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Ekiti 2022: Women go for Fayemi’s job

Ahead of the Ekiti State governorship election holding in 2022, ADEWUMI ADEMIJU writes that women have now taken the gauntlet as nine of them on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have indicated interest to succeed Governor Kayode Fayemi

 

Gender equality in the political system is gradually unfolding as Ekiti State prepares for the gubernatorial election in 2022. This is evident as nine women in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have expressed their determination to jostle for the number one position in the state.

 

From 2003 when Ayodele Fayose emerged the flagbearer of the party, also in 2007, 2011 till date, it had been men all the way as their female counterparts took the back seat.

 

However, the handwritings on the wall would likely take a new leaf for the PDP in Ekiti State in the next political dispensation because out of 17 aspirants who have obtained expression of interest and nomination forms for the governorship position from the PDP nine of them are women, who are determined for the state to produce the first female governor next year.

 

The nine female politicians are individually determined to jostle against the former governor of the state, Engineer Segun Oni and the anointed candidate of the immediate past governor, Ayodele Fayose. Fayose had openly endorsed the PDP state Chairman and former Commissioner for Environment, Chief Bisi Kolawole to join the political battle. Prominent among the women in the race are the Senator representing Ekiti South in the upper chamber, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi.

 

 

Others are Mrs. Olumide Ojo; Olukemi Olubunmi from Ido Osi Council Area of the state; Chief (Mrs.) Arogundade Olutoyin from Ekiti East Local Government and Princess Adekemi Adewunmi from Efon Local Government Area.

 

Others are Mrs. Cecilia Ebiesuwa from Emure; Mrs. Adewumi Adesoye (Ado); Mrs. Titilayo Owolabi Akerele (Ikole); Mrs. Modupe Asaolu ( Ekiti South West ) and Mrs. Deborah Alo (Ido Osi). Senator Olujimi said her desire to bring revolution to all critical sectors in the state propelled the aspiration.

 

“Our mission is to rebuild, to reposition and to regain the state’s glory. We are very committed with passion to make sure that Ekiti occupies its rightful position in the comity of states.

 

“We will remain focused on our mission to turnaround the fortunes of the state by revolutionising all the critical sectors of governance with direct focus on the downtrodden masses. “And also, our plan is to explore all the areas of possible economic prosperity and development without exploiting the people. God Almighty had blessed Ekiti State with abundant natural and human resources. What we need is the right leadership.

 

And Olujimi is the right person. “So, all we need is a candidate with good character, great antecedents and that is popular. And I have consistently proved that with my track records.

 

 

My footprints are everywhere in the state despite being from Ekiti South” For the PDP stakeholders in the state, it’s a development which portrays the party as a respecter of women, even as the stated that it is also a sign of optimism that the PDP has a brighter chance than any other party to coast to victory in the forthcoming gubernatorial poll.

 

While some people expressed the opinion that those women aspirants, if they are seriously determined, could as well come together and pick one out of their multitude for the political contest.

 

The party stakeholders said the PDP as a party with a large heart is in the habit of giving everyone a level playing ground in political participation, adding that the female aspirants are equally entitled to the same treatment/status as their male counterparts.

The State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Rapheal Adeyanju said the step is a good development which signals the PDP as a liberal party, saying it’s a sign of hope for the party because according to him, women will never dabble in fruitless efforts.

 

“That women are coming out to contest this time around shows that the PDP is a very liberal party and that it gives room to everybody to attain any position in equal right, equal opportunity irrespective of gender or whatever, it also encourages women to actually participate in politics, that women are contesting also shows that they know that PDP is a very free and fair party, just to everybody and really gender sensitive.

 

“Women are not intimidated by the status and the credentials of other aspirants, this shows that the prospect of the party is very bright and that the chances of women are bright because they would never engage in abortive mission, any act without prospect, women would not embark on it that is the strength of the PDP “

 

Adeyanju added that the number of aspirants in the governorship race is a sign of hope that the PDP will produce the next governor, adding that ”whoever emerges as the candidate of the party would be the next governor of the state; the development is a great mobiliser for the party “The ruling party has destroyed its own reputation and the only alternative is the PDP “

 

Buttressing the assertion, the former State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi said that the PDP has always been a party with opportunities as it gives opportunity to the underprivileged.

 

“There have been several studies on the  exclusion of women and even people living with disability and the fact that women are coming out , first of all the PDP gives them the discriminatory expression of interest form while the men are paying N20m, the women are paying N1m.

 

It’s a good development and there is assurance that one day, a woman will be governor of this state, even if not now” On the hope for the women aspirants considering the fact that people like former governor, Segun Oni is running for the post, Ogunsuyi said ”If you can’t get the high hanging apples, you should go for the low hanging ones.

 

What is important is that none of them would come out of this worse than they went in. They all have opportunities. At elections, women are mobilisers. Studies have shown that 60 per cent of voters are women and youths.”

On his own part, Special Adviser to the former governor Ayodele Fayose on Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka explained that when seeking a party’s ticket, there are two forms to be taken – expression of interest and nomination form.

 

“For this governorship election, expression of interest is N1,000,000 and nomination form is N20m making N21m. Female aspirants only pay expression of interest form which is N1million, while the men paid N21 million.

 

The PDP encourages women to partake in politics, that is why the party is able to record that level of participation. PDP has always been women friendly because they are active in electioneering” On whether those PDP female aspirants are really serious contenders, he responded in the affirmative, adding that that shows the position of the party, giving concession “even in business, you give discount to people to buy goods.

 

That does not mean the buyers are not serious. They have the same chance just like every other aspirant; they have the chance of being voted for by the delegates which gives them the chance just like other aspirants.” Meanwhile, the Chairman of the PDP Screening Committee, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, has said the Clearance Certificate of that all aspirants screened on November 8, 2021, should be collected at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja. A terse release on the issue said: “This is to inform all Aspirants screened on Monday, November 08, 2021, that the Provisional Clearance Certificate is ready for collection. Aspirants are requested to visit the Directorate of Organization and Mobilization at the national secretariat or send representatives to collect their clearance certificates”

 

The aspirants are: Engr Olusegun Adebayo Oni – Ido-Osi Local government area (Ekiti North Senatorial District); Arc. Ajijola Lateef Oladimeji – Ado Local government area ( Ekiti Central); Otunba Bisi Kolawole – Efon Local government area (Ekiti Central); Albert Kayode Adaramodu – Ekiti South West Local government area (Ekiti South) and Hon Aribisala Adewale – Ikole Local government Area ( Ekiti North).

 

Others are Hon. Ogunsakin Kazeem Ayodeji – Ado Local Government Area (Ekiti Central); Hon. Mrs Olumide Ojo Olukemi Olubunmi –Ido /Osi Local Government Area (Ekiti North); Hon Chief Mrs Arogundade Olutoyin Arike – Ekiti East Local Government (Ekiti Central); Professor Kolapo Olubunmi Olusola Eleka – Ikere Local government Area (Ekiti South); Princess Adekemi Adewunmi – Efon Local government Area (Ekiti Central).

 

Others are Mrs Cecillia Ebiesuwa – Emure Local government Area (Ekiti South); Mrs. Adewumi Adesoye – Ado Local government Area (Ekiti Central); Hon. Mrs Titilayo Owolabi Akerele – Ikole Local Government Area (Ekiti North) and Mrs. Modupe Asaolu – Ekiti South West Local government (Ekiti South).

 

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