- The Ekiti state chapter of the APC has made a U-turn on the mode of primaries to elect candidates for the state and National Assembly elections
- The state working committee of the party in Ekiti had jettisoned the direct primary option, citing insecurity as the reason
- The decision to adopt indirect primaries immediately resulted in virulent protests by stakeholders and aspirants alike
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti state has bowed to pressure on the mode of primaries for the Senate and House of Representatives.
According to Premium Times, Ekiti APC had chosen to conduct its primaries through the delegates system, contrary to the recommendation of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
The decision to adopt indirect primaries immediately resulted in virulent protests by stakeholders and aspirants alike, forcing the change by the state executive committee. The primaries were supposed to hold on Tuesday, October 2, but the controversies on the method to adopt stalled the process.
The Ekiti state working committee of the party cited insecurity as the reason why it was jettisoning the direct primary option, but the aspirants rejected the excuse, saying it was an attempt to foist candidates on the party.
Some of the aspirants who besieged the party secretariat in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday include Bimbo Daramola, Olusegun Osinkolu, Yemi Olayinka, Toyin Ajakaye and Kayode Babade.
The state publicity secretary, Ade Ajayi, in a statement on Wednesday, October 3, said the primaries have been shifted till Thursday, October 4, and direct primaries would be the method of electing the candidates.
He said:“The National Working Committee had humbly directed that the mode of primary will be direct and it will be held on October 4 across the 177 wards.”We thereby enjoin all party members to participate in the exercise.”
Daramola who spoke on behalf of his colleagues while addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti on the issue, accused the state executives of doing the bidding of the governor-elect, Kayode Fayemi, to edge them out of the primary under the flimsy excuse of indirect primaries, contrary to the decision of the national secretariat.
“It was bad for the APC that just won the governorship election to be behaving in this manner. We were supposed to be given the opportunity to test our popularity in the primaries, rather than resorting to imposition.”
“The Deputy National Chairman, South, Governor-elect and other leaders of our party told us at Iyin-Ekiti, resident of Chief Niyi Adebayo that direct primaries will be used to pick the candidates.
“It was however unfortunate to receive a message on Sunday night that the earlier assurance at the meeting held with all aspirants had changed to indirect primaries.
“We have all been working on the agreement of direct primaries, it therefore became difficult to identify the so-called delegates because we don’t have access to the list,” Daramola said.
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NAIJ.com previously reported that the All Progressives Congress (APC) allegedly reversed its earlier position on the mode of elections during its forthcoming primaries, saying that direct elections would be adopted for all its primaries.
Briefing journalists at the end of the NEC meeting Thursday, August 30, in Abuja, Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong had said when the matter came up for discussion, most of the states opted to use indirect primaries.
Consequently, it was agreed that any state wishing to adopt the direct method would have to write the national leadership of the party for approval.
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