Ekiti APC Divided over Consensus, Direct Primary Options

Adams Oshiomhole, APC National Chairman

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Fresh crisis has erupted in the All Progress Congress (APC), Ekiti Sate over plan by power brokers to adopt consensus to field candidates for the state and federal legislative contests ahead of the 2019 general election.

Already, the has been eliciting disquiet in the party, with those aspirants, whose fates were hanging in the balance expressing resentment over actions being allegedly contrived by some influential individuals to subvert the will of the majority.

Although, the State Working Committee had adopted consensus and direct primary methods to field candidates for the coming elections, the second option (direct) might be jettisoned taking cognisance of the enormous influences the people behind the consensus option mustered in the state chapter of the party.

A party chieftain, who spoke with THISDAY in confidence, said some of the affected aspirants “are already weighing their options to either stay in the party and fight for their rights or seek redress in the court of law.

The APC national leaders had in its last National Executive meeting in Abuja unanimously agreed to adopt consensus, direct and indirect primaries for the 2019 elections.

After the meeting, the APC National Chairman, Mr. Adam Oshiomhole clarified that direct primary would be adopted for the presidential race, while each chapter would decide the method to adopt out of the available democratic guidelines already stipulated.

However, it was gathered in Ekiti that the affected aspirants were worried with the way some of these leaders had been muzzling them so that they could bow to the consensual moves, which they said, was not in tandem with the directive given by national leaders.

The crises were more pronounced in the Ekiti State Assembly contest in Ado Constituency II, House of Representatives contests in Ekiti North Federal Constituency II , Ekiti South Federal Constituency I , Ekiti Central Federal Constituency II and Senatorial contest in Ekiti North, among others.

As tidy as the State assembly contest might seem, the people of Ado Ekiti are poised for war over attempt to allegedly impose the sister of the late Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka to represent Ado constituency II in the State House of Assembly.

While the state legislative contest was largely better handled, according to insiders, the federal legislative contests have been eliciting more disagreements, particularly in the senatorial race in the Ekiti North Senatorial District, where Sen. Olubunmi Adetunmbi was being positioned as consensus candidate to pacify ex-Governor Segun Oni’s group despite that Dr. Olusegun Osinkolu and Sen. Ayo Arise are also in the race.

Oni is presently in court challenging the governor-elect , Dr Kayode Fayemi’s eligibility to contest the May 26 primary on account of his inability to resign as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in line with party’s constitution that all appointed officials seeking
political offices must resign 30 days to the primary.

But the party has been smart enough in Ekiti South and Central Senatorial Districts, where former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye and former Commissioner for Information in Lagos State, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele might end up flying the party’s flag without ill-feelings among members.