Ekiti 2022: Meet The Leading Contenders

It’s no longer news that activities to the run up for the 2023 general elections is underway as preparations are now on top gear to determine who emerge as flag bearers of various political parties for different public offices.

Asides from the 2023 general elections which has been on the spotlight for a long time now, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to conduct gubanatorial elections in two southwestern states this year.

Ekiti and Osun states are part of the seven states where governorship elections won’t hold in the 2023 general elections, other states includes Anambra, Kogi, Bayelsa, Ondo and Edo.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced dates for conducting the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states.

The chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu had disclosed in a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja that the Ekiti governorship election will hold on June 18, 2022, while that of Osun will hold on July 16, 2022.

According to the final list of candidates published by INEC, 16 political parties presented governorship candidates alongside their running mates, for the June 18 Ekiti election.

Out of the 16 candidates jostling for the governorship position — 14 are male while two are female.

For the deputy governorship position, seven female candidates are vying for the position as well as nine male candidates.

Below are the candidates for the election and their running mates

A – Reuben Boye Famuyibo and Olumide Ezekiel Falana

AAC – Ajagunigbala Moses Olajide and Oludele Oluwabunmi

ADC –  Oluwole Olumayokun Oluyede and Popoola Hidiat Simbo

ADP –  Elebute-Halle Josephine Kemi and Afuye Idowu Sunday

APC – Abiodun Abayomi Oyebanji and Afuye Monisade

APGA – Benjamin Olufemi Obidoyin and Oluwafemi Anthony Faeji

APM – Fagbemi Peter Adegbenro and Akinyeye Oluwatosin Eunice

APP – Christiana Modupe Olatawura and Ibukun Solomon Owolabi

LP – Daramola Rowland Olugbenga and Onile Ibrahim Yusuf

NNPP –  Fatomilola Oladosu Abiodun and Ade-Ajayi Oluwatoyin Hannah

NRM – Iyaniwura Tope Ifedayo and Arowolo Kayode Williams

PDP – Olabisi Kolawole and Kolapo Olugbenga Kolade

PRP – Agboola Olaniyi Ben and Ogidan Tolulope Oluwatoyin

SDP – Olusegun Adebayo Oni and James Oladipo Owolabi

YPP – Adebowale Oluranti Ajayi and Olaseni Nureni Babatunde

ZLP –      Adeolu Kolade Akinyemi and         Damilola Akintoye

According to observers, the race is between APC and PDP initially due to the fact that traditionally, the governorship of the state since its creation in 1996 has been rotated between both parties.

But with the emergence of the Social Democratic Party with former governor Segun Oni as its candidate, it appears that the contest is taking the form of a 3 horse race.

Oni who’s regarded as the most experienced among those contesting the governorship poll in the state had defected to SDP weeks after losing the PDP’s Ekiti State Governorship Primary to Bisi Kolawole.

In this report, we beam the spotlight on the profile of the 3 leading candidates for the June 18 election.


Biodun Oyebanji

The Ekiti born politician was given birth to on December 21, 1967 at Ikogosi-Ekiti.

He bagged a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in Political Science from the Ondo State University (now Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti) in 1989 and thereafter studied at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State in 1992 where he acquired his Masters’ Degree (M.Sc) in Political Science (International Relations & Strategic Studies).

It is interesting to note that he was the youngest member and secretary of the Movement for the Creation of Ekiti, which had lobbied the late General Abacha for the creation of the State in 1996.

The former university lecturer served as a Special Assistant on Legislative Matters to the first governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, before he later became his Chief of Staff.

In the first term of governor Kayode Fayemi, he served as Director-General, Office of Transformation, Strategy and Delivery; Commissioner of Integration and Inter-governmental Relations as well as Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning among others.

Biodun Oyebanji resigned as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) on the 7th of December 2021 to contest the Governorship election of the state. He has the blessings of governor Kayode Fayemi.

