The forthcoming July 14 governorship poll in Ekiti State has taken an interesting dimension as many beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s N-Power scheme in Ekiti yesterday campaigned for the Deputy Governor Olusola Kolapo Eleka ahead of the election.
Eleka belongs to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state and will square up against the All Progressives Party candidate in the governorship poll.
The deputy governor had a few months ago promised many of the N-Power beneficiaries in the state of permanent jobs and they anxiously expect him to fulfil his promise.
However, it was drama as two factions of the N-Power beneficiaries, those for President Muhammadu Buhari and others for Governor Ayodele Fayose and his deputy, Olusola, held campaign rallies in support of their respective benefactors.
While those who are supporting the APC, campaigned for Buhari and showed appreciation in the rally held in Ado Ekiti, many others also displayed placards with inscriptions such as: ‘Fayose leads, we follow’, ‘Olusola Eleka for governor, 2018’ and ‘Support continuity agenda’ among others.
The drama began as early as 8:30am, when beneficiaries of the N-Power, who were over 3,000, gathered in front of the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital along Adebayo Road, for the pro-Buhari and pro-Fayose rallies.
While some displayed placards advertising President Buhari and appreciating his gesture for the scheme, others displayed placards campaigning for Fayose and his deputy Olusola, saying Fayose had promised them permanent jobs and they firmly believed the governor that if Olusola should win the election, they would be offered employment because Fayose has been a promise keeper.
The development almost resulted into a clash between the two parties but the security men on the ground were on top of their game as they ensured things did not get out of hand while each campaigned for their respective benefactors. The beneficiaries marched from the front of the Teaching Hospital to the AB Event Centre in the area where accreditation exercise for the state’s N-Power beneficiaries took place.
Another drama occurred at the accreditation centre when officials of N-power wanted to prevent those loyal to Fayose from entering the venue, they were, however, overwhelmed by the huge crowd in support of Fayose who eventually forced their way in while the security officials ensured there was no physical exchange from either party
Explaining why the beneficiaries loyal to Fayose joined in the rally, Ajibade Segun, a beneficiary, who is among those that are campaigned for Fayose and Olusola Eleka, said: “A few months ago, Mr Governor, His Excellency, Dr Peter Ayodele Fayose invited us to the Government House and promised those of us who are N-Power beneficiaries in Ekiti that we would get permanent employment from the state government.
This is why we are happy and we are now coming out to campaign for the Deputy Governor Olusola Kolapo Eleka. We are here supporting the continuity agenda of his Excellency Dr Peter Ayodele Fayose and supporting Olusola Eleka for governor in the July 14 election.”
Speaking for President Buhari on behalf of his colleagues loyal to the president, another beneficiary, Adeosun Tayo Peter, said: “I want the people of Nigeria to know that we are not campaigning for Fayose or Eleka. It is Buhari that we know because he is the one who is feeding us. We have the banners bearing the image of Buhari and we are thanking him for this gesture.
“Thirty thousand naira for each of the beneficiaries every month is not small money. In 12 months, we know what that money amounts to. The beneficiaries of N-power in Ekiti in this first tranche are 3,400, and 8,337 will benefit in the second tranche, those of us here now are more than 3,000 that have come for accreditation today.” (New Telegraph)