•As winner of APC primary, Oyebanji

extends an olive branch to aggrieved  aspirants

By Rotimi Ojomoyela, Ado-Ekiti

Following the emergence last Thursday of  Hon Biodun Oyebanji, as the winner of the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship primary in Ekiti state, the stage is set for an electoral war between the former governor, Ayodele Fayose, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the incumbent governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, through their anointed candidates at the June 18 governorship election in the state.

Hon Biodun Oyebanji is believed to be Governor Fayemi’s preferred candidate while Mr Bisi Kolawole who had on Wednesday been declared winner of the PDP’s, governorship primary is said to be Fayose’s man.

Fayose had earlier defeated the then incumbent, Fayemi and went ahead to complete two terms in office before Fayemi came back to power after defeating a candidate sponsored by Fayose. With both of them completing their two tenures and sponsoring their candidates in their different political parties for the forthcoming governorship election in the state, they would want to use the election to determine who is the strongman of Ekiti politics

Meanwhile, the winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary, Hon Biodun Oyebanji has promised to work together with other aspirants to ensure victory for the party in the June 18 governorship election in the State.

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Describing his victory as “a win for all and a win for participatory democracy”, Oyebanji promised to jealously guide the confidence reposed in him.

Oyebanji, who was declared the winner by the Governor Baduru Abubakar-led Governorship Election Committee, after polling a total 101,703 votes at the primary election, also thanked former governor Adeniyi Adebayo and the incumbent governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi as well as the leadership and membership of the party for their steadfastness and support during the contest.

He was declared the winner by the chairman of the APC primary election committee and Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, with 101,703 votes to defeat the other seven aspirants who had earlier protested against the process and called for its cancellation.

Results of other aspirants were: Dayo Adeyeye, 691 votes; Bamidele Faparusi, 376; Femi Bamisile, 400 ; Opeyemi Bamidele, 760 ; Demola Popoola , 239 ; Olushola Afolabi, 47 and Kayode Ojo, 767 votes.

Speaking with Journalists in Ado Ekiti shortly after he was declared winner, late on Thursday, Oyebanji commended members of the APC for coming out in their large numbers to participate in the electoral process as a sign of deepening the internal democracy of the party.

He also said his campaign would be issue-based and would dwell on track records of competence, compassion, character and visions for moving the State forward.

He promised to reach out to his co-aspirants on the best way to resolve their grievances and enlisted their support for an effective campaign ahead of the June 18 election in the state.

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, on Thursday, the aggrieved aspirants had alleged that Governor Fayemi’s aides and those loyal to him were appointed  as presiding and returning officers of the primary and thereby aided the victory of Oyebanji

They also alleged that  the Governor Mohammed Abubakar Badaru-led APC governorship Primary Committee had given the result sheets to Oyebanji’s supporters to write the results even before the election took place

The aggrieved aspirants are Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, Demola Popoola, Afolabi Oluwasola, Hon Femi Bamisile and Kayode Ojo.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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