By Eric Elezuo
With the declaration by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State that he is giving his support to his Deputy as the next governor, notable divisions has erupted within the party’s rank and file.
With the likes Sikiru Lawal and Abiodun Aluko quitting the party, stakeholders believe that trouble is lurking behind. However, while many of the aspirants have gone low key, a good many others are still breathing fire and brimstone. Here is a compilation of the strength and weaknesses of three more prominent contenders from the lot.
The man famously known as Ekede is without doubt the most favoured of all Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants for the Ekiti governorship seat. This is because he has the mandate of the present Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose. He is without mincing words, the ‘anointed one’.
Fayose’s open support for Olusola, who is presently the Deputy Governor of the state, is the biggest assurance that he is going to grab the ticket to represent the PDP at the polls.
The 49 years old Prof. Kolapo Olubunmi Olusola was born to the family of Elder and Deaconess Olusola Ojo Eleka of Eleka’s compound in Ikere-Ekiti.
He started his education at St. Matthew’s Primary School, Ikere-Ekiti in 1972 and completed it in 1978 when he proceeded to Annunciation School, Ikere-Ekiti for his Secondary School Education, which he completed in 1983. He performed exceptionally while in school, and was constantly winning the best student award.
Between 1984 and 1989, he attended the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and obtained his first degree in Building. Again, he graduated as the best student in his set. Prof Kolapo Olusola also holds a Master’s Degree in Construction Technology from the University of Lagos in 1993 and Ph.D. in Building Structures from Obafemi Awolowo University in 2005.
Prof Kolapo Olusola started his career in 1990 as a Graduate Assistant from where he rose through the ranks to become an Associate Professor in 2009.
Until his election as Deputy Governor in 2014, Prof Olusola was enjoying a career in the Department of Building, Obafemi Awolowo University as a classroom teacher. His lecturing career spanned 24 years with over 50 academic research publications in local and international journals and conference proceedings to his credit.
Apart from age being on his side, he is known to be very diligent, hardworking and principled. As an epitome of humility, he radiates love and affection towards people around him. Again, his unflinching loyalty to his boss, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State is notable and has made both the young and old people of Ekiti adjudge him as “Stabilizing Factor” and a special gift not only to his boss but to the entire people of Ekiti State. This also earned him the anointed status as the next governor.
Biodun Christine Olujimi is a serving lawmaker in the upper legislative house, representing Ekiti South Senatorial District. Just about the only woman in the race presently, Olujimi was born to a Photographer father and Seamstress mother on Christmas day of 1958. She hails from Omuo-Ekiti in Ekiti South Local Government Area of Ekiti State Nigeria.
Biodun Olujimi had her early education at our Lady of Apostles, Ibadan, Oyo State, and went ahead to obtain a Diploma in Journalism from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. She obtained a degree in Political Science and a postgraduate degree in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Abuja and holds a certificate in IT with emphasis on web Development from the Michigan State University.
Biodun Olujimi had been a hard nut to crack in her political sojourn, remaining a vocal voice on the floor of the Senate, especially on matters relating to women and children. Her desire to care for others is borne out of the fact that she is a product of a hard-working lower class family that did not create opportunities for children like her. She therefore, made it her life’s work to ‘fight’ for lower class families.
Biodun cut her career teeth at the age of fourteen when she became a shop assistant in a fabric shop in Lagos. From the proceeds, she assisted her large family of seven siblings, and still saved for her education. Her story is a typical example of grass to grace.
She also had stints with the Nigerian Tribune, Nigerian Posts and Telecommunication, Nigerian Television Authority, the Delta Steel Company Ovwian Aladja, Reflex Concept and DBN Television before delving into politics in 1997 as the National Publicity Secretary of the now defunct NCPN.
Upon the dissolution of NCPN, Biodun joined the All Peoples Congress and eventually became the National Publicity Secretary.
She later joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2002 and has attained great heights in her political Career. She was appointed Special Assistant to the Executive Governor of Ekiti State in 2003 and was later elected to the Federal house of Assembly. In 2005, she became the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State under Governor Ayo Fayose.
Later, Mrs. Olujimi became Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in Ekiti State under Governor Segun Oni as well as Director of Women Affairs, Goodluck-Sambo Campaign Organisation at the 2011 General Election. She is one aspirant that has seen the in and out of politics. Her experience is overwhelming. If the women could rally round her as one of their own, then other aspirants should beware.
Biodun and her husband Chief Ariyo Olujimi, have been married for 32 years and their marriage is blessed with Children and Grand-children.
Popularly known as the true emblem of Ekiti people, Jeremiah Bisi Omoyeni was born January 16, 1958 in Ikere-Ekiti to Late Chief Omotayo Gabriel Omoyeni and Mrs. Bosede Beatrice Omoyeni under the tutelage of his biological parents. He reportedly found himself in the midst of a family already devoted to the tenets of Christianity and continued to grow with the fear of the God.
He started his primary school education in 1964, at the Holy Trinity primary School, Odo Oja, Ikere-Ekiti and completed it in 1969. Between 1970 and 71, he attended St. Benedict Modern School, Ikere-Ekiti before proceeding to Amoye Grammar School, Ikere-Ekiti where he completed his secondary education 1975.
He later trained as a teacher at the St. John Mary’s Teachers Training College, Owo between 1976 and 1977, and in 1979, he was admitted into the then University of Ife, (now Obafemi Awolowo, Ile-Ife) to study Demography but after a session he moved over to the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos where he graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Insurance in 1983. His brilliance earned him a Federal Government Merit/Scholarship as the best student in Insurance and Actuarial Sciences Department in 1981. He is also a holder two additional postgraduate degrees which he obtained from the University of Lagos. They are Masters in Banking and Finance (MBF) and International Law and Relation in 1991 and 1993 respectively.
Omoyeni is a thoroughbred professional, rising steadily in his chosen career to become the Managing Director of Wema Bank.
In 2014, he tried his hands at the governorship seat, but was unsuccessful as the incumbent governor, Ayodele Fayose, was declared winner.