Botched Ekiti Guber Primary: APC May Disqualify Aspirants

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Our Correspondents

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it may consider wielding the big stick on those responsible for the disruption of its Ekiti State governorship primary held last Saturday.

The governorship primary was aborted midway when some of the party stakeholders stormed the venue and tore open the ballot box in protest over alleged malfeasance by the committee conducting the election. Speaking to journalists yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, said the leadership of the party has received report from the leader of the electoral panel, Governor Tanko Al-Makura.

He said the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party would be meeting last night to consider its recommendations.
Abdulahi said the NWC would especially consider the issues that resulted in the primary election being aborted, adding that based on the report and video evidences of what transpired, it may decide to sanction those found culpable. According to him, “We just received a report from the Chairman of the committee, AlMakura, whom we sent to the state to conduct the governorship primary. “He gave us a full report orally and submitted a written report of what transpired in Ekiti State.

“They also made specific recommendations which gave the NWC a couple of options on how to proceed. The NWC is meeting tonight to consider the report, and tomorrow (today) morning, we will be able to make our decision clear on how to proceed.”
The spokesman further said anyone found to have been involved in the disruption of the primary election would likely be sanctioned.
He explained that the party would also decide if the five local government areas where elections were already conducted will be allowed to stand.

Fayemi Faults Jide Awe’s Removal as Ekiti APC Chair
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development and governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has faulted the reported removal of the Ekiti State Chairman of the party, Chief Jide Awe, by a section of the party, urging them to rescind the decision for the sake of the party and democracy.
The minister said APC remains a political party with a very rich democratic culture adding that removal of its elected executives, on whatever ground, must be in line with laid down procedures.

Fayemi in a statement by his Special Adviser of Media, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said he would not support any attempt to subvert the rule of law within the party, hence he was opposed to the sacking of the Jide Awe-led executive regardless of the weight of the allegations, without recourse to the party’s laid down procedure.

He urged those desirous of a change in the leadership of the party in the state to wait till September when the party would hold its congresses for the election of new officers in Ekiti State. “Anything short of this is not acceptable,” he said.
The statement reads: “The report of the alleged removal of Awe as the state chairman of our party is quite troubling, especially giving the method adopted by the aggrieved members.

“The aggrieved members had cited, among other reasons, Awe’s perceived biased position in the current governorship primary exercise in the party, where he was accused of overtly supporting a particular aspirant as well as hobnobbing with the Governor Ayodele Fayose-led government.“Regardless of the weighty nature of these allegations, removal of state executives in APC through a Gestapo style is not acceptable. In fact, it is condemnable.

“I, for one, cannot be part of this. Our party is built on democratic tenets and the rule of law. So, I urge all those who desire a change in the current leadership in the state to wait till September when the state congresses for the election of new set of officers would hold in Ekiti.

The minister also urged well-meaning members of the party to work for the unity of the various tendencies within the party ahead of the governorship election in the state.
“Regardless of the differences we might have, especially in the on going process of choosing the flag bearer of our party for the July 14 governorship election, we must unite in our efforts to chase out the incompetent and insensitive PDP –led administration. That we cannot afford to compromise,” he added.

Steer Clear of Imo, APC State Leaders Warn Osinbajo
Rising from an emergency meeting in Abuja yesterday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) political leaders in Imo State said they had credible information that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was putting pressure on the party’s national leadership to tamper with the mandate of APC state members, as exercised in the party’s ward congress last Saturday.

Advising the vice-president to steer clear of the state APC affairs and respect the will of the people, the party leaders in the state said as a senior lawyer, he should be mindful of the legal implications of his suspected action.

In a statement signed by Dr. James Obi after the meeting, the APC leaders said their advice was predicated on “credible information that Osinbajo-led forces within the party” were putting pressure on the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to alter the party ward congress that took place last Saturday as it affects Imo State.

The state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who was said to have lost out in the ward congress, reportedly rushed to Daura, Katsina State, last Sunday and briefed President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged infractions that characterised the congress in the state, saying the ‘funny politics’ witnessed at the Saturday’s ward congress of the APC across the country must stop.
Speaking with journalists after meeting the president, Okorocha said internal democracy was the way to go.

 

“We expect internal democracy, and internal democracy is the way to go. This kind of funny politics that we are playing must stop,” the governor said. But Obi, on behalf of APC leaders in Imo State, said the outcome of the congress last Saturday in the state was a “sound democratic decision’’ of members of the APC across the wards, and warned against tampering with the result.

‘’Against the falsehoods being peddled around by Okorocha, who was defeated in the ward congress last Saturday, congress was held in all wards in the state.”
C’River APC Congresses: Materials Still in Police Custody, Says CP
As controversies continue to trail last weekend’s botched ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, has disclosed that the materials meant for the conduct of the congresses were still with the police.

