Post-primary crises have hit the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State.
The ruling and opposition parties held their primaries in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, last week.
Former Secretary to Government Biodun Oyebanji emerged as winner of the APC direct shadow poll.
Also, former Environment Commissioner Bisi Kolawole was elected as standard bearer by PDP delegates.
However, seven APC aspirants, including Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Kayode Ojo, Demola Popoola, Dele Faparusi, Olumuyiwa Alabi, Prince Dayo Adeyeye and Femi Bamisile, who have rejected the outcome of the primary and appealed the results before the Primary Appeal Committee chaired by Malam Tijjani Tumsah.
They claimed that they had pulled out of the primary before its commencement.
Bamidele threatened to sue the party over the primary, if the results are not reversed.
The APC National Caretaker Committee, led by Mai Mala Buni, said it would take a decision on the complaints by the contenders today.
A PDP aspirants former Governor Segun Oni, who has also rejected the outcome of the primary, alleged that the national chairman, Dr. Iyocha Ayu, and former Governor Ayodele Fayose had sold the opposition party to the ruling party.
Bamidele, who vowed to challenge Oyebanji’s victory, insisted that the process was fraught with irregularities across the 177 wards.
Although, Bamidele and six others had pulled out of the race, he garnered a total 706 votes to become distant third, while Oyebanji got 101, 703 votes.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti, the senator alleged the figures reeled out by the election panel chaired by Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru were concocted in the Government House to suit a sinister purpose.
He said: “We are, of course, taking immediate steps within the confines of our party constitution and the law to seek redress for this blatant abuse of trust and due process by the state actors”.
Bamidele said the process was “hijacked, truncated, compromised and bastardised by those at the helm of affairs in the state.”
He said: “It is public knowledge that no primary election took place on Thursday, 27th January, 2022 but yet, rather disappointedly, results were announced based on concocted and fictitious vote counts.
“The underlining level of impunity, desperation and perfidy which characterized the entire rigging process was so much and thought beclouding that I was alloted 700 plus votes in a state wide gubernatorial primary election in a State where I had scored over 90,000 votes in just one out of three senatorial districts to emerge as a senator.
Oni alleged that Ayu and Fayose had sold out the party’s candidacy to the APC by foisting a ‘political weakling’ as candidate.
But, Fayose denied the allegation, saying that party delegates made their choices.
In a statement by the Director-General of his campaign organisation, Yemi Arokodare, Oni said the outcome of the primary was orchestrated by Fayose to sell the party to the ruling APC.
He noted that the emergence of Fayose’s protege, Otunba Bisi Kolawole was part of surreptitious plans to thwart the bid of majority of PDP members in Ekiti to form the next government.
Oni said: “It is a big shame that the National Working Committee of the PDP could not see through this deception but deliberately connived with Fayose to force Gov Udom Emmanuel on the Ekiti process to achieve a predetermined hatchet job.”
Oni challenged Ayu to explain why he allowed Governor Udom Emmanuel to come for the second exercise in Ekiti after midwifing the process for the botched ad-hoc delegates election that was nullified.
“Chairman Ayu must tell the world why he cannot trust any other PDP Governor except Gov Udom Emmanuel to conduct the two exercises in Ekiti State, when it is evident that Fayose had conducted Gov Udom’s 2019 primaries”.
“It is now crystal clear that the plot ab initio was for the two buddies of Fayose from Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Enoidem (former Legal Adviser of the PDP) and Gov Udom Emmanuel, to conduct the two exercises in favour of Fayose and the NWC fell for it.”
But Fayose’s media aide, Lere Olayinka, who dismissed the allegations, said: “PDP has produced a governorship candidate in person of Kolawole. Those who had issues with the conduct of the primary had made presentations to the appeal panel. The panel has affirmed the result of the primary election.
“If anybody is saying another thing, he is on his own. The level now is that we wish and feel that everybody in the PDP including Engr Segun Oni will work together to ensure victory of our candidate.
“Hon Kolawole went to Engr Oni’s house at Ifaki Ekiti on Thursday and was told that he was not at home. Our candidate has visited other aspirants, we are talking to our people so that all of us can come together and win this election for PDP and for the people of Ekiti State.”
The Malam Tijjani Musa Tumsah-led Appeal Committee, with Hadiza Bala-Usman as Secretary, sat at the weekend the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja for almost two hours to deliberate on a joint petition by the aggrieved aspirants.
Although, the appeal committee requested each of the aspirants to present his case, they insisted on a joint presentation.
A source said: “The appeal committee will on Monday present its report to the Caretaker Committee along with the interim report of the Senator Adamu Abdullahi-led National Reconciliation Committee”.