Ekiti: APC governorship aspirants withdraw from primary election
Seven governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress governorship aspirants in Ekiti State have withdrawn from the ongoing primary election.
The aspirants — Kayode Mojo, Demola Popoola, Femi Bamisile, Bamidele Faparusi, Dayo Adeyeye, Opeyemi Bamidele and Afolabi Oluwasola — are protesting alleged irregularities in the conduct of party primaries.
“The seven aspirants herein received with rude shock and dismay the purported list of local government election committee and ward election committee made up solely by party members and political appointees that had before now openly endorsed the candidacy of Biodun Oyebanji the immediate past secretary to the state government,” they said in a statement.
“It is on record that the government of Governor Kayode Fayemi has given its unwavering support to the candidacy of Biodun Oyebanji, it is common knowledge that the Governor and most appointees of the governor are openly rooting for and supporting Biodun Oyebanji’s aspiration to become the flag bearer of our great party.
“What is more disturbing is the fact that a simple glance at the names of the persons appointed as members of both committees would reveal that it is made up of appointees of government who are all supporters of a candidate in the primary election they are appointed to superintend on.”
The aspirants earlier on Thursday led their supporters to the APC Secretariat in Ado Ekiti and claimed that the process has been manipulated to favour Abiodun Oyebanji, who is perceived as Governor Kayode Famyemi’s anointed aspirant.
The withdrawing aspirants “request that both the local government election committee and ward election committee was constituted on the list already in circulation be disbanded and replaced with names that would reinforce internal democracy and uphold the aims and objectives of the party.”
A large number of their supporters were seen in a video shouting “we are not voting! No primary election in Ekiti” on Thursday morning.
They warned that the controversial primary may spell doom for the party as the result of the election will not be acceptable.
The protest regardless, there were voting in some wards in the state. While some had a low turnout, other centres recorded a large turnout of party faithful who were ready to vote for their preferred aspirant.
Ekiti State Government had declared Thursday as a work-free day and announced the closure of all public and private schools to ensure security and encourage participation.
The state police command had warned opposing political groups to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner.