The world over, political parties are vehicles that aid the actualization of occupying public offices, either as elected representatives or via appointment, except for more advanced democracies where their constitutions allow for independent candidacy. For now, the Nigeria electoral act, as amended, does not give room for independent candidates to vie for elective offices without being a member of a duly registered political party.
Methinks, the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti must as a matter of importance conclusively align with Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka. You may wonder why. Tag along as i seek to relate facts, and also appeal to the conscience and political dexterity of all actors – Leaders, delegates, and party members.
No doubt, more than ever, the good people of Ekiti are steadfast, willing and consciously determined to rise with the PDP in Ekiti state and beyond. Therefore, it is incumbent on the PDP if we must bring to realization the sincere wishes of the electorates and all hands must be on deck; the unity of purpose must be entrenched; political ambitions must be culminated, and above all, we must see ourselves as one family in this drive to take Ekiti state and her people to enviable apogee.
Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka has a very much trusted electoral value, and undoubtedly, has majority of his voters/supporters locked in for him. This is a very cognizance dynamics that any smart political pundit usually bring to fore in making electoral moves and strategic calculations.
A sneak peek into the 2018 Governorship election results is a further testament that the marketability and electoral acceptance of Prof. Eleka is evidently undeniable! Eleka won decisively with good margins in the two Local Government Areas that has the most voting population namely Ado LGA and Ikere LGA. He also won in Emure and Efon LGAs. Intriguingly, even in Local Government Areas where there was massive inducements, manipulation, and intimidation of his supporters and PDP members, the margin was slim.
Strategically, Ekiti PDP members, Leaders and delegates should properly harness the acceptability and electoral values of Prof. Eleka as the most viable means of securing victory at the polls. This is a clarion call – an SOS of some sort!
Bear in mind, this does not in anyway demean or discountenance the aspirations and strength of all others. It is merely a conscientious attempt at brining to bear the need to mobilize time, talent and treasure for the betterment of our Party, PDP. Hence, the unity of purpose, sacrifice for the greater good and approaching the election as an undivided front is imminent.
All those aspiring to fly the flag of the party as her Governorship candidate in 2022 are in their own rights, qualified. However, Prof. Eleka is eminently qualified. He is a tested and trusted hand, and his glowing antecedents speaks volume. At this stage, Ekiti PDP cannot afford to make electoral gambles. We should stick with this fine gentleman of impeccable character, unblemished public service records, a true party man, and an outstanding builder.
More importantly, Ekiti PDP leaders should align with a known name whose antecedents and capability is well known. The Party must choose a candidate that will cut across party affiliations, party interests and appeals to all Ekiti sons and daughters both at home and in diaspora. If we don’t do that, we may be heading for doom. Did I hear you say, God forbid? Well, God forbid.
Ekiti PDP must present a candidate that will shun unhealthy rivalry, destructive partisanship, religious sentiments and he must be a candidate that wants to win for the party. The party itself must do all it can to ensure that we have a candidate that wants to win the election for it. Prof. Eleka is that candidate so described that we all yearn for.
Realistically, the good people of Ekiti State is looking up to the PDP for good governance, peace, and human capital development. They are counting on the PDP, as always, to take power for the greater good, and in the interest of developmental prosperity of all sons and daughters of Ekiti.
Ekiti PDP must not disappoint the yearnings, trust, and aspirations of the people. Therefore, in bringing to fruition this constitutionally enshrined mandate of delivering the dividend of democracy to all sons and daughters and residents in Ekiti, PDP must rise and soar with Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka.
Conclusively, the onus rests on all our shoulders to ensure we don’t fail the good people of Ekiti.
Oyewole Michael, a public affairs analyst and political commentator writes from Ado-Ekiti