- Ekiti South Senatorial Candidates have always been on the ballot
By Karounwi Oladapo
Karounwi has not read, seen or has historical evidence of when Gubernatorial Candidates from the Ekiti South Senatorial District were not on the ballot since the commencement of the Civilian administration in Ekiti State in1999. It is on records that the South Senatorial District Candidates have not been prevented by any Political Parties or Constituted Authorities from contesting with other Candidates from the two other Senatorial Districts for Ekiti State Gubernatorial seat from inception to date. Historically speaking, Zoning of Gubernatorial position to any of the three Senatorial Districts has not been effective in Ekiti State. In fact, there is no records or official position to that effect! All that has always been on display was just an appeal to sentiment on Zoning and Power shift which has not resonated with Ekiti electorates.
Nobody zones Gubernatorial position to the Ekiti Central or North at any point in history. Those who became Governors from the Central and North Senatorial Districts fought the position with the Candidates from the South Senatorial District at each Gubernatorial election circle. The choice of who wins and governs has always been determined by the electorates during the general elections. It has always been an open field for all the Senatorial Districts.
In 1999 Gubernatorial election, Dr. Bode Olowoporoku of the APP from Ilawe Ekiti in the South Senatorial District contested with Otunba Niyi Adebayo of the AD from Iyin Ekiti in the Central Senatorial District and Prof Tunde Adeniran of the PDP from Orin Ekiti in the North Senatorial District.
In 2003 Gubernatorial election, Chief Femi Falana of the National Conscience Party, NCP from Ilawe in the South Senatorial District contested Gubernatorial election with Otunba Niyi Adebayo of the AD from Iyin Ekiti, Chief Ayodele Fayose of the PDP from Afao Ekiti, and Otunba Reuben Famuyibo of the ANPP, from Ado Ekiti; all the three from the Central Senatorial District.
In 2007 Gubernatorial election, Senator Gbenga Aluko of the Labour Party from Ode Ekiti,
Chief Diran Adesua of the DPA from Omuo Ekiti, and Chief Ropo Ogunbolude of the NDP from Ise Ekiti, all the three from the South Senatorial District contested Gubernatorial election against Dr Kayode Fayemi of the AC from Isan Ekiti, Chief Segun Oni of the PDP from Ifaki Ekiti, Otunba Yinka Akerele Gbenga of the ANPP from Ayede Ekiti, all from the North Senatorial District and Barr. Bankole Ajayi of the Accord Party from Ado Ekiti in the Central Senatorial District.
In 2014 Gubernatorial election, Chief Musa Adebayo Ayeni of the APA from Emure Ekiti in the South Senatorial District contested the Gubernatorial election with Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the APC from Isan Ekiti in the North Senatorial district, Chief Ayodele Fayose of the PDP from Afao Ekiti in the Central Senatorial District and Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele MOB of the Labour Party from Iyin Ekiti in the Central Senatorial District.
In 2018 Gubernatorial election, Surveyor Jacob Abiodun Aluko of the AA from Ikere Ekiti, Dr. Bode Olowoporoku of the ACD from Ilawe Ekiti, Prof. Olusola Kolapo Olubunmi of the PDP from Ikere Ekiti, and Ambassador Bejide Oluwadare Patrick of the PPN from Ilawe Ekiti, all the four from the South Senatorial District contested against Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the APC from Isan Ekiti in the North Senatorial District.
From the fact of the history above, each of the six Local Governments from the South Senatorial District has produced Gubernatorial Candidates at different point in time. This clearly shows that the South Senatorial District has not been deficient in producing quality men to govern Ekiti State but the District has not produced Governor! Pointedly, no leaders, no Authorities and no Districts can be blamed by the South Senatorial District for not winning general elections since the ultimate and deciding decisions lie with the Ekiti electorates.
Secondly, from the fact of history above, the South Senatorial District doesn’t have any basis to blackmail other Senatorial Districts for not conceeding Gubernatorial seat to it because the South Senatorial District hasn’t conceded the Gubernatorial position to either the Central or the North Senatorial District at any point in time without contest. Hence, the South Senatorial District should always be prepared to secure the Gubernatorial position in a contest with the other Senatorial Districts. If other Senatorial Districts can produce Ekiti Governors through contest, the South Senatorial District too can do. It’s doable! It’s achievable. The South Senatorial District should drop the cap of entitlement and wear the garment of struggle and strategy!
Karounwi was once an advocate of Ekiti South for Governor. He learned lessons from his failure; one of which is the fact that Ekiti State is the only monolitic State in Nigeria.( One tribe, one culture, one people; Ekiti.) The electorates from the Ekiti South do not see much difference between a Southern Gubernatorial Candidate, Central Gubernatorial Candidate or Northern Gubernatorial Candidate. They believe Ekiti is Ekiti. Unlike the other States in Nigeria that warehoused different tribes, cultures and peoples.
Take for instance Ekiti neighboring State of Ondo where the North Senatorial district is peopled by the Akokos and Owos; Central Senatorial district is the Akures, Ondos and Idanres; the South Senatorial District is the Ijaws, Ilajes and Okitipupas ( Different peoples, different cultures, all within a State). Zoning of Gubernatorial position and Power shift will always be a big issue in those States but not with Ekiti State.
As it was in the beginning, so will it be in Ekiti 2022 Gubernatorial election and beyond. It is an open field for all the Gubernatorial aspirants regardless of Senatorial Districts and any of the three Senatorial Districts has equal chance of winning the Gubernatorial seat, depending on the choice of Ekiti electorates. Let Ekiti South Senatorial District up its game if it is desirous of producing the Governor. Appealing to emotions or blackmail may not give it the trophy! Governorship will not come on a platter and nobody will donate the Gubernatorial seat to the South Senatorial District.