Former Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who emerged the winner in the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary, has dedicated his victory to the people of the state.
Fayemi, who is the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, polled a total of 941 votes, to defeat former Governor Segun Oni and 31 other aspirants.
In his acceptance speech at the venue of the exercise in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, he also dedicated the victory to his co-contesters as well as all members of the party.
Kayode Fayemi said: “Today, the people have spoken, and their voice has been heard resoundingly. What we have witnessed today, is one of the essential elements in the electoral cycle in any democracy.
“Indeed it has been a heartfelt contest and I am extremely humbled that delegates counted me worthy of the honour of bearing the banner of our great party.
“This victory is not mine alone, it belongs to all my co-contestants, it belongs to all the members of our great party, it belongs to Ekiti people who desire a greater tomorrow”.
Speaking further, he thanked the Chairman of the Primary Election Committee, Tanko Al-Makura, for restoring the “credibility” of the party by ensuring the exercise was free and fair especially after the previous exercise had been marred by violence.
“The free, fair and transparent process we have witnessed today, is a testament to our great party’s democratic credentials that guarantees a level playing field for everyone aspiring to a high office.
“This is a feat we must all be proud of and we cannot thank enough, the Al-makura committee for really giving our party credibility with such an excellent exercise they conducted,” Fayemi stated.
The governorship primary was held amid tight security, to avoid a recurrence of the failed exercise on May 5.
It was cancelled and later rescheduled for May 12 after suspected thugs were said to have invaded the venue and destroyed ballot boxes and electoral materials.
Saturday’s primary was keenly contested with 33 aspirants in the race initially.
The number was, however, reduced to 32 following the withdrawal of the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu.
He announced his decision on Thursday while addressing reporters in Ado Ekiti.
Senator Ojudu, who said he took the decision in the interest of peace, after the outcome of the previous exercise, declined to announce his support for any of the remaining aspirants.
But unlike the situation last week, the rescheduled primary started peacefully and was held in a more cordial atmosphere devoid of the arguments witnessed last Saturday.