Generally and for partisan reasons, the importance of the so called southern agenda to the People Democratic Party (PDP) has been misunderstood or undermined by many opinion writers. Yes it is within the right of any Ekiti son or daughter that is of age constitutionally to aspire to govern our state irrespective of birth place.
However, a PDP candidate from the southern senatorial district has comparative advantage over others. It is therefore within the right of Ekiti south senatorial district to set for themselves an agenda to showcase the advantage of picking the party’s candidate from their district. They have the right to set an agenda that seek to break the hold of other senatorial districts on the governorship seat of Ekiti.
Southern agenda in my view therefore means a district including on their to do list the desire to produce the next governor of Ekiti by showcasing their strength. You may fault the approach adopted by some groups but you can not deprive a people the right to agitate for what I consider their right historically.
Ekiti Political history shows that the southern senatorial district has een conspicuously marginalized, therefore zoning the governorship to the district will be seen as an attempt by the PDP to right an age long wrong. It may not matter how many times we try correcting the political conspiracy against the district as a party, until the desire for the south to produce a governor is achieved, equality is not in view.
Ekiti State was created on 1 October 1996. From creation, the State has 16 local government areas, 3 senatorial districts and 6 houses of Representative constituencies.
Before the Present democratic dispensation, Ekiti had 2 military administrators, Col (retired) Mohammed Bawa (7 October 1996 – August 1998)
and Navy Captain (retired) Atanda Yusuf (September 1998 – May 1999) who administered the state until the military juntas handed power to a democratically elected governor on the 29 May, 1999.
Ironically, the Southern Senatorial District with the highest number of Local Government Areas, 6 of 16 has never produced an elected Governor of Ekiti State. Note also that Ekiti South has 64 of the total 177 wards and 666 of the total 2,171 polling units.
Statistics shows that Ekiti South Senatorial District has the second largest registered voters and vote cast in previous senatorial and governorship elections. If an acceptable candidate from the south emerges through a free and fair primary, the largest vote in the history of elections in Ekiti may be recorded from the Southern senatorial district.
The Central and North Senatorial districts of Ekiti have produced 2 elected governors and an acting governor each since the creation of the State. While the Southern senatorial only had their son act as the
Governor for 3 months during the governorship rerun election ordered by the appeal court in 2009.
Indeed the people of Ekiti South can be said to have had a fair share of access to the position of the State Deputy Governor, hence pacifying them with a deputy governorship position is no longer intriguing. Four past Deputy Governors are from the southern senatorial district. Interestingly, all 4 worked with former Governor Ayodele Fayose, 3 during his first term in office and 1 in his second term. The Central has also produce 4 Deputy Governors while the North only had 1.
It is therefore politically smart that the Chairmanship of the PDP is retained in the Central while the south and north produce a Governorship and deputy Governorship candidate respectively. This will afford the North the opportunity of producing the Deputy Governor for the second term. The central can also produce a substantive Speaker of the House of Assembly for the first time.
Equality, the state of being equal is one of the ideals a democratic society. Therefore the PDP should strive to attain the state of equal access to opportunity between the three senatorial district in Ekiti state. For a peaceful coexistence, it is essential that we progress towards that ideal of everyone being truly equal.
Prince ‘Tosin Jegede writes from Ilogbo Ekiti.