Gubernatorial: thugs distrupt Ekiti APC primaries

APC primaries Ekiti

The All Progressives Congress (APC), weekend, postponed the governorship primary election in Ekiti State indefinitely following disrupted by suspected political thugs.

Dr Kayode Fayem, Minister of Solid Mineral, casting his vote at the Ekiti APC Governorship primaries

Dr Kayode Fayem, Minister of Solid Mineral, casting his vote at the Ekiti APC Governorship primaries, before political thugs disrupt the process

The disruption caused panic and confusion at the Oluyemi Kayode stadium, venue of the exercise, as agents of some major aspirants fingered the security agencies of allegedly compromising the process in favour of the Minister of Solid Mineral, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

Gov. Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, the Chairman of the Ekiti State governorship primary and other officials hurridly scampered for safety out of the venue when the situation became uncontrolable.

Two of the aspirants, Bimbo Daramola and a former Speaker, Femi Bamisile, later journalists that all the aspirants agreed that the exercise should be suspended indefinitely.

A report has it that delegates from five of the 16 local governments, statutory delegates and members of the State Executive Council of the party had cast their votes before the exercise was disrupted.

The councils, where delegates had cast their votes were Ado, Moba, Ilejemeje, Ekiti East and Efon while those from Ijero was about to vote when the process was abruptly disrupted.

The aggrieved agents of one of the aspirants grabbed three of the ballot boxes and smashed them.

The thugs, who were chanting abusive words against Fayemi, also threw packs of sachet water towards the pavilion, where Al-Makura and others were conducting the primaries.

Police and other security agencies shot sporadically into the air when the situation started degenerating into a full-blown clash among the camps.

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Al-Makura hurriedly entered his vehicle and left the venue without addressing the press, after a meeting with the 33 aspirants over the crisis.

The former speaker, Daramola, said: “There was an issue somewhere about the exercise and they raised observation about sharp practices that had compromised the process, which led to protest and the feeling was that the process should be suspended to avoid bloodshed”.

He also dismissed the allegation that Fayemi was leading by a wide margin.

“I don’t believe that is correct. The results have not been counted, so that was an assumption.

“Ekiti APC is not in any way fractured, we are one big family. If Fayemi defeats us, we are all going to back him, because the party is supreme. But this must come through a free, fair and credible process,” Daramola said.

But an agent to Fayemi, Mr  Samuel Abejide, was accused of dictating to delegates who to vote for and also writing the serial numbers of their ballot papers to authenticate who they actually voted for.

But Fayemi’s agent, Mr Samuel Abejide, exonerated his candidate, saying the whole scenario was a gang up against the minister, that led to the spurious allegation.

He accused those making such statements as enemies of APC.

“It was a proviso that if you are a delegate who can’t read and write, you can call any of the agents.

“When they saw that I was the one being called, they started feeling the heat and they were determined to disrupt it,” Abejide said.

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