Ekiti APC guber primary stalemated, suspended indefinitely
• Ekiti APC Is A Divided House – Fayose
Agents of some aspirants, yesterday went violent during the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), forcing the exercise to be suspended indefinitely. They alleged that the process was manipulated to favour former Governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi who was believed to be coasting home to victory.
As a result of the stalemate, the Governor of Nassarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, who led the Ekiti primary election committee on behalf of the party announced the suspension, after a meeting with all the aspirants and security agents, which lasted for about two hours behind closed door.
The violent interruption of the process started at about 5.30 pm when some people believed to be agents of some aspirants rushed to their principals who sat in the soap box to complain about alleged irregularities in favour of Kayode Fayemi.
Following the development, some agents allegedly loyal to Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Ayo Arise, Hon Femi Bamisile and other strong contenders in the race, started shouting and calling Fayemi unprintable names.
They later went back to the canopy where voting was taking place and smashed the ballots boxes on the floor.
Efforts made by Al-Makura to calm frayed nerves were rebuffed.
They accused an agent to Fayemi, Mr. Samuel Abejide of dictating to delegates who to vote for and also writing the serial numbers of their ballot papers to authenticate who they actually voted for, probably for pecuniary gains after the poll.
Only delegates from five local governments had voted and it was the turn of the sixth council when the violence erupted.
Police and other security agencies made reinforcement and drafted amoured carrier to the stadium to bring the situation under control. Police shot sporadically into the air when the situation escalated to scare the violent protesters.
However, Security agencies arrested one man for allegedly trying to grab the ballot box and he was stripped naked and taken to their custody in handcuff.
The Director General of Babafemi Ojudu Campaign Organisation, Chief Ranti Adebisi complained that the process had been heavily compromised
“The guideline stipulated that each aspirant can only bring in four supporters, but Fayemi brought many. His agents, including DSS were issuing cards to delegates to fill when they vote for him, so that they can later come for the money he promised them.
“I contested against Fayemi in 2007 and I knew what I am talking about. The process has been compromised. Even, Fayemi has been bragging around that he is friend to Alhaji Tanko Al -Makura, so we are disappointed that this could happen,” he said.
Also, an APC chieftain, Mr. Femi Afolabi alleged that the process was compromised by some security agencies, which he said were dictating who delegates should vote for after authentication.
But Fayemi’s agent said it was gang up against the Minister that led to the spurious allegation, accusing those peddling rumour as enemies of APC.
“There was an agreement among aspirants during their meeting with the electoral committee that if you are a delegate who can’t read and write, you can call any of the agents. When they saw that I was the one being called, they started feeling the heat and they were determined to disrupt the process.”
A total of 2,409 were accredited for the primary election out of 2,618 delegates. The election started behind schedule following a torrential rain for two hours.
Signs of premeditated crisis began as soon as the agents were called to the voting arena. They insisted that they will not allow voting to take place until they were satisfied with the number of accredited delegates and checked the ballot papers to confirm its authenticity.
One of the aspirants, Bimbo Daramola who spoke to newsmen said the heavy downpour that halted the accreditation process allowed it to be compromised.
He denied a gang up against Fayemi, saying it was presumptuous for anybody to assume that the former governor was leading.
He said all aspirants would still work together after the primary to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14, governorship election.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ayodele Fayose has condemned the violence that marred the APC primary, describing it as shameful and a clear indication that “the APC will fail woefully in the July 14 governorship election because apart from its rejection by Ekiti people, the party has become a house divided against itself that can never hold.”
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