The Gov. Tanko Al-Makura-led organising committee for the All Progressives Congress governorship primaries in Ekiti State has suspended the exercise indefinitely. The suspension followed the disruption of the exercise by suspected party thugs.
A meeting of the committee and all the aspirants held shortly after the crisis erupted lasted for nearly one hour and half, after which Al-Makura stormed out, guarded into his car and driven away without briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting.
However, Bimbo Daramola, one of the aspirants, who said he was not permitted to speak for the committee, said the aspirants during the meeting urged the organising committee to take a second look at the process.
He said what happened was triggered by some observations and there was need not to expose such an election to the factors that prevailed in Saturday’s exercise.
Most of the aspirants would not talk to journalists as they equally stormed out of the venue of the primaries.
The process was disrupted by party supporters and agents of aspirants after they alleged that the agent of former governor, Kayode Fayemi, was trying to manipulate the voters.
They also alleged that Fayemi was handing a tag to the delegates with inscription “JKF” on which they wrote the serial number of the ballot papers, fearing that it was an attempt to monetise the process.
Fayemi’s agent, Abedeji Adewumi, said the other agents chose to disrupt the process because they saw that the voting was in favour of his aspirant.
“They disrupted the election because we are leading. The rule was that if a delegate had difficulty identifying who to vote for, he can call the agent and he could be guided on how to vote.
“So when the other agents saw that those who were voting were calling on the agent of JKF, they felt we were leading and were not comfortable.”
But the Director General of the Babafemi Ojudu campaign, Ranti Adebisi, said the process could not continue because it had been compromised.
“The process has been compromised. When there was a rule that you can only bring in two people. He brought in 18 observers. He cannot come here and disrupt what is going on in Ekiti State,” he said.
Other agents complained that the party had no clear guidelines as to how the process should be conducted, changing the rules intermittently without informing those participating in the process.
They also alleged that some security operatives close to the voting area were telling the delegates how to vote and to vote for Fayemi.
They called for the stoppage of the exercise with all their observations considered before the primaries could be continued.