Botched Ekiti Primary: Your Integrity at Stake, Oni Tells Oyegun, NWC


*Fayemi, Ojudu exchange tirades

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Former Governor Segun Oni on Sunday advised the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and the National Working Committee(NWC) to look into what led to the inconclusive Ekiti Governorship primary as their integrity was at stake.

Oni, former APC National Deputy Chairman (South) and governorship aspirant of the party, said the way some people who were discovered to be friends of a particular aspirant were nominated into the Ekiti governorship primary committee put the integrity of the party’s national leadership to question.

Meanwhile, former governor Kayode Fayemi and Senator Babafemi Ojudu have exchanged tirades over who was responsible for the disruption of the election.

While Fayemi accused Ojudu and Hon Bimbo Daramola of being the masterminds of the violence that caused the indefinite suspension of the primary, Ojudu said the former governor was too desperate to get the ticket.

Describing the allegation as a spurious and senseless accusation from those that are averse to democratic ideals, Ojodu said Fayemi’s antics would fail this time.

A statement by Fayemi’s Media Aide, Yinka Oyebode, shortly after the primary was botched, fingered Ojudu and Daramola as those behind the attack.

Oni spoke in Ifaki Ekiti on Sunday while reacting to violence that marred Saturday’s primary of the party.

The election had got to the fifth local government when some agents raised serious allegations bordering on fraud against the agent to the minister of Mines and Steel Development and that led to the disruption of the election.

Oni saluted the Chairman of the Governorship Primary Committee and Nasarawa State governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, for doing a thorough job only for his efforts to be sabotaged by unscrupulous elements around him.

Oni, who described the violence as very unfortunate, said Oyegun must investigate how the Secretary of the committee, Hon. Mogaji Aliyu, a known ally of one of the aspirants, was made a member of the panel .

“Those who have penchant for cheating and fraud structured the primary to favour a particular aspirant. I was the APC National Deputy Chairman for four years, despite this, I never used my position to influence anything about a primary I was directly involved.

“When you have penchant for fraud or to cheat the system, it makes democracy looks sour and uninteresting.

“How would one feel to get to the field of play and find out that the referee was nominated by one of the teams? We found out that the Secretary of the committee was nominated by an aspirant and Governor Al-Makura later got to know about this and dropped him from functioning as the Returning Officer.

“Even the fraud festered to the ranks of the security agencies. I quite appreciate the fact that violence was not the right way but it was caused because of pent up anger.

“That is why the NWC led by Chief Oyegun owes all of us a thorough explanation about how Mogaji found himself in the committee and how to prevent such in future, except that we are hiding under democracy to fool ourselves.

“ Whether I will be governor or not or hold political office in the future, I think enough is enough about people being desperate to get positions, because we must give confidence to our people”.

When asked whether consensus will be the best option, Oni said he supports the idea but such would be difficult to attain with the level the fierce battle has reached.

“I support consensus but now it’s impossible because the perception of the society makes it difficult for politicians to reach compromise.

“Politicians are always under pressure from their admirers and announcing to them that you have stepped down for someone could create bad impression about you. So it will be difficult to achieve that at this level”, he added.

Fayemi said the disruption of the primary election was the height of desperation on the part of some aspirants, who having seen defeat staring them in the face, conspired together to ensure that the exercise was not concluded.

Fayemi said the aspirants resorted to violence and destruction, having realised that he was already in a clear lead in the five local governments that had cast their votes.

“If the quest for political position is to serve, then one wonders why the desperation being displayed by the likes of Femi Ojudu and Bimbo Daramola”.

Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti, Ojudu said he never exhibited any desperation and that accounted for why he didn’t go to the election venue with party supporters.

“I even hate seeing thugs around me,” he said.

Speaking further, Ojodu said: “They said I was desperate, let us ask ourselves, who among the aspirants took delegates to Igbara Oke and Owo in Ondo State to camp? It was Fayemi. He was the one who compromised the committee and bought over security agencies to compromise the system.

“I brought him to Ekiti, I did a lot for him to be governor, so I had always known him to be desperate and we were getting video clips about how he offered bribes to delegates and how he was making calls at the election venue to top security brass in Ekiti and Abuja to cheat the system

“Let me tell him, all these antics will not work. The primary will be conducted and it must be free, fair and credible.”