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Protests rock Ekiti as aspirants tackle NWC over inconclusive primary

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Kayode Fayemi. PHOTO: NAN


Party may disqualify contestants

Protests rocked the All Progressives Congress (APC) secretariat in Ekiti State yesterday, as those sympathetic to former Governor Kayode Fayemi registered their disapproval over the conduct of the State Working Committee (SWC).The protesters passed a no-confidence vote on the State Chairman of the party, Jide Awe, and its spokesman, Taiwo Olatunbosun, for allegedly supporting one of the aspirants in the race.

The protest was staged under the aegis of Concerned APC Stakeholders, comprising mostly delegates and party leaders from the local government and ward levels.They accused Awe of working with the state government to destabilise the party ahead of the July 14 governorship election and that he had been offered N75 million to carry out the assignment.Citing Article 21 (7) of the party’s constitution, they disbanded the SWC and set up a Caretaker Committee headed by APC Chairman in Ise/Orun Council, Michael Eegunjobi.

The protesters laced the gate of the party in Ajilosun area of Ado-Ekiti with fetish items made from palm oil and eggs.Awe narrowly escaped being killed by irate party members and was said to have been ferried out of the secretariat by mobile policemen.As of the time of filing this report, anti-riot police vans have been stationed
at the Secretariat while the building was under lock and key.

Coordinator of the group, Adeoye Aribasoye said the concerned APC members in Ekiti had it on good authority that the peaceful election held at the weekend would have been successful, but for connivance between the chairman and Governor Ayodele Fayose, it could have been adjudged the best in Ekiti and Nigeria at large.

However, former Governor Segun Oni berated the protesters who purportedly removed Awe over alleged compromise of the primary, describing them as misguided party members.However, no fewer than 27 aspirants of APC led by Oni have rejected the position canvassed by the National Working Committee (NWC), that Governor Tanko Al-Makura’s committee that conducted the election should return to the state and continue the exercise.

Reacting at a meeting to the statement credited to the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi on the Ekiti crisis, the aspirants maintained that the election in five local council areas before violence erupted had been cancelled.

Those present at the meeting were:  Oni, Babafemi Ojudu, Diran Adesua, Opeyemi Bamidele, Bimbo Daramola, Ayo Arise, Gbenga Aluko, Kola Alabi, Muyiwa Olumilua, Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, Debo Ranti Ajayi and Bayo Orire, among others.

Spokesperson of the aspirants, Yaya-Kolade, said the fact that the results were not counted, collated and announced at the venue, had vitiated the process.An aspirant, Debo Ajayi, said the party was not divided, saying their demands for transparent and credible primary should not be misinterpreted as rebellion against the party.

Meanwhile, indications have emerged that the APC may disqualify some of its aspirants found wanting over the disruption of the governorship primaries.Abdullahi who briefed reporters in Abuja disclosed that the party has evidence of the role played by some of the aspirants that led to the eventual disruption of the exercise. He declined to mention the names of those that would be affected, but stated that the John Odigie-Oyegun led NWC would rely on photographs and video clips that captured the role played by any of the aspirants and their agents to arrive at the decision.  Stating that those found wanting would be prosecuted, he explained that the decision would be reached yesterday, Monday, May 7, 2018. 


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