APC orders fresh primaries in Ekiti, as Tinubu, Akande broker peace
Following disruption of Saturday May 5 All Progressives Congress governorship primary election in Ekiti, the party on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the exercise and ordered that a fresh one should be held on Friday, May 11.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, disclosed the party’s decision at the National Secretariat in Abuja while briefing newsmen.
It was gathered that this was the outcome of a marathon meeting among members of National Working Committee of the party, held lately on Monday and concluded on Tuesday.
Abdullahi told journalists that the party considered the report submitted to it by the Governor Tanko Al-Makura-led Ekiti primary panel sent to conduct the exercise.
He also disclosed that the agents of the aspirants identified as perpetrators of the violence which led to the disruption of the exercise had been disqualified from taking part in the fresh exercise.
According to him, “All Identified unruly agents that participated in the suspended primary election of 5th May, 2018 are disqualified from participating in the rescheduled primary as agents.”
He listed the names of the agents disqualified as: Ayodeji Omowaye, Rotimi Faleye, Kayode Afolabi, Oladele Ademola Samuel, Oyetunde Ojo, Akintade Olayisade and Temitope Adewumi.
Clearing air on whether Al-Makura-led committee has been disband as insinuated from continuing the job and the new committee will be inaugurated to conduct the exercise, the party’s spokesman noted that it is only the Secretary of the committee that will be replaced considering his “close intimacy” to a particular aspirant.
Abdullahi said, “Virtually all the aspirants complained that the secretary has a close relationship with one of their colleagues and so we decided to drop him in order to guard the integrity of the process and not because he was found to have compromised.”
The party, however, warned all agents coming to election ground not to come with mobile phone, adding that all agent tags must bear the names of the aspirants they represent.
“All agent tags must bear the names of the aspirants they represent. All the agents in the rescheduled primary election are hereby barred from coming to the voting arena with their mobile phones,” Abdullahi said.
Meanwhile, some South-West chieftains of the party headed by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday night gathered behind closed doors at the Lagos State Government Lodge Annex in Abuja and held a meeting with the Ekiti State APC governorship aspirants in a bid to seek a common ground on the rescheduled party primary election.
The meeting, which started at about 4:25pm had Tinubu, former Ogun State Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba; former Osun State Governor, Chief Bisi Akande, and the chairman of the panel responsible for the Congress, Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura; APC National Vice Chairman of South West, Pius Akinyelure with more than 30 of the 33 aspirants.
It was learnt that the meeting was part of the efforts by the party leaders from the zone to broker peace and find a way forward after the disrupted party’s primary in Ekiti.
At the end of the first and second round of the talks which lasted for more than four hours, Chief Bisi Akande and other leaders stepped out of the hall of the meeting.
Bisi Akande, while responding to questions from journalists said their position at the meeting will be conveyed to the National leadership of the party latest tomorrow (today Wednesday).
“We will convey our resolution to the National chairman of the party. We take a decision on what will be of the best advantage to our party and the country.”
In his response to whether consensus candidate will be an option to resolve the issue, Akande said, “Consensus is already written in the constitution of our party.
“You know fully that Primary election is already written in our constitution but all we want is the happiness of generality of the party leadership, the contestants and our party.
“That option was given to them but it requires they going back, think about it and inform us.”