By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Chairman, All Progressives Congress APC Governorship Primary Election Committee for Ekiti state, Gov. Mohammed Badaru has explained the role of his committee in Thursday’s controversial exercise which saw seven out of the eight aspirants withdrawing from the race on the grounds that the outcome of the exercise was already predetermined.
He spoke Friday in Abuja shortly after submitting the report of his committee to the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC of the party.
He said; “We have submitted the results sheets and reports where they were conducted. 166 wards. Eleven wards were disrupted and we canceled those areas but in 166, people actively participated. And I think you all have the videos of what transpired in all the 166 wards except the 11. Even the 11 that had crisis, I am sure you have seen the videos”, he said.
On reports that seven of the aspirants pulled out of the race, Badaru said it was not true.
“That is absolutely not true. We landed on the 26th January. I had meetings with all the aspirants and 7 attended out of 8. And we discussed the guidelines and we agreed on all the terms. What they are alleging probably, party members loyal to the governor, were chosen to serve as returning officers in various wards and local governments. And they raise that at the meeting. And I asked them, the guidelines is to use the party people to do the job. We cannot hire or take people that are not from the party. But they can also give us 20 each from the party people that they believed will do justice to them. And they provided those 20 list which we incorporate into returning officers. And this was communicated in the early morning to them because they send their own list very late and that was what even delayed us that night.
“We managed to incorporate all the 20 people each they sent to us to participate also in the exercise. But you can see from what happened that they are supposed to have agents in all the 177 wards. And this 11 wards that the primaries were disrupted were wards that had relationship with most of the aspirants. So, you can see if they have that power, to stop the congress, they could have done it also in the 166 wards”, he stated .