The much-awaited All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election will hold today, Saturday, May 5.
The primary election will hold at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Dallimore area of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
A total 33 aspirants, including former governors Chief Segun Oni and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, are slugging it out in the race for the party’s ticket.
Also eyeing the ticket are Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Gbenga Aluko, Hon. Femi Bamisile, Dr.Wole Oluyede, Hon. Bamidele Faparusi, Hon. Bimbo Daramola, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, Senator Ayo Arise, Dr. Wole Oluleye and Dr. Adebayo Orire.
Others are Mr. Kola Alabi, Mr. Kayode Ojo, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, Mr. Victor Kolade, Mr. Debo Ajayi, Chief Dele Okeya, Chief Diran Adesua, Chief Sesan Fatoba, Dr. (Mrs.) Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, Mr. Olumuyiwa Coker and Deacon Adekunle Esan.
The rest are Mr. Dipo Ogunkoyode, Mr. Bodunde Adeyanju, Capt. Sunday Adebomi, Otunba Bisi Aloba, Otunba Yinka Akerele, Hon. Charles Dahunsi, Mr. Ajayi Olowo, Prince Tosin Olofinluyi and Mrs. Taye Matesun.
All the aspirants, who were cleared last week, have been given copies of the list of delegates expected to vote at the primary.
The Chairman of the Ekiti APC Governorship Electoral Committee, who is also the Nasarawa State governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, arrived with his team on Thursday with other members of the panel.
Other members of the panel are Hon. Magaji Aliyu (Secretary), Mr. Duke Oshodin, Mr. Robert Okwuego and Mr. Tunde Balogun.
A three-member Electoral Appeal Panel is chaired by Ambassador Fati Balla, with the two other members as Captain Bala Jibrin (Secretary) and Mrs. Lilian Obenwa.
At the time of filing this report, the venue of the primary was being given a facelift while the gadgets to be used were being installed.
Aspirants are making last-ditch contracts with delegates, who have now become beautiful brides in the political game. Their votes will decide the fate of the aspirants in the choice of the party’s flag bearer.
While some delegates were moving from the camp of one aspirant to the other, others relocated to secret locations from where they planned to storm the venue of the primary election.
The shadow election has become the talk of the town as residents discuss it as newsstands, bus stops, markets, shops, offices and junctions.
There seems to be a lot of interest in the APC candidate for the state’s governorship election because of the widely held belief that the ruling party is better positioned now to win the election after winning the 2015 presidential election.
A major talking point is the high number of aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket, which many observers consider unwieldy.
In the pack are contenders, pretenders and those who will just make up the number.
Observers believe that the scramble for the party’s ticket is hinged on the belief that the party has no sitting governor who could manipulate the process.
It is believed in some quarters that the APC has the chance to win, depending on the candidate it fields. The choice is that of the 2,618 delegates who will decide the fate of the aspirants.
The state’s governorship election is scheduled to hold on July 14.
Police assure of tight security
The Ekiti State Police Command has assured residents of security of lives and property before, during and after the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary today.
Outgoing Commissioner of Police in charge of the command, Mr. Abdullahi Chafe, gave the assurance yesterday at a valedictory news conference ahead of his pull-out out from service.
Chafe, an indigene of Zamfara State, retires from service today, having reached the official retirement age of 60.
The police chief said the police were ready to provide sufficient security for the APC delegates.
He said there was the need for the primary to be rancour-free for Ekiti to be in peace, adding that nobody will be allowed to threaten the relative peace in the state.
Chafe suggested that the Tanko Al-Makura-led Electoral Panel should extract a commitment from the aspirants to maintain peaceful conduct and agree on the delegates’ list.
He said: “I will only advise that His Excellency, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, should meet with all the aspirants before the primary and allow them to reach agreement on the list of delegates.
“This is the only thing I think can generate crisis after the conduct of the election. I know it will be difficult to agree on the list and later claim that the list was not genuine.
“But as regards security, our men will be on the ground and we shall ensure adequate security for all leaders and delegates.”
The police boss also commissioned the new Police Hospital built within the premises of Okesa Police Station to offer healthcare services to policemen and other residents of the state.
Accreditation Of Delegates Begin 10 am
The accreditation of 2,618 delegates that would elect the flagbearer of All Progressives Congress (APC) will start at 10 a.m, while the voting will start at 12noon.
The primary election will hold at Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Dallimore area of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
It was gathered that no delegates will be allowed to take his or her phone to voting points or snapping of the ballot paper.
Once a delegate has voted, he or she will be escorted out, no delegate will be allowed to remain in the stadium after voting.
Voting will be done by the local government by local government, and delegates from each of the local government will be made to drop their thumb printed ballot papers in the same box.
There will be 16 boxes, one for each of the local government.
Ballot papers will be displayed for all the agents to see and agreed on who has been voted for.