Governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has rejected the scheduled primary election, citing irregularities and kangaroo arrangements to arm twist the process to favour a particular candidate.
The primary election was scheduled to hold on January 27, 2022.
In a statement he personally signed and sent to DAILY POST on Thursday, the lawmaker alleged that his rejection was as a result of the nomination of Fayemi’s aides, assembly members as electoral umpires for the primary.
He warned the party leadership not to go ahead with the primary election, saying that there would be a legal battle if the APC goes ahead.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, wondered how could Fayemi’s aides participate in an election process which they have interest, while he further fingered Governor Fayemi, Wife and Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, as those behind the shenanigans.
According to him, Fayemi and others have perfected plans to foist their anointed aspirant on the people of Ekiti State.
The statement reads: “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 realize that some leaders of the party such as Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Governor Kayode Fayemi have anointed a candidate at 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 inspite of Governor Fayemi’s promise to create a level playing field for all aspirants during the governorship primary.
“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 primary.
“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.
The lawmaker lamented the harassment, killing and intimidation of loyal party members by thugs, he said, were brought into the state by government officials.