A FEW days before the Ekiti election, the competition is fierce among the contestants as each tries to outdo one another in an outdoor promotional campaign.
Sixteen candidates are jostling to replace Dr. Olukayode Fayemi as the governor of Ekiti State in the Saturday, June 18 election.
The ICIR observed posters of several candidates on the streets of Ado-Ekiti, the capital city.
Prominent among them are the posters of the APC candidate Abiodun Abayomi Oyebanji, PDP candidate Olabisi Kolawole, SDP candidate Olusegun AdebayoOni, ADP candidate Elebute-Halle Josephine Kemi and ADC candidate Oluwole Olumayokun Oluyede.
Oyebanji, a former lecturer, banker and businessman, was the former secretary to the state government. He holds BSC and Master’s degrees in Political Science (International Relations & Strategic Studies). He is 55 years old. Bisi Kolawole, 66, a former Commissioner for Environment and former House of Assembly member in the state, hails from Efon-Ekiti, in the Central senatorial district. He was the immediate past chairman of the PDP in Ekiti State until he joined the gubernatorial race.
An engineering graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University, Oni is currently contesting under Social Democratic Party.
Another engineer in the race is Elebute –Halle Josephine Kemi, born in 1982. The graduate of Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti and University of Technology Minna, Niger State, is the flagbearer of the Action Democratic Party (ADP). She is from Ikole, Ekiti and is well-known for her philanthropy.
Oluwole Olumayokun Oluyede, 57, is from Ikere Ekiti. A medical doctor and businessman, he graduated from the University of Ilorin and practised in Lagos before relocating to the United States. Oluyede attended a residency program at Upstate University, Syracuse, USA and was certified by the Canadian Medical board.
After failing to obtain the APC ticket for governorship, he decamped to ADC to realise his dream.
The gubernatorial candidate of The Young Progressives Party (YPP) is Adebwale Olutranti Ajayi. A businessman and the CEO of TAF Consulting Limited.
There are 10 other candidates in the race, but their posters are not widely distributed in the capital city where The ICIR visited. In the 2018 election, 35 candidates contested.
The 16 candidates will be contesting for the votes of more than 700,000 voters in the state.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), not fewer than 76 per cent of voters have collected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) across the 177 wards in the state.
Out of the 988,923 registered voters, 749, 065 have collected PVC as of Monday, June 13. The collection will continue till Thursday, said the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.