Monday, December 6, 2021

Police take over APC secretariat as primary crisis rages

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The protests that greeted Saturday’s inconclusive governorship primary of the All Progressives, APC, in Ekiti took a new turn on Monday as the police in Ekiti took over the party’s secretariat.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that protesters, who claimed to  be sympathetic to the aspiration of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, had  besieged the secretariat on  the Ajilosun- Ikere road where they announced the removal of the state executives led by Chief Jide Awe.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the protesters also announced the immediate formation of a pro-Fayemi caretaker committee.

Armed policemen, however, arrived the secretariat shortly and drove everyone out, after which the secretariat was sealed off.

The protesters said they were at the secretariat to register their disapproval over the conduct of the members of the State Working Committee.

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The protesters, who brandished placards with various inscriptions, also passed vote of no confidence on Awe and the party’s  spokesman, Taiwo Olatunbosun, alleging they were supporting a particular aspirant.

Relying on Article 21 (7) of the party’s constitution, the protesters disbanded the SWC  and set up a Caretaker Committee  headed by the APC Chairman in Ise/Orun  Local Government Area, Mr Michael Egunjobi.

The protesters also laced the gate of the party  with fetish materials  made from palm oil and egg.

Awe, who was said to have narrowly escaped assault   by the  irate party members,  was ferried to safety from the secretariat  by mobile policemen.

As at  the time of filing this report, police vans were sighted  still stationed at the secretariat which was  under lock and key.

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Meanwhile, no fewer than 27 aspirants have rejected  the position canvassed by the National Working Committee of the party that the botched primary would continue from where it ended on Saturday.

Some of the aspirants led by former Governor Segun Oni on Monday met at a location in Ado Ekiti and rejected the position of the NWC that the committee which conducted