APC: Opeyemi Bamidele Demands Cancellation Of Ekiti Primary Election, Says It Will Be Manipulated
Senator and Governorship aspirant of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ekiti state, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has rejected the scheduled primary election scheduled to hold on Thursday, January 27, 2022.
Mai Mala Buni APC’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee had during the week announced Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State as chairman of the Primary Election Committee.
The party is expected to pick its standardbearer on January 27 ahead of the June governorship election to be conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Bamidele in a statement on Thursday described the planned exercise as ‘kangaroo’, saying his rejection of the election process was sequel to nomination of some aides to Governor Kayode Fayemi, House of Assembly members as electoral umpires in the exercise.
He warned the party leadership not to do something that would embarrass the party in the court room.
Bamidele who wondered how Fayemi’s aides would participate in an election process in which they had interest, blamed the governor, his wife and Minister of Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, for allegedly planning to foist their anointed candidate on the people of Ekiti.
I am one of the seven Governorship Aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who vehemently condemned the parade of functionaries of the Governor Fayemi administration as returning officers for the APC gubernatorial primaries billed to hold in the State on Thursday, 27th January, 2022.
We had jointly expressed our utter displeasure against the undemocratic, lopsided and highly manipulative arrangement. I hereby make an additional statement to place on record that it is quite disheartening to realise that some leaders of the party such as Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Governor Kayode Fayemi have anointed a candidate to the detriment of other gubernatorial aspirants whereas they have on several occasions denied the accusation of anointing a candidate ahead of the primary election.
Even the blind can see and the deaf can hear that the Fayemi administration is clearly working towards manipulating the primary election in spite of Governor Fayemi’s promise to create a level playing field for all aspirants during the governorship primary.
He further stated;
Let it be on record that contrary to the guidelines for Ekiti State APC Governorship Primary Election as released by the party’s National Leadership, Governor Kayode Fayemi is parading officials of his government, including elected House of Assembly Members, Local Government Chairmen and other top functionaries of his administration, as electoral umpires for the governorship primaries. How can you expect Fayemi’s loyalists and cohorts to conduct a free and fair election in the 177 wards across the state? Where is fairness and fairplay in that charade primary election aimed at forcefully foisting an aspirant on party members without recourse to democratic ethos, credibility and decency?
To further worsen the sad situation, thousands of political thugs were reportedly brought to Ekiti State in the course of the week by top functionaries of the Governor Fayemi administration in their desperation to impose the anointed candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, against the wishes of APC teeming majority members and leaders in Ekiti State. In the last five days, we have been inundated with sad reports of gruesome attacks, harassment and intimidation of innocent party members by Government officials, security operatives and political thugs.
These criminal elements have made life unbearable for our members. Many people have deserted their homes while several party members are running helter skelter for their dear lives. From the foregoing developments, the proposed APC governorship primary in Ekiti State is already bedeviled with reckless irregularities, serial violent attacks on innocent party members, the unlawful hijack and manipulation of the entire exercise by government functionaries, falsification of party membership register as well as illicit racketeering of results to favour Biodun Oyebanji, the anointed candidate of Governor Kayode Fayemi, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Erelu Bisi Fayemi.
Without mincing words, I vehemently berate and condemn the kangaroo governorship primaries scheduled to hold on Thursday, 27th January, 2022 given the perceived irregularities, high handedness, intimidation and state-induced violence characterizing the exercise.
To this end, I, therefore, call on the National leadership of our party to discontinue the process of the election before it leads to another round of embarrassment to the party in the Court room because of gross misconduct and deliberate contravention of the party’s Constitution and the Guidelines guiding the exercise by top functionaries of the Governor Fayemi administration, who obviously, have hijacked the process.