There was drama at Ekiti State All Progressives Congress (APC) secretariat in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday as the Olajide Awe-led exco resumed office two days after scores of party members invaded the place and shut it down.
Their supporters removed a big pot of sacrifice and palm fronds placed at the gate of the secretariat.
They also smeared the ground with salt to ‘neutralise’ them and threw the fetish objects on the main road.
Addressing a news conference in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, Awe said the rain that fell on the day the fetish objects was placed at the secretariat had “turned the evil on those who put it there.”
Motorists and motorcyclists avoided the objects placed in the centre of the road.
Some party members stormed the secretariat and claimed to have dissolved the Awe-led exco and ‘installed’ a caretaker committee led by APC Chairman in Ise/Orun Local Government, Mr. Kayode Egunjobi, to run the affairs for three months.
They accused Awe of collecting a bribe of N75 million from Governor Ayo Fayose, bungling the May 5 primary, favouring a particular aspirant, alleged embezzlement of party funds, among others.
Addressing a news conference shortly after regaining office, Awe said the action of some leaders and members who invaded the secretariat and ‘sacked’ the duly elected exco constituted a breach of party constitution and gross indiscipline.
The party chair explained that he and his exco went to the APC National Secretariat in Abuja to brief the national leaders on the crisis adding that a Disciplinary Committee has been set up to investigate those directly and remotely linked with the ‘coup.’
Awe said his exco also met with the Chairman of the Ekiti Governorship Primary Electoral Committee, Governor Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa State on the modalities for the conduct of a fresh primary.
In a related development, some leaders of the Ekiti APC have kicked against the use of direct primary for the conduct of the rescheduled primary slated for Friday.
In a letter addressed to Al-Makura dated May 9 a copy of which was made available to our reporter on Wednesday, said the use of direct primary was against the principle of fairness and justice to change the rules in the middle of the game.
The letter was also copied to the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the National Working Committee (NWC).
According to the letter signed by Mr. Samuel Abejide, Comrade Ade Ajayi and Mrs. Moji Fafure, under the aegis of Ekiti Concerned Delegates and Leaders, they insisted that any aspirant who is not ready for the election can withdraw honourably from the race rather than “suggesting ridiculous options that will lead to nowhere but doom.”
They also warned against the use of Option A4 which they described as “another danger for the party” as it would give an opportunity to sponsored thugs to disrupt coupled with the fact that it is cumbersome and will not be possible to mobilize human and material resources within the time available for the conduct of primaries.
The letter read in part: “The direct primaries option is a flagrant denial of the rights of the delegates who have been empowered through electoral process by the financial members of their wards otherwise called Ward Congress to vote for the governorship aspirant of their choice in primary elections to elect party’s candidates.
“The delegates so empowered have not relinquished this right and mandate of the people, and so denying them this voting right which has commenced on May 5before the process was aborted, is tantamount to disenfranchisem
“We are aware that the real motive of the aspirants in suggesting this option is to give them an ample opportunity to finally disrupt the exercise by deploying thugs and cultists who would abort the exercise and cause a stalemate. The result of this is that APC will not have a candidate to present until the May 15 deadline would lapse.
“We wish to state clearly that we are ready for a repeat of the delegate primaries and we say no to direct primaries because it is a recipe for the crisis which has been predetermined by aspirants who are not ready for any election but want the whole process stalemated because they have ganged up against a particular aspirant.
“We wish to advise the aspirants who are clamouring for direct primaries to brace up for a repeat of the aborted delegates primaries on Friday because the direct primary option is not feasible and it is not in the best interest of democracy, Ekiti APC and Ekiti people generally.