GOVERNORSHIP aspirants in the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State, yesterday, traded blames over the botched primaries on Saturday.
Thugs had invaded the Kayode Oluyemi stadium which was the venue for the primaries in which 33 aspirants participated, hijacked the ballot boxes and smashed them. The 2409 delegates ran helter-skelter while security operative gave protection to the aspirants as the thugs headed for their stand alleging manipulation by one of the notable aspirants.
Timely intervention of security operatives restored a semblance of normalcy after over one hour of pandemonium. The Media Aide to former Governor Segun Oni, Mr. Steve Alabi, said he was shocked that a free and fair election could be disrupted and urged the security agencies should fish out the people responsible and prosecute them.”
Fayemi accuses Ojudu, Daramola Fayemi
in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Yinka Oyebode accused both Femi Ojudu and Bimbo Daramola of being desperate hence the disruption of the primaries He said: “The disruption of the primary election was the height of desperation on the part of some aspirants, who having seen defeat staring them in the face, conspired together to ensure that the exercise was not concluded.
Fayemi said: “The aspirants resorted to violence and destruction, having realised that he was already in a clear lead in the five local governments that had cast their votes
I didn’t exhibit any desperation — Ojudu Responding, Babafemi Ojudu dismissed the allegation that he orchestrated the violence that marred the primary, describing it a spurious and senseless “They said I was desperate, let us ask ourselves, who among the aspirants took delegates to Igbara Oke and Owo in Ondo State to camp? It was Fayemi. “He was the one who compromised the committee and bought over security agencies to compromise the system.
It was Fayemi that was so desperate not me. He was the only aspirant that camped delegates. He took them far away to Owo Igbaro-Oke and Isan-Ekiti promising them N1million if they voted for him. Was that not an act of desperation? “I did not camp any delegate and all I did was to talk to them and sell my programmes to them, that is the way to go. I am the only aspirant that had his manifestos printed and published. So, I am not desperate.
“I have evidence that a cousin of mine was taken to Owo in Ondo State by Fayemi and that he gave them N100,000 with promise after voting for him, he will give them additional N900, 000. “I brought him to Ekiti, I did a lot for him to be governor, so I had always known him to be desperate and we were getting video clips about how he offered bribes to delegates and how he was making calls at the election venue to top security brass in Ekiti and Abuja to cheat the system “Let me tell him, all these antics will not work. The primary will be conducted and it must be free, fair and credible”, he said.
It’s an embarrassment to Ekiti people — Oni
Another aspirant and former governor of the state, Segun Oni described the disruption as an embarrassment to the people of the state. Oni said: “What happened on Saturday is a shame and embarrassment to the entire people of Ekiti.
It was a show of desperation by a certain individual to cheat the process and people resisted it. “I have done everything just to protect the party and democracy. Everyone would have expected me as the deputy National Chairman of the party to nominate people who will form the election committee, but I did not just because of my love and interest for the party.
“How will a team, in a match, select the referee? It is not done. We have evidence that security agencies were compromised. “An aspirant nominated the secretary of the committee and what we saw on Saturday was a confirmation that the process had been compromised.
“The National Working Committee of the party owes us a through explanation of what transpired in the interest of the party and democracy and discipline those involved in line with the party’s constitution.”
Primary suspended indefinitely —Al-Makura
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Ekiti State Primaries election committee of the APC Governor Tanko Al-Makura has announced the indefinite suspension of the primary election. The Nasarawa State Governor made this known while addressing journalists Saturday night in Ado Ekiti.
Asked on how the party would meet up with the May 14th deadline for submission of names of candidates, Al-Makura noted that the leadership of the party would take a decision before the date. “After a successful outing with the accreditation exercise, the voting started and about 6 local government areas had voted when attitude and conduct of some agents were unruly and erratic,” he said.
The chairman pointed out that “We can always make up with the situation and we know and aware that May 14th is the last day for submission of names of candidates. Our party will meet up with the date, I can assure you that.”