The All Progressives Congress (APC) has begun campaigns for local council poll. The election holds on December 7. The party held a big rally in Ado Ekiti to canvass for votes for chairmanship and councillorship candidates.
The party has constituted campaign committees made up of prominent politicians and key political office holders at state and federal levels to ensure victory for its candidates.
The APC campaign trains have swung, into action in towns and villages holding door-to-door campaigns, canvassing for votes in market squares, palaces, motor parks, newsstands, pubs, junctions and other public places.
But, the flag off rally held by the party in Ado Ekiti Local Government has continued to be the talk of the town. Party faithful and their well wishers made a big statement.
They trooped out en masse to the Matthew Bus Stop where they held the rally.
Before berthing at the Matthew Bus Stop, party faithful had held a roadshow at the popular Bisi Market, Oja Oba, Okeyinmi, Old Garage and other parts of the city to draw the attention of residents to the rally.
They were not discouraged by the sun as they wore colorful campaign attires, sang, and danced round the city in wild ecstasy.
Party faithful who came from all the 13 wards in the city came to witness the presentation of the flag to the chairmanship candidate, Mrs. Omotunde Abiodun Fajuyi, by the deputy governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who performed the rite on behalf of his boss, Governor Kayode Fayemi.
The rally was an opportunity to appreciate the support of the people of Ado Ekiti for Fayemi since he came to power on October 16, 2018 and for also finding Egbeyemi, a prominent son of the soil, worthy to be his deputy out of many illustrious Ekiti sons and daughters eligible for the seat.
History will be made in the local government election in Ado Ekiti. If Mrs. Fajuyi succeeds in her ambition to become chairman, it will be the first time that a couple will be privileged to occupy the chairmanship position at different times.
Her husband, the late Chief Dayo Fajuyi, a lawyer, was Chairman of Ado Ekiti Local Government, among other political positions he held in his life time, including Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Chief of Staff during the administration of Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo.
The late Dayo Fajuyi was a son of the first Military Governor of the old Western Region, the late Lt.-Col. Francis Adekunle Fajuyi.
Mrs. Fajuyi has blood of politics in her veins as her father, Chief Augustus Abiodun, was one of the first set of councilors in Ado Ekiti. She is the only female chairmanship candidate the APC is fielding.
At the rally, prominent APC leaders who hail from Ado Ekiti came to show their support for Mrs. Fajuyi. They vouched for her competence to perform well in office, having had an earlier opportunity as the Chairman of Ijigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) during Fayemi’s first tenure in office.
Party chieftains at the rally include former Deputy Governor, Modupe Adelabu; House of Assembly member representing Ado Constituency 2, Mrs. Kemi Famuagun-Balogun; Commissioner for Special Duties and Regional Integration, Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu; Special Adviser on Interparty and Allied Matters, Alhaji Ademola Bello; Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Tade Aluko; Special Assistant on Political Matters to the Deputy Governor, Mr. Tokunbo Adeparusi; Personal Assistant to the Deputy Governor, Mr. Wale Falade; Mr. Femi Ologunja; former Special Adviser, Chief Bosun Osaloni; Alhaji Teslim Balogun and Chief Remi Oguntuase.
Mrs. Fajuyi and the vice chairmanship candidate, Mr. Yomi Oso, acknowledged cheers from the excited crowd of party members.
APC Chairman in Ado Ekiti, Mr. Mike Akinleye, urged party members to visit every household in their neighbourhood to mobilize voters and encouraged them to vote for the party in the council election.
“We want our members to embark on door-to-door, house-to-house and even room-to-room campaign to sell our candidates and our party programmes,” Akinleye said.
The deputy governor who is also the APC leader in Ado Ekiti said he was excited by the massive turnout of members and other members of the public which he said indicated the love they have for the party.
Egbeyemi urged supporters to go back home and work harder to ensure that APC candidates record huge votes in their respective wards.
According to the deputy governor, who is also a former Ado Ekiti local government chairman, the forthcoming election offers another opportunity for the APC to make a statement that it is still the most popular party in the state.
Egbeyemi said: “Let us all go out on December 7 to vote Omotunde Fajuyi and all our councillorship candidates. Let us all go back home and work harder because he need large number of votes.
“With the support of our party members and all eligible voters, our chairmanship candidate and all our councillorship candidates in all the 13 wards will win.
“I want to plead with party members who are yet to get appointments, your own time will come because it is God that puts man into positions and not Bisi Egbeyemi. Just remain loyal and be patient because more jobs will still be given out.
“On the day of election, take your voter cars and go to your polling booths to vote. No party member should betray the party, you must be loyal.
“Dr. John Kayode Fayemi is my boss and we pray that he will continue to go higher in life because the person that gave me the opportunity to be where I am is my boss, I will be loyal to him and all of us must be loyal to him.
“Governor Fayemi will go forward in life and as he goes forward, all of us in Ekiti will also go forward. The governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, is doing wonderful things for Ekiti women and we are lucky to have them.
“On behalf of our Governor, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, I hand over this flag to our candidate, Omotunde Fajuyi and his running mate, Yomi Oso and we pray that you will succeed at the election.”
Speaking after she received the flag, Mrs. Fajuyi promised not to disappoint the electorate, party leaders and teeming members, elected.
She promised to carry out Ado Ekiti urban renewal and beautification project, social security for the vulnerable, empowerment for women and youth-based mechanized agriculture to generate employment and ensure food security.
Mrs. Fajuyi said: “With utmost humility and every sense of responsibility I receive this flag and I pay tributes to Dr John Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Erelu, Iyalode Bisi Fayemi.
“I thank God for civil servants who are here in our midst because they have promised to vote APC because of many good things Governor Fayemi is doing for them.
“Ado Ekiti is the principal town in Ekiti State and we want to make Ado Ekiti a capital city indeed. We want to make it a real metropolitan city but I cannot do it alone.
“This (Fayemi) government plans to do 500 kilometers across the state and Ado Ekiti will benefit from the project to assist people in our various farmsteads.
“We want to empower our youth with mechanized farming and thankfully, God has connected us with the government in Abuja and all these will be possible.