The Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, has emerged as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the July 14 governorship election.
Olusola, an indigene of Ikere Ekiti in the South senatorial district of the state, was the preferred candidate of Governor Ayodele Fayose.
He polled 1,191 to defeat a former Minister of State for Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, in the keenly contested primary.
Adeyeye, who is also a former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP Caretaker Committee, scored 770 while seven votes were voided.
The third aspirant and Senator representing Ekiti South, Abiodun Olujimi, had earlier stepped down for Adeyeye.
Olujimi, whose action attracted a loud applause, said she decided to collapse her structure for Adeyeye for peace, progress and stability of the party.
She urged her supporters to cast their votes for Adeyeye as the preferred candidate for the July 14 governorship election.
No fewer than 1, 968 delegates were accredited for voting. Voting commenced at 2:10 pm under a tight security.
Journalists and others were screened by fierce-looking policemen stationed at the gates.
After voting, Olujimi expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the primary.
She commended the chairman of the election committee and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, for bringing experience to bear on the primary.
She said, “The process is well arranged; you know Governor Okowa is a veteran. We are pleased that there is a very wide opportunity for transparency. We will be pleased with the result because we have done our best.
Giving reasons for stepping down for Adeyeye, she said, “We had a party where we didn’t have a voice, where everything was lorded over us.
“We needed to take the party back to the people and the only way we can do this is not to have an anointed candidate.”
Asked if she would support the “anointed” if he wins, she replied, “If the anointed wins, I will review my situation.”
Governor Fayose commended the election’s committee for doing a good job. He also commended Adeyeye and Olujimi for their spirit of sportsmanship.
He said, “I appreciate God and thank the committee for doing a good job. I thank Prince Adeyeye and Senator Olujimi for their courage.
“In journeys like this, there would be a divide. They are leaders of the party irrespective of what has happened before this primary.
“They should join hands with the party to win the ultimate, which is the July 14 election. I commend all the delegates for exercising their civic right.
“I will reach out to Prince Adeyeye and Senator Olujimi and personally visit them. I appeal to them in the overall interest of the party to work for our common goal.”
Fayose urged all the political parties to emulate the PDP in organising a peaceful, credible, free and fair primary.
He mocked the All Progressives Congress for not conducting a successful primary.
“They should come and learn from Governor Okowa. They can’t even conduct an election among themselves; they will still beat themselves again.”
Okowa commended Adeyeye, who had left before the official declaration of the results, for his spirit of sportsmanship.
He said Adeyeye had told him of his acceptance of the results before leaving.
Speaking with journalists earlier, Adeyeye said he was satisfied with the conduct of the primary.
He said, “I’m satisfied the whole exercise has been fair, free and transparent. Whoever wins, we would join hands together.”