun Olujimi, had earlier stepped down for Adeyeye.
She had urged her supporters to cast their votes for Adeyeye as the preferred candidate for the July 14 governorship election.
The primary election was conducted across all the 26 local government areas of the state amid heavy security presence.
More than 2,000 delegates were said to have participated in the exercise.
The delegates were made up of 1,585 statutory members of the party, and 547 national ad-hoc committee members.
However, 1, 966 delegates were accredited.
After voting, Olujimi expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the primary.
She commended the chairman of the election committee and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, for bringing experience to bear on the primary.
“The process is well arranged; you know Governor Okowa is a veteran. We are pleased that there is a very wide opportunity for transparency. We will be pleased with the result because we have done our best.
Giving reasons for stepping down for Adeyeye, she said: “We had a party where we didn’t have a voice, where everything was lorded over us.
“We needed to take the party back to the people and the only way we can do this is not to have an anointed candidate.”
In his acceptance speech, Olusola, an indigene of Ikere Ekiti in the South senatorial district of the state, thanked the delegates for counting him worthy and expressed gratitude to Adeyeye for exhibiting high volume of dexterity and courage throughout the period the pre-primary election.
He also praised the governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose for standing by him and vowed to defeat the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.
In his remarks, Fayose commended the election’s committee for doing a good job as well as Adeyeye and Olujimi for their spirit of sportsmanship.
“I appreciate God and thank the committee for doing a good job. I thank Prince Adeyeye and Senator Olujimi for their courage.
“In journeys like this, there would be a divide. They are leaders of the party irrespective of what has happened before this primary.
“They should join hands with the party to win the ultimate, which is the July 14 election. I commend all the delegates for exercising their civic right.
“I will reach out to Prince Adeyeye and Senator Olujimi and personally visit them. I appeal to them in the overall interest of the party to work for our common goal.”
Fayose urged all the political parties to emulate the PDP in organising a peaceful, credible, free and fair primary.
In his remarks, Okowa commended Adeyeye, who had left before the official declaration of the results, for his spirit of sportsmanship.
Earlier, Adeyeye had remarked that he was satisfied with the conduct of the primary.
“I’m satisfied; the whole exercise has been fair, free and transparent. Whoever wins, we would join hands together,” he said.