Ekiti 2018: APC To Continue Last Saturday’s Primary Election As 27 APC Aspirants reject Continuation

Twenty-seven governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State have vowed to resist the plan by the National Secretariat to continue last Saturday’s primary election from where it stopped.

The shadow poll was aborted by violence unleashed by suspected thugs when voting was underway. The exercise was suspended by the Electoral Committee led by Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Al-Makura.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, was reported to have said that the primary would continue from where it stopped on Saturday.

Addressing a news conference on Monday, the aspirants led by former Governor Segun Oni rejected the position of the National Working Committee (NWC) as canvassed by Abdullahi insisting that anything short of the conduct of fresh primary won’t stand.

They called for the constitution of a fresh electoral committee to conduct a fresh primary saying they have lost confidence in the Governor Umaru Al-Makura-led panel which oversaw the botched primary.

The aspirants said “ballots used for last Saturday’s primary are no longer valid and tenable” having not been counted in the presence of everybody that witnessed the shadow election.

Present at the parley were Oni, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, Hon Bimbo Daramola, Senator Ayo Arise, Senator Gbenga Aluko, Mr. Kola Alabi, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, Dr Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, Debo Ajayi, Dr. Bayo Orire, Hon. Bamidele Faparusi, Chief Diran Adesua, Mr. Ajayi Olowo, among others.

The spokesperson of the aspirant, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, said the integrity and credibility of the ballot papers used for the primary could no longer be vouched for hence the need to conduct a fresh primary.

She said: “The whole world could see how they smashed the ballot boxes and displayed it on the swampy ground that day. The ballot papers were not counted and we can’t vouch for its credibility any longer.

“By this act, the voting process had been violated and we are requesting for a fresh and new primary. We also request for a new committee to conduct the primary because many of those in the panel are business associate of an aspirant. Some of them are incurably one-sided.”

On the rumour that it was a gang up against Fayemi, Mr. Kola Alabi said: “This is not true, it is a statement that we need transparency because he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”.

Adesua said: “The ballot papers used for the Saturday primary are no longer valid, they are no longer tenable because they ought to have been counted at the venue and the result announced at the venue.

“Nobody knows what has happened to them and in whose custody they are kept. Some of the ballot papers were even destroyed in the violence.”

Another aspirant, Debo Ajayi corrected the impression that the party is divided; saying their demands for the transparent primary should not be misinterpreted to mean a rebellion against the party.

Oni also used the forum to condemn the removal of Jide Awe as the state Chairman by a group of party members who installed a caretaker exco after sacking the party secretariat.

Oni said: “This is a political party and nobody can just wake up and say he wants to remove party leaders without following due process.

“There are processes spelt out for the removal of a state Chairman and other members of his council. Unfortunately, these people are getting desperate and they continue to get desperate and this will lead us nowhere.

“We can’t be coerced, intimidated or repressed by anybody, this party belongs to all of us. They should be careful so that they won’t lead us into chaos.

“We beg those propelling them, those behind them to take caution in the interest of our party.”

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