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How COVID-19 Reunited Ekiti Political Warlords

ADO-EKITI – The outbreak of the glob­al pandemic COVID-19 may have opened a new opportunity in the politi­cal history of Ekiti State as many seeming political arch rivals are coming together to advance the good of the state .
For several months now, many political bigwigs, who have not interacted with one another, either due to different political ideologies or internal political strife will now be sit­ting on the same table.
It is no longer news that there is no-love -lost between all the former Ekiti State Chief Exec­utives. Also in the list are: Chairman , Deux Projects Ltd, Dr Tunji Olowolafe; Director, Risk Man­agement, Central Bank of Nige­ria (CBN), Ms Folakemi Fatog­be; Executive Director, Sahara Energy Ltd, Mr Wale Ajibade; and a Director at Globacom, Otunba Niyi Adewunmi.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Development Partnerships, Mrs Margaret Fagboyo, is the secretary to the committee.
According to a release by the Secretary to the State Govern­ment, Hon Biodun Oyebanji, the committee’s mandate among others, is to mobilise and advise on funds and project manage­ment, direct funding campaigns for the Covid-19 response.
He said the state government would do everything humanly possible to contain the spread of the covid-19 pandemic in the state, while assuring the citizens of the Dr Fayemi-led administration’s commitment to accountability and transpar­ency in the management of re­sources mobilise.
This is coming barely a week after Oni announced his inten­tion to severe political relation­ship with the governor on cer­tain grounds. Oni who has been a national officer of the ruling All Progressives Congress(AP­C),having served as Deputy National Chairman ( South) of the party before he voluntarily resigned to seek governorship of the party but lost to Fayemi. in the 2018 APC Governorship Primaries .
This development created a strain in the relationship be­tween the two statesmen as Oni instituted a far reaching legal battle against Fayemi ,first to stop him( Fayemi) from par­ticipating in the Governorship Primaries and secondly to seek his deposition as governor on eligibility charges.
The outcome of the ill-fated legal battle was the suspension of Oni from the APC through his ward in Ifaki which later led to his eventual exit from the party.
While justifying his action Oni said: “You all knew the kind of treatment I have been get­ting. As we speak, none of my supporters was being allowed to get appointment or contest elections in APC.
“If the APC gives me the whole world, I won’t be happy seeing integral part of my polit­ical life, I mean my supporters being treated badly.
“At a particular time, I was suspended in my ward at Ifa­ki Ekiti and nothing was said about it. I am the Asiwaju of this town, if someone could have the effrontery to do that to me here, you could see it had sent a signal that there was a problem.
“It is not about Segun Oni, my people and supporters are the main issue”, he stated.
Meanwhile, Oni didn’t give the actual time he will formally join the PDP.
“We have taken a decision and we are at the process of joining the PDP. We are going to set up implementation commit­tee to work on our programme of actions. Our joining PDP is not something that won’t take three months.
“I am not that kind of a poli­tician that will rush at things, we can’t just go back that way. There must be proper planning. We are carrying out local gov­ernment by local government counting of those that will fol­low us.
Expectedly, Oni’s outburst had elicited reaction from the APC in Ekiti. For Instance, the APC’s State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ade Ajayi said the party never gave Oni any unfair treat­ment, rather he was accorded the necessary respect and rec­ognition when he joined the party from the PDP in 2014.
“We are not surprised that he is going back to PDP where he came from, but I don’t know the shabby treatment that made him to defect to PDP.
“He was suspended from his political ward because he offended them and instead of him to attend the ward meeting to explain himself, he refused. Don’t forget the constitution of the party stipulated that anybody, no matter how high­ly placed can be disciplined by the party. “If he is now accusing the state executives or leaders , I will rather say he is an un­grateful soul because the party gave him the patronage he does not deserve”.
In a similar vein, Fayose ‘a problem with Fayemi started during the 2014 Governorship Election in the State..Fayemi did not and has not agreed with outcome of the poll which did not denied him second term ambition but also turned out to be one of the worse defeat suffered by any incumbent in the Nigeria political history. Fayemi tried unsuccessfully to prove to the world that the elec­tion that brought Fayose back power was hoax. The matter went to the Supreme Court on two occasions but failed.
Fayose also tried to stop Fayemi from contesting the 2018 poll; same way Fayemi did to Fayemi in the 2014 gubernatori­al election .Fayose instituted a judicial panel of inquiry which indicted Fayemi of certain fi­nancial impropriety. But the panel’s verdict was not strong enough to stop Fayemi from re­turning to power.
Although, they have both moved on after the poll, to the extent that Fayemi was report­ed to have served as chairman of the occasion in one of the recent wedding ceremonies of Fayose’s sons held in Lagos.
Although, Fayose and Oni have not made financial com­mitment to the response com­mittee, others have however did .
For example, the Grand Pa­tron of Ekiti State COVID-19 Re­sponse Resource Mobilisation Committee, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), has donated the sum of N100m
Babalola also donated ad­ditional 800 bags of rice in support of Ekiti State Govern­ment’s war against the corona­virus pandemic.
Also, the state got a donation of a ventilator and the sum of N10m from, frontline lawyer and member of the committee, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN).
The two donations were an­nounced during the commit­tee’s first virtual meeting on Thursday.
According to a release by the Secretary of the Commit­tee, Mrs Margaret Fagboyo, the meeting was presided by the Chairman of the Ekiti State Covid-19 Committee Response Resource Mobilisation Com­mittee, Prince Julius Adelu­si-Adeluyi.
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