The victory of Ayodele Fayose of the People’s Democratic Party [PDP] over incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress [APC] cannot be over emphasized. Without doubt, it was a huge victory and certainly the news of the hour. Fayose accrued total votes of 203,090 that gave him an overwhelming victory, while the incumbent governor, Fayemi came at a distant second with 120,433 votes and Opeyemi Bamidele, the candidate for Labour Party [LP] scored a substantial 18,135 votes.
From any angle or perspective one choses to look at election returns, it was a powerful and huge victory for PDP and Fayose. But the biggest and outstanding news was how the political actors and citizens of Ekiti State handled the aftermath of the election. The winning and losing of the governorship election was put in perspective and civilization of decency and unity prevail over rancour in the minds and actions of the people of Ekiti.
Something refreshing and new happened in Nigeria and it all started in Ekiti State. The winner of the governorship election Ayodele Fayose is a first class gentleman who received his victory with humility, fraternal dispensation and genuine cheerfulness. In other hand, Kayode Fayemi received his loss of election with dignity, magnanimity and with spirit of reconciliation.
In Ekiti State, peace and tranquility reigned and civilization of co-existence and respect transpired and triumphed. Ekiti political actors showed Nigeria the way to a better country, a path for optimum co-existence and respect for the electoral process. There was self-effacement and generosity in the air and this is showing the entire country that election is not the end itself but a means to achieve accountability and continuity of the delineated and accepted process.
Nigerians must understand that what happened in EKiti State is for all of us to learn from and grow with, for winning and losing election is not the end of life. Election does not stop with a victory or lost but a process that is foundation of democratic principle.
In the interview that the governor-elect Fayose gave shortly after his victory with Vanguard, he buttressed his commitment to democracy with due respect to his opponents. His words:
“To Governor Kayode Fayemi, my brother Opeyemi Bamidele and other contestants that have conceded and accepted me as their governor, I want to thank them too. I want to assure them that I will work with all of them. The government belongs to all of us. Four years is a very short time in the life of any administration, I want to let them know that it will be four years of all of us in government. There is no winner, no loser.”
And he continued with a sense of understanding and brotherhood, “Governor Fayemi has called me to concede defeat and I will see him tomorrow (today) hopefully for us to let the public know that we are together irrespective of our past. Ekiti belongs to all of us because a governor has only got a term and tenure but Ekiti will remain forever.”
And he concluded his act of decency with this acknowledgment, “I salute Fayemi’s courage for accepting me and his readiness to allow peace and love reign in our state. I am assuring you that this is Ayo Fayose, who is older, wiser and ready to work with everybody.”
Ekiti citizens and their political actors have shown that maturity is in finding the strength to hold the hands of your brothers and sisters no matter how difficult it can be especially at a point when the temptation is feverishly compelling to do otherwise.