The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday bowed to the aspiration of majority of the aspirants in aborted Ekiti governorship primary election by cancelling the aborted exercise and ordering that the exercise be conducted afresh.
The party however insisted that the Governor Tanko AlMakura led committee will still be responsible for conducting the primary while the Secretary of the committee will be replaced as a result of complaints by some aspirants that he is was close to one of then aspirants.
National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi told a news conference in Abuja that a fresh primary will now be conducted on Friday,May 11, adding that all those identified as being responsible for disrupting the process on Saturday have been barred from further participating in the primary election in whatever capacity.
“Perhaps, more importantly is that the exercise of Saturday is cancelled and would now be conducted this Friday, 11th May, 2018″, said Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the party’s spokesman. The existing primary election committee is maintained, except the secretary who will now be substituted”.
While saying that the committee Secretary was not indicted for being compromised, he said virtually all the aspirants complained that he was too close to one of the aspirants.
He said: “We don’t have any evidence that he has compromised in any way. But what we found is that almost all the aspirants complained that he has close relationship with one of the aspirants in a way that could compromise his ability to be objective and fair to all concern.
“It is to that extent that we believe that to be on the safer side and to protect the integrity of the process, we should probably excuse him and bring in someone else. But there is no allegation that he has compromised in anyway.”
Sspeaking on allegations of an aspirant bribing the delegates and why no aspirant was sanctioned, Abdullahi said “we can only act based on what the committee is able to report to us. When we received the report and sat down to deliberate on it, I can reliably inform you that there was no such allegation contained in the report. Anything they did not included in the report as people entrusted with the assignment, we cannot discuss it. As far as we are concerned, we will treat it as rumour.”
On the issue of the culpability of the aspirants, he said even thoigh there are aspirants linked to the individual agents that disrupted the process, “the principle of fair hearing require that you are able to make this allegations formally to these individuals and give them the opportunity to defend themselves or explain as the case may be before you take whatever action against them.
“If we proceed this time to handing any summary discipline on them without giving them the opportunity to explain, that will not be justice and they will have the right to appeal such decision.”
Mallam Abdullahi said the committee secretary was never indicted for compromising the process but that ” virtually all aspirants complained that the secretary has a close relationship with one of their colleagues and so we decided to drop him in order to guard the integrity of the process and not because he was found to have compromised”.
According to him, the party has decided that “all Identified unruly agents that participated in the suspended primary election of 5th May 2018 are disqualified from participating in the rescheduled primary as agents. Accordingly, the following individuals are hereby disqualified from participating as agents or partaking in the rescheduled primary in whatever capacity; Ayodeji Omowaye, Rotimi Faleye, Kayode Afolabi, Oladele Ademola Samuel, Oyetunde Ojo, Akintade Olayisade and Temitope Adewumi.
“All agent tags must bear the name of aspirants they represent. All agents in the rescheduled primary election are hereby barred from coming to the voting arena with their mobile phones.
“Security agents from other states will be mobilized to secure the venue and officials in the rescheduled election. One person would be appointed subject to the consensus of all aspirants to assist persons with disability and illiterate voters. All aspirants must not leave their sitting position unless with the approval of the primary committee
“The NWC condemn the disruptlon of the Primary of 5th May and resolved that all found culpable, directly or indirectly will be punished in accordance with the relevant provisions of the party constitution”.