The commissioner said this yesterday while reacting to enquiries about the whereabouts of the materials for the congresses which the stakeholders kept in the safe custody of the police by the party stakeholders after the congresses were postponed indefinitely.

The enquiries followed claims by a factional chairman of the party, Mr. Etim John, who addressed a press conference last Sunday, claiming that free and fair ward congresses held throughout the state.
“The stakeholders agreed among themselves. After their disagreements, they said they will not entrust the congress materials to any of them hence they came to the police and handed over the materials to the area commander in his office.
“We prevented bloodbath on Saturday, and if not for the quick intervention of the police, what we would have heard today would have been devastating. We thank God for police quick intervention.

“Who released the materials to them to conduct the congresses. He is a liar because even in the night, after 12 midnight, up to the time I am talking to you, the Area Commander has not told me that he has released the materials to anybody, he cannot release the materials without my instruction. “What is being alleged by some of them is becoming evident now that some people just wanted to sideline others, and we are not politicians, so we are not into their games, ours is to maintain law and order.”

Minister Seeks Cancellation as Party Chair Hails Exercise in Enugu
Amid controversy trailing last Saturday’s ward congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, party leaders have sharply disagreed on whether or not the outcome of the exercise should be upheld. While the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has called for the cancellation of the exercise on the grounds that it was flawed, the party Chairman in the state, Ben Nwoye insisted that the congress was generally peaceful.

Onyeama told journalists that though his group organised a peaceful congress, it would not be said to have met the constitutionally required standard since an appreciable number of people were sidelined.
He expressed dismay that the committee that was appointed to supervise the congress absconded and were no where to be found.
In a swift reaction however, Nwoye, the APC chairman in the state, dismissed the allegation of parallel congress in the state, insisting that the congresses were the most peaceful in the country.

Niger APC Chairman: Why We Adopted Affirmation Option
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman in Niger State Alhaji Jibrin Imam, has defended the affirmation method adopted by the party for last Saturday’s wrd congresses, saying that “the policy will help to strengthen and stabilise the party.” The leadership of the party were all returned by consensus without the casting of votes during the congresses a development that saw virtually all those that occupied the seats retaining them. Imam said in Minna yesterday that “the decision to adopt the affirmation option did not come with ease but we are happy we took the decision “The affirmation option did not come with ease we are happy we took the decision the policy will further strengthen the party’s existing structures “We have shown maturity in the way we handled the exercise, our party will now move forward without any obstacle” Imam said.
In the meantime the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has commended members of the party in the state for “conducting a peaceful and rancour-free ward congress..

How God Saved Our Lives, Says Oyo APC Congress Committee
Twenty-four hours after the Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State described the ward congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as peaceful, the estranged group comprising a serving Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, a leading gubernatorial aspirant, Prof Adeolu Akande, lauded the Alhaji Musa Haliru-led Congress Committee for the successful exercise. A statement signed by the Secretary of the Forum, Wasiu Olatubosun, and made available to journalists yesterday, also commended the APC members across the state for conducting themselves in orderly manner, charging them to continue with the same decorum during this weekend’s local government congress and the state Congress respectively.
The Unity Forum said the ‘overwhelming victory of members of the Unity Forum’ has again reconfirmed that indeed every politics is local and that the ultimate power belongs to God who made it possible for the forum to triumph across the 351 wards in the state.

The forum’s position came few hours after the governor had stormed Oke Ado state Secretariat of APC to witness the announcement of the outcome of the congress billed to be beamed live on broadcast channels.
The ward congress chairman also confirmed the reports from the wards as peaceful especially across all the three Senatorial districts in the state, adding that, “I am here to tell the media and the people of our great party that whatever decision we take here is being guided by the laid down procedure of our party, the APC.

Haliru added: “In Politics generally, there are winners and there are losers; there are some who believe they must have their way and if they can’t have their way, all must loose. The unfortunate incident that happened the day we arrived here where my life was threatened, two of my members were injured, but we stood our ground knowing fully well that the process cannot be intimidated most especially when we are carrying out this assignment.

“I will like to seize this opportunity to thank the leader of our party, Governor Ajimobi and the Chairman of our party, despite his old age, he has been up and doing in the past few days making sure that this process is being transparent. I congratulate all of us and I also want to appeal to our party executive that this process is not the end of it. I am happy to announce to you that our great party from Abuja has set up a committee called Appeal Committee. They are here in this Secretariat to take note of our grievances in the cause of this process. If you have any grievances against the process, please you can channel your grievances to the committee and they will attend to them.”