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Ekiti: Police warn against breach of peace as Gov Emmanuel heads PDP primary committee

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja) and Ayodele Afolabi (Ado Ekiti)
26 January 2022   |   4:15 am
Eleven aspirants vying for the governorship of Ekiti State on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, made frantic efforts to woo delegates for today’s primary election of the party scheduled to hold at Eagle Hall...

[FILES] Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel

• Aspirants jostle for delegates • PDP nullifies Ekiti ward delegate congresses
• To conduct primary with statutory/automatic delegates

Eleven aspirants vying for the governorship of Ekiti State on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, made frantic efforts to woo delegates for today’s primary election of the party scheduled to hold at Eagle Hall, Ado Ekiti.

It was gathered last night that some of the aspirants have agreed to step down at the venue of the primary for former governor Segun Oni and Bisi Kolawole, who is being backed by former governor Ayodele Fayose.

The party had, on Monday night, nullified the ward delegate congresses it conducted in the state on January 15 over perceived irregularities. The party also disclosed that it would use the statutory/automatic delegate list to conduct its governorship primary.

This was part of the resolutions reached by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party over Ekiti election.

Following the nullification of adhoc delegates, unconfirmed reports indicate that no fewer than 1,200 automatic/ statutory delegates would vote at the primary.

Recall that Ekiti has been embroiled in crisis after the congresses conducted by the three-man adhoc ward delegate on January 15.

After the emergency meeting to thoroughly deliberate on the reports of the Special Committee and that of Appeal Panel, National Chairman of the party, Senator Iyorcha Ayu, disclosed the position of the party on Ekiti primary.

The resolutions of the party said: “That all parties and stakeholders have agreed to abide by the decision of the party in all matters relating to all issues concerning the position of the party in Ekiti state.

“That the three-man adhoc ward delegate congresses in Ekiti is hereby nullified; that the party’s governorship primary election shall be conducted using the statutory/automatic delegate list.

“That all pending court cases in all matters relating to the congresses in Ekiti must be withdrawn herewith; that any person defiant to the decision to withdraw all pending court cases which contradicts the provisions of the party’s constitution shall be referred to the disciplinary committee of the party.”

The NWC also nominated governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, as chairman of the committee mandated to elect the party’s candidate for the governorship election.

According to a statement by the PDP National Organising Secretary, Umar M. Bature, other members include Erelu Olusola Obada, Michael Mku, Ibrahim Khalid and Toby Okechukwu (Secretary).

MEANWHILE, the Ekiti State Police Command has warned the opposition PDP and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to shun violence before, during and after the parties’ governorship primaries slated for today and Thursday.

The Commissioner of Police, Tunde Mobayo, gave the warning in a statement in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, noting that the Inspector General of Police, Usman Akali Baba, had deployed additional manpower to complement personnel on ground.

Mobayo stated that the operatives would be deployed to all voting centres in all the 177 wards across the state to monitor the shadow polls and forestall any manifestations of violence.

While enjoining the personnel deployed to be professional and avoid all forms of corrupt practices while discharging their duties, the police boss warned against any form of sharp electoral malpractices during the exercise.

The statement reads: “In a bid to maintain serene atmosphere and credible shadow poll, Tunde Mobayo reemphasises the command’s readiness and deployment of adequate personnel to all the voting centres and other relevant places across the state.

“The Commissioner also confirms the approval and deployment of additional manpower for the elections from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, to complement and support the personnel on ground.

The Police Commissioner urged members to maintain peace and conduct themselves before, during and after the primaries in accordance with electoral guidelines and principles.

“The Commissioner warns against all forms of electoral malpractices and violence throughout the period of the election. He also called on all stakeholders, party leaders, party members and members of the public to maintain the peace and conduct themselves in accordance with the electoral guidelines and principles,” he added.

Ahead of the primary, Oni has advised delegates, who will be voting, to reject tyranny and vote to preserve the future of their children.

The aspirant, who is seeking to return to power, said the delegates should display the true identity of Ekiti, by putting an end to crude politics in the state, saying, “this is the time for you to show that we, the Ekiti people, are from the historical stock of ancestors who will never bend to tyranny.”

In a statement he signed and addressed to the delegates, Oni said: “This is the time to demonstrate the Ekiti spirit of honour and defend our Omoluabi heritage, as you cast your decisive vote. This is the vote to earn you respect and give Ekiti a name that will make our children and children’s children proud forever.

“Some people have said crude power and money will always decide our politics. They think they can continue to lord it over us forever. But we have come to say enough is enough with our votes.”

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