Ekiti Elections 2014: Beyond The Rice By Ajewole Bejide
That Ekiti state went to the polls on Saturday 21st 2014 and Peter Ayodele defeated the incumbent John Kayode Fayemi is no longer news, the public outcry and name calling of the Ekiti people that followed the exercise is also not news.What all those calling Ekiti people names have failed to point out in their analysis of the Ekiti elections is the fact that the people have practiced democracy like never before and that the contestants have demonstrated a spirit never seen before in Nigerian political landscape.
The result of the election is a very strong statement by the Ekiti people who were unanimous in their preference for Ayodele Fayose. 16 local governments and Fayose won all, which is a testimony to the fact that the people want Mr Fayose back.The election was peaceful and every Ekiti state indigene that came out to vote on the said day went about in an orderly manner. The election was devoid of the normal violence that Nigerian politics is known for.After INEC declared Fayose as winner of the election, the incumbent Fayemi called to congratulate him saying he is his brother and that he will abide by the decision of the Ekiti people.
With the public focused on the rice allegedly shared before the election, attentions were shifted from the real issues, the fact that the Ekiti people went about solving their problems with their government democratically.With the results, it was evident that the Ekiti people needed a change of government, instead of being violent or unruly; they expressed their grievances through the polls. The people used democratic means of changing a government they had no faith in, isn’t that commendable?
Never in the history of Nigerian politics has an incumbent who lost an election congratulated the winner almost immediately the results were announced, not only did he congratulate him, both men met and promised to work together for a smooth transition and for the betterment of Ekiti state.
Instead of dwelling on the negativity of the elections which is one of the issues of Nigerian politics, we should all look at the positivity of this whole process and learn the lessons contained therein. Here are people who democratically changed a government to the one they want through a peaceful process.The people’s change was accepted by the parties involved and the leading candidates has called themselves and met, that is certainly a first in this country, one that has started from the fountain of knowledge, Ekiti.
You can say all you want about the rice sharing, cast aspirations on the person of Peter Ayodele Fayose but as an Ekiti man, I stand tall to say I am proud of my people, I am proud of my Governor Kayode Fayemi and I am proud of Mr Ayo Fayose.
I hope people see the positive sides of this election and emulate the Ekiti people, change a government you don’t want democratically and peacefully and as a politician, accept the verdict of the people. Long live Ekiti people, Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ajewole Bejide is a proud Nigerian with Ekiti roots, he tweets via @Da_Megadon
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