As Seven aspirants kick, demand cancellation of poll
By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—Ado Ekiti—The immediate past secretary to the state government, Biodun Oyebanji has emerged the winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship direct primary election held in Ekiti state on Thursday.
Oyebanji, from Ikogosi-Ekiti, in the central senatorial district and believed to be Governor Kayode Fayemi’s preferred aspirant was declared winner with 101,703 votes to defeat other seven aspirants who had earlier protested against the process and called for its cancellation.
The chairman of the APC primary election committee and governor of Jigawa state, Abubakar Badaru said the exercise which took place across the 177 wards in the state was peaceful , transparent and credible.
Results of other aspirants are, Dayo Adeyeye, 691 votes ; Bamidele Faparusi, 376 ; Femi Bamisile, 400 ; Opeyemi Bamidele, 760 ; Demola Popoola , 239 ; Olushola Afolabi, 47 and Kayode Ojo, 767 votes.
The other Seven aspirants had withdrawn from the primary election and called for its immediate cancellation over alleged cases of fraud and malpractices.
Speaking with Journalists at the party’s Secretariat in Ado Ekiti, in the early hours of Thursday, the aggrieved aspirants had alleged that aides and those loyal to Governor Kayode Fayemi and his anointed aspirant Biodun Oyebanji were appointed by the Committee as presiding and returning officers.
They also alleged that the Governor Mohammed Abubakar Badaru-led APC governorship Primary Committee has given the result sheets to Oyebanji’s supporters to write the results even before the election.
The aggrieved aspirants are Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, Demola Popoola, Afolabi Oluwasola, Hon Femi Bamisile and Kayode Ojo.
Senator Bamidele, who addressed the pressmen on behalf of other colleague contestants, said the party should not take any step that would embarrass APC in the Court.
“They shouldn’t embarrass APC with this conduct. We want the Committee to stop the process. They have made the result sheets available to Biodun Oyebanji’s supporters to write the results.
“It was also embarrassing and unfortunate that only the government appointees and those loyal to the Governor Fayemi and Oyevanji were appointed as Returning Officers and Presiding Officers.
“The outcome of this election is predetermined. We want the process cancelled because we don’t want the committee to embarrass our party by forcing us to confront them in the court”.
Also speaking, Senator Dayo Adeueye and Hon Bamidele Faparusi, condemned the modality being adopted by the Committee to conduct the primary, saying it was allegedly laced with fraud.
The aspirants later visited the offices if the Independent National Electoral Commission and Department of State Security and Police Command to Lodge complaints .
Oyebanji reacts, says appeal panel will handle all controversy
Reacting, Hon Biodun Oyebanji,
described the primary as credible, free and fair, contrary to position maintained by his co-contestants, who branded the poll as a sham.
Oyebanji who wandered why the 7 aspirants boycotted the primary election, when there is a body empowered by the constitution of the party to handle grievances and other related issues arising from primary election.
According to the former Secretary to the State Government, the APC appeal panel will handle all controversial issues surrounding the conduct of the election .
Seven governorship contestants had yesterday boycotted the election , citing alleged cases of manipulation and fraud.
Speaking with journalists in his Ikogosi, Ekiti West Local Gocernment’s countryhome, where he voted on Thursday’s primary, Oyebanji commended the Governor Mohammed Abubakar Badaru-led panel for being thorough in the contest of the shadow poll.
“Th guidelines of our party gives room for the constitution of appeal committee to attend to whatever grievances anyone has. They have the right to their opinions, but the party will come up with its position on whatever they say”.
Disproving the allegation of fraud and manipulation: “We thank God for the role of technology in our politics. The reports I got was that things are going on well. I have seen people queuing for accreditation and voted.
“In fact, the process has gone on seamlessly and peacefully and the committee should be commended”.
Speaking about his expectation in the contest,Oyebanji added: “I know that God will give me victory, because the process has been free and fair and I have done what was expected of me by camapaigning to our people”.