- The crisis that emanated from the APC governorship primary election in Ekiti state is still ongoing
- 22 aspirants from the inconclusive election have written to President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over the issue
- They accused the National Working Committee of the party of bias in the exercise
Twenty-two APC governorship aspirants have written to President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over the party's inconclusive primary election held on Saturday, May 5.
The aspirants also signed a petition addressed to the National Working Committee of the ruling party, requesting for a repeat of the primaries.Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was also copied in the petition, Premium Times reports.
The petitioners alleged that some members of the NWC who were part of the organising committee of the primaries, were glaringly biased and contributed to the violence that disrupted the primaries.
They described the incident of violence at the primary election as “embarrassing and unfortunate,” and condemned the conduct of the exercise, which they said was laden with “electoral manipulation and corruption.”
Those who signed the petition include former governor and chieftain of the party, Segun Oni; presidential adviser on political matters, Babafemi Ojudu; former Ekiti Assembly speaker, Femi Bamisile; former senators, Gbenga Aluko and Ayo Arise, as well as Kayode Ojo.
Others are Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, Wole Oluyede, Bayo Oriire, Kayode Ojo, Sunday Adebomi, Diran Adesua, Bodunde Adeyanju, Bimbo Daramola, Bamidele Faparusi, Sesan Fatoba, Bisi Aloba, Ajayi Olatunji Olowo, Wole Oluleye, Debo Ranti Ajayi, Kolawole Alabi, Olumuyiwa Olumilua and Victor Kolade.
Part of the petition read: “We condemn the electoral manipulation/corruption, which was manifested in various forms in the course of the exercise - sequestration of delegates, inducement and illegal monetization of the voting process, among others.
“Furthermore, we register our disappointment with the unsatisfactory level of preparedness for and conduct of the primary election.”
The aspirants demanded that a fresh election be conducted within 72 hours to determine the candidate of the party in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti state.
The petition further stated: “That a new elections committee be constituted to address the issue of conflict of interest of at least three (3) key members of the Governor Al-Makura- led committee which was discovered in the course of the election to favour one of the aspirants (a business associate, a friend and a landlord), at the expense of the remaining thirty-two.
“That security agencies be unbiased in ensuring a free, fair and credible election since it was obvious they had sympathy for one of the aspirants, which resulted in the security lapses recorded in the course of the exercise, such as the unrestricted invasion of the election venue by friends and associates of one of the aspirants who expectedly interfered with the voting process.
“That the quality of the ballot paper be improved because the photographs of the aspirants on the ballot papers used for the cancelled poll were blurred, small, and the names of aspirants were muddled. All these made it difficult for delegates to identify their preferred candidates.
“That the NWC appeals to executive governors in the neighbouring states to please support the process in the interest of the party instead of showing bias to one of the aspirants. That aspirants and delegates should respect the secrecy of the ballot. No aspirant should demand evidence from delegates."
The aspirants also alleged that some members of the party's NWC were partial, stating that their roles at the botched primaries was a clear evidence of their bias. They decried the action of the party's national publicity secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, for “taking a position contrary to what was agreed after the Saturday event by all aspirants with the Al Makura committee.”
Meanwhile, the APC has congratulated all its members for the conduct of the party's ward congresses which took place across the country over the weekend.
The party described the exercise as “peaceful,” while commending members who served in the congress committees “for their dedication and impartiality.”
The party however acknowledged that there were some issues arising from the conduct of the elections in some states.
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