Speaking about his track record, he said  “If I get the governorship ticket and win, I will be the first homeboy to be Ekiti governor. I schooled here in Ekiti from primary, secondary, and up to the university level.

“I got a solid tutelage from Niyi Adebayo for four years and seven years under Governor Fayemi. Out of the 25 years of the creation of this State, I have received 11 years of experience as a public servant. If other aspirants come to you, ask them where they got their pupilage from to be able to do well as a governor.

“During the creation of Ekiti State in 1996, I was barely 27 years and I served as the Secretary of the Committee for the creation of our dear state. Through this opportunity, I knew what the vision was then.

“I can never be an accidental governor. I knew the vision of Governor Fayemi and if you don’t want everything he has done for Ekiti to get spoilt as it was after 2014, then vote for me in this primary.”

The APC governorship candidate is married to Prof. (Mrs) Oyebanji, who is an associate professor at the prestigious University of Ibadan and also a princess in Ado Ekiti.

Bisi Kolawole

The PDP candidate was born on September 20, 1956, in Ile-Ife and he hails from Efon-Alaaye in Ekiti State, Nigeria.

He bagged a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Graphics design and also got both a Post-graduate diploma and Masters in Public Administration at Ekiti State University (EKSU).

He was a former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly in the year 2007 to 2011.

From 2015 to 2018, he served as the Commissioner for Environment under the tenure of Governor Ayodele Fayose and he was once the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president of Ekiti state.

In the year 2020, he contested for Ekiti, PDP chairperson, and he won. He resigned in September 2021 to join the 2022 gubernatorial primary race.

On why he is contesting the former Ekiti PDP chairman who is strongly backed by the former governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, said: I am contesting because we are very familiar with the situation in Ekiti. We know where the shoe pinches because the present APC government in the state has not done enough. People are suffering with no care from the government. The workers and pensioners are being owed as we speak.

The roads and other facilities are bad and dilapidated and our youths are not being encouraged to go into farming and other opportunities. With me in the saddle, all these will be looked into. Let me tell you that the totality of all these things will make an average Ekiti person comfortable and well.

Don’t forget that I am familiar with governance, having been a member of the House of Assembly, and a commissioner in the state. All these are important. The people are not asking government to make them millionaires. They just want to be comfortable. Provide adequate social services to them. The totality of all I have said is one of the reasons that have prompted me to go all out for it and by the grace of God, with experience and support of the people, the situation will improve.”

He’s married to to Deaconess Adeola Kehinde Kolawole nee Fajilade from Ikere-Ekiti.

Segun Oni

Olusegun Oni served as Ekiti state governor from 2007 to 2010. He was born on September 5, 1954 in Ifaki, Ekiti.

He attended Methodist Secondary Modern School, Ifaki Ekiti and Wesley College, Ibadan. He is also an alumnus of Community Secondary Modern School, Ido Ekiti, Ayetoro-Iloro High School and University of Ife.

As an engineer, he became a corporate member, Nigerian Society of Engineers in 1987 and subsequently became a COREN registered Engineer in 1988.

Oni served as the Treasurer of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers from 1986 to 1988.

He ventured in to politics as a founding member of United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in Ekiti.

In 2007, he got elected as the 7th executive governor of Ekiti state under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was however removed from office in October 2010 after an appeal court ruled against him.

Segun Oni served as the Deputy National Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC) in the South.

In 2022, he picked nomination form to run for governor under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However after he lost in the primary election to Bisi Kolawole.

He has since dumped the party for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) which represents a third force with large followership to contest the June 18 governorship election in the state.

He has promised to prioritize the security of the people, employment generation, commercial agriculture, good governance, affordable health services, massive road Infrastructures  and would ultimately return power to the people, to whom he holds the power in trust.

“I have served you before, you know that I represent transparency and development and these  I will give you you if elected on June 18. I can’t deceive you, it is the same Segun Oni that you voted for in 2007, I shall keep all my promises with you. I believe in the people and the power shall be in your hands this time, like I did during my first term”. He said.

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