From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The governorship campaign posters of former governor of Ekiti State, Engr Segun Oni, flooded strategic locations in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, and other towns on Tuesday
The posters with the logo of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) carried a bold inscription, “Segun Oni for Governor, for a Greater Tomorrow”.
They were pasted in conspicuous places in Ado-Ekiti metropolis, including Ajilosun, Basiri, Ijigbo, Ilawe Road, Okeyinmi; and other towns, including Ikere Ekiti, Ifaki and swing vote communities across the 16 Local Government Areas of the state.
The posters attracted attention, with people clustering around to discuss politics.
The campaign posters come in spite of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not fixing a date or time tables for the election.
The last governorship election was conducted on July 14, 2018, where Governor Kayode Fayemi defeated the candidate of the PDP and the then Deputy Governor, Prof Kolapo Olusola Eleka.
Oni was the governor of Ekiti between May 29, 2007, and October 15, 2010, after which he was removed through a judgement delivered by former President of Appeal Court, Justice Ayo Isa Salami, in a case instituted by Kayode Fayemi, then of the Action Congress (AC).
Going by the perception of the people, Oni was admired for his performances in the areas of infrastructure and the management of the lean resources of the state, in spite of the distraction caused by long-drawn litigation against him.
Oni defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014 to support Governor Fayemi’s second term ambition, where he held a position of the Deputy National Chairman (South).
He contested the 2018 APC governorship primary, where he garnered a total of 482 votes to emerge as a runner-up to Fayemi, who clinched the ticket.
The former governor returned to the PDP in 2020, following alleged maltreatment and ostracisation of his members in the APC.
Commenting on the posters, Dr Bayo Arowolaju, a former Special Adviser to Oni during his time as governor and a member of the media team of the ex-governor’s political platform, “Atunse Ekiti”, said they must have emanated from those agitating for the return of his former boss as a governor.
Arowolaju added that the pressure on his former boss to return as a governor has been immense in the last year, saying the posters could be as a result of it.
‘Well, as an insider in Atunse Ekiti group, I knew that Engr Segun Oni has not formally declared his intention for the plum seat, but there are agitations from groups and individuals that he should take a plunge in 2022.
‘All Ekiti people are beginning to see and appreciate how Segun Oni managed the lean resources of our dear state to build road Infrastructures, construct one storey buildings in primary schools, employ over 6,000 civil servants, revamped Ikun dairy farm, Romaco and other moribund state-owned firms,’ he said.
‘These posters to us were just a call that the right person should be allowed to govern the state for the people to feel the dividends of democracy.’