27th January, 2022
Crisis over the conduct of governorship primary of All Progressives Congress for the Ekiti June 2020 governorship election worsened on Thursday with seven aspirants announcing their withdrawal.
The aspirants alleged manipulation of the process to favour Biodun Oyebanji, who is believed to have the support of Governor Kayode Fayemi.
About 183,000 members of the party are expected to select one out of the eight aspirants for the governorship ticket.
Opeyemi Bamidele, the Senator representing Ekiti Central and one of the aspirants had earlier called for the cancellation of the primary over claims that those selected to supervise the exercise are loyalists of Governor Fayemi.
Bamidele was also among the seven aspirants who announced their withdrawal from the exercise which was scheduled to take place this Thursday morning.
Aside Bamidele, the other aspirants boycotting the primary election on Thursday were Kayode Mojo, Demola Popoola, Femi Bamisile, Bamidele Faparusi, Dayo Adeyeye and Afolabi Oluwasola.
The seven aspirants alleged that Fayemi has perfected plans to ensure that Oyebanji, his anointed candidate emerges the governorship candidate of APC with the people assigned to supervise the primary.
The aspirants alleged that the list of local government election committee and ward election committee given to them were made up solely of party members and political appointees that had before now openly endorsed the candidacy of Biodun Oyebanji.
The seven aspirants asked APC to reconstitute the primary election committees across the state, the Cable reports.
“It is on record that the government of Governor Kayode Fayemi has given its unwavering support to the candidacy of Biodun Oyebanji. It is common knowledge that the Governor and most appointees of the governor are openly rooting for and supporting Biodun Oyebanji’s aspiration to become the flag bearer of our great party.
“What is more disturbing is the fact that a simple glance at the names of the persons appointed as members of both committees would reveal that it is made up of appointees of government who are all supporters of a candidate in the primary election they are appointed to superintend on.”
“The seven candidates herein are loyal, faithful and committed party members who are sincerely concerned about the chances of the party in the forthcoming 2022 governorship election where an imposition is allowed to override a democratic primary election for determining its flag bearer,” they said.
“We request that both the local government election committee and ward election committee was constituted on the list already in circulation be disbanded and replaced with names that would reinforce internal democracy and uphold the aims and objectives of the party.”