South West leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have thrown their weight behind the party’s governorship primary rescheduled for Friday, with a call on delegates to ensure that the process is not monetized.
The first attempt at conducting the primary to elect the APC candidate for the forthcoming governorship election was aborted last Saturday after supporters of some of the aspirants alleged that the process had been compromised and violently disrupted the election.
The South Leaders, including Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande and Aremu Olusegn Osoba, in a statement released after their meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, also called on the delegates to ensure full and active participation at the primary election and vote according to their conscience “in the overall interest of our party, the growth of our democracy and consistent with our progressive tradition which our people are noted for.”
They equally urged the aspirants to shun all manners of sharp practices and avoid any resort to violence during the rescheduled primaries.
Full text of the statement reads:
EKITI STATE FRESH GOVERNORSHIP PRIMARY ELECTION AND THE CLARION CALL OF APC LEADERS FROM THE SOUTH WEST GEO-POLITICAL ZONE
Concerned by the developments within the Ekiti State Chapter of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), with respect to the huge number of Governorship Aspirants and the botched primary election of Saturday, 5th May, 2018, the leadership of the party from the South West geo-political zone on Tuesday, 8th May, 2018 met in Abuja with the 33 Governorship Aspirants who participated in the primary election to review the circumstances that led to the disruption of the election. The leaders at the meeting held at the Lagos State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja were Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Chief Pius Akinyelure.
Among other issues, the question of how to conduct a free, credible and transparent primary election was discussed at the meeting. All the Aspirants were agreeable to the intervention and admonition of the leaders that they maintain the peace throughout the process. The Aspirants encouraged the leaders to further discuss with the National Chairman of the party, His Excellency, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, on the way forward. Specifically, the leaders were mandated to discuss with the National Chairman of the party on the possibility of an option of Direct Primaries for the conduct of the rescheduled primaries, as provided for in Article 20 of our party’s constitution to enable every card-carrying member of the party vote for an aspirant of his or her choice. As opposed to the Delegates System, the Aspirants believe Direct Primary election is more transparent, less monetised and energises the democratic system through the participation and involvement of the generality of the party members.
After a subsequent meeting of the leaders with the National Chairman of the party, with the Ekiti State Chairman of the party, Chief Jide Awe, and two representatives of the Aspirants, Engr. Segun Oni and Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, in attendance, it was decided that given the extent of planning and logistics involved and the closeness of the deadline for the conduct of primaries by all political parties in Ekiti State as well as submission of names of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), it would be better to go by the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to conduct a fresh Indirect Primary Election in Ekiti State on Friday, 11th May, 2018, the leaders having been assured by both the National Chairman of the party as well as His Excellency, Governor Tanko Al-Makura that the rejuvenated Primary Election Committee would put new and extra measures in place to ensure a restoration of the integrity of the electoral process aimed at producing a credible Candidate with the highest number of votes.
In view of this, the entire leadership of the party from the South West geo-political region hereby calls on all the delegates in Ekiti State to ensure full and active participation at the primary election on Friday. We also encourage delegates to vote according to their conscience and ensure that the process is not monetised in the overall interest of our party, the growth of our democracy and consistent with our progressive tradition which our people are noted for. The Aspirants themselves are enjoined to shun all manners of sharp practices and avoid any resort to violence during the rescheduled primaries.
- His Excellency,
Chief Bisi Akande
- His Excellency,
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
- His Excellency
Aremo Olusegun Osoba
- His Excellency
Otunba Niyi Adebayo
- Chief Pius Akinyelure
National Vice Chairman, South West