Ekiti erupts in jubilation as court declares Fayemi governor

THE PUNCH Newspaper

There was wild jubilation in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital on Friday as the Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin declared Dr. Kayode Fayemi the legally elected governor of Ekiti State.

Civil servants, who monitored the court proceedings on the telephone, were the first set of people who trooped out of their offices to celebrate the verdict. The civil servants, after running round their offices in wild jubilation, closed abruptly and left for their various homes.

Our correspondents, who moved round the state, observed that jubilant youths who rode on motorcycles and drove cars and buses, held brooms, which is the symbol of the Action Congress of Nigeria and sang praises of the new governor.

Thousands of ACN supporters, including old men and women, trooped to the party secretariat along Ajilosun Street to celebrate the victory.

However, the ousted governor, Mr. Segun Oni, did not leave the Government House despite the verdict which nullified his election until around 2.30 pm.

Oni, who dressed in a white lace material with a red cap, headed straight for the chapel inside the Government House to worship before removing his belongings.

Although journalists were locked outside the Government House gate, it was gathered that the Ifaki born politician sang praises to God before finally packing out.

Though Oni managed to look composed, some of his aides were in tears and there was graveyard silence inside the Government House despite the deafening noise from ACN supporters outside the gate.

Some bags were seen packed outside the residential quarters inside the Government House. While his aides were packing some of his personal belongings inside a bullet-proof Mercedes Benz bus, Oni told them to remove the bags because he was not going with the bus, which is a government vehicle.

Oni, told journalists before finally leaving. The verdict is a verdict of man and not of God.. I have been here and I served our people conscientiously.

“What is wrong with our people is still wrong with them. No government can thrive by spoon feeding the citizens. I saw that attitude here.

”My greatest ambition now is that when the next governorship election will be held here I want to support those who had worked conscientiously with me.”

While Oni was still inside the Government House, jubilant residents had gathered outside the gate seeking to dislodge the former occupants from the place.

It took the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Nicholas Nkemdeme, who led riot policemen loaded in about 10 vans and the officials of the State Security Services to prevent the crowd from surging inside the Government House.

Former Gov. Ayo Fayose, who is now a chief of the Labour Party, danced round the town in his Hummer Jeep to celebrate the declaration of Fayemi, who he supported during the rerun poll.

Fayose said, ”Oni is a product of injustice from the beginning. I knew he would go, but I didn‘t know the time. My advice to Fayemi is to probe Oni‘s illegal administration because he has plundered the state resources.”

Also, the Commissioner for Information in Lagos State, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, described the verdict as the work of God. He said that he had expected that the Court of Appeal would correct the mistakes made by the lower tribunal.

Bamidele said, “What has happened today is to the glory of God.”

The chairman for the Committee for the Creation of Ekiti State, Chief Deji Fasuan, also described the judgment as the work of God. Fasuan said that Fayemi deserved the victory and the court did the right thing by declaring him the governor.

Fayemi, however, ordered that the accounts of the state be frozen with immediate effect.

Fayemi, who spoke on a local radio station, Araba FM, directed the Permanent Secretary of the state ministry of finance, Mr. Bunmi Famosaya, to effect the order.


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