The Senior Special Assistant to the President (Public Affairs), Doyin Okupe, on Monday celebrated the victory of Governor elect, Ayodele Fayose, at the Ekiti elections, noting that it was “the Lord’s doing.”
“For us to come to the choice of Fayose was also a very extremely difficult one but we knew that if anybody had a chance, it was Fayose,” Okupe said, while on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
According to him, Fayose’s strengths included the fact that he had once been a governor of the State.
“He had infrastructural things that he could lay claim to have been the one who was responsible for them and he also had an unusual popularity that is quite uncommon.
“We knew that he had an overwhelming popularity especially among the grassroots who actually are the voters.”
Inspite of all these, Okupe noted that it was a tough battle with outgoing governor, Kayode Fayemi.
“Anytime you have to compete with an incumbent without any doubt and you do not intend to thwart the electoral efforts of the voters, you have to be very worried.”
He also noted that about 50 per cent of the elites in the State did not want Fayose, but over 95 per cent of the ordinary people wanted him.
On the internal wranglings resulting from the fact that there were about 21 others who wanted Fayose’s position, Okupe stressed that the PDP could not afford a divided house in the elections and so a meeting had been conducted in Mr Bode George’s house.
Following the meeting, which Okupe said lasted about 10 hours, all grievances had been settled. “It was difficult but God was with us. The truth of the matter is that once God has a hand in something, then half of the battle or three quarters of the battle is won.”
“This was just the lord’s doing and we are pleasantly very happy,” Okupe added.
He further praised the Governor elect, maintaining that he “is a broken man” who has gone through the “wilderness experience”.
He noted that Fayose “will still be one of the best governors that Nigeria will ever produce.”
Commenting on claims that the outgoing Governor, Kayode Fayemi, lost out because he was elitist, Okupe said “there’s nothing wrong in being elite and in being elitist… but you must not allow that status to dislocate you from the people you are supposed to be leading.”
He commended Fayemi for conceding defeat, noting that Fayemi has a correct pedigree and hybrid. “It is not over for Fayemi,” he said.
Asked if the election had been about stomach politics, Okupe said “I don’t think so.”
Fayose supporters, who Okupe described as Fayose fanatics, had paid for tshirts and bands and funds generated were used to buy rice distributed to villagers.
Okupe called on Nigerians to learn from the Ekiti election and asked the national leadership of the opposition, All Progressives Congress to have the same conscience and mind like Fayemi because they “will eventually lose at the national election.”