Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has assured all its aspirants for the Ekiti State governorship election that no one will be given special treatment.
The party said the 33 aspirants must be ready to face each other in a free and fair contest.
Speaking yesterday while inaugurating two committees, that of Ekiti governorship primary and the Appeal committee, the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita
Izunaso, said only the aspirant with the highest number of votes in the primary election will be declared winner of the contest.
The five-man primary election panel is headed by the Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Alâ€™Makura. Also inaugurated yesterday was the Primary Election Appeal committee.
He urged the panel to ensure that the primary election is conducted in a free and fair atmosphere.
Izunaso said voting at the election will be by secret ballot, adding that only aspirant with the highest number of votes will be declared winner.
The number of aspirants is 33 and NWC has approved all of them.
According to Izunaso, the aspirants have been provided with the delegates list and that as at yesterday, no complaint has been received from anyone.
He said being an aspirant does not make anyone a delegate except where the period is a statutory delegate.
National Organising Secretary said the party does not have any preferred candidate and that all aspirants are equal and should be treated as such.
On his part, Alâ€™Makura said he considered the assignment as that of a family matter, and that the committee hopes to do justice to it.
He assured all stakeholders that the exercise would be transparent.
Alâ€™Makura appealed to the aspirants to comport themselves and ensure that the exercise is peaceful.
The primary election is scheduled for May 5.
Other members of the primary election committee include Hon. Magaji Aliyu (Secretary); Mr. Duke Oshodin; Robert Okwuego and Mr. Tunde Balogun. The appeal committee include Capt. Bala Jibrin (Secretary) and Mrs. Lilian Obenwa.
He said the committee should rely on the partyâ€™s guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office, particularly section 14 (iii) which stipulates the composition of the Electoral College/delegates, secret balloting at a venue in the state capital and declaring winner an aspirant with the highest vote.
â€œIf we conduct a transparent primary, any aspirant that wins will surely become the next governor of Ekiti State. The party has no preferred candidate, there is no such thing in our lexicon. It does not exist. All aspirants are equal until after the election,â€ Izunaso stated.