NIGERIA: Stunned APC Moves to Save Osun

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The victory by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ayo Fayose, in last Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State has stunned the leadership of the All Progressives Party (APC), which was certain that their candidate and governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, would win by a comfortable margin.
The shocking defeat of Fayemi has forced the APC leadership, according to party sources, to go back to the drawing board to map out a strategy to ensure that APC does not lose Osun State scheduled to hold its governorship election on August 9, 2014.
On paper, Fayemi had everything going for him: The incumbency factor, his laudable stewardship as governor for four years and the fact that he belonged to APC which supposedly had the South-west geopolitical zone firmly in its grip. The election, by all estimates, was his to lose.

But that was not to be, as APC party sources have confided in THISDAY that they the main opposition party lacked the funds to effectively execute the election in Fayemi’s favour.
“The truth is that APC ran out of resources to effectively execute the election on Saturday. It was not a case of Fayose being more popular than our candidate.
“We grossly underestimated the capacity of the PDP to upturn the tables against Fayemi and the fact the military stopped some of our governors who could have helped from entering the state during the final rally last week did not help matters either,” the source disclosed.

THISDAY, however, discovered that it was not just APC chieftains and governors who were prevented from entering Ekiti State on the eve of the election, as a source in the presidency revealed that the Minister of State of Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, and Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Abdul Adesiyan, among other PDP chieftains, who were initially allowed entry into Ekiti by the military, were asked to leave before the election.
However, having lost Ekiti, the APC leadership has turned its focus on Osun and has sworn to hold on to the state come August 9.

The Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, though popular and is considered more of a grassroots politician than Fayemi, the party will not leave anything to chance given Senator Iyiola Omisore’s strength in the state.

According to the APC chieftain, “What happened in Ekiti was a mistake. But I assure you that we will not be caught napping a second time around. If PDP is pounding its chest that it has made inroads into the South-west by capturing Ekiti, then its celebrations are premature as APC still has control over the most populous states in the region.”

However, despite APC’s assurance to THISDAY that it would win Osun, a source in the PDP opened up on how the ruling party deployed all the arsenal at its disposal to win Saturday’s election in Ekiti.
He said a leader of the PDP in the South-west, Alhaji Buriji Kashamu, played a significant role in influencing the outcome of the Ekit election by deploying 25 persons in every village in Ekiti as volunteers and agents in the state.

“Each of them was empowered with bags of rice and cash, which paved the way for them to canvass for votes and protect them.”
He disclosed that Fayemi lacked the charisma of a grassroots politician willing to canvass for votes in every nook and cranny of the state. PDP, on the other hand, shed all airs of superiority and begged for the votes.

“Let there be no doubt, the PDP has made its inroads into the South-west and we shall not stop at Ekiti as we have Osun and other states in our sights. We will keep changing strategy as we go along while APC continues to make the noise,” he said.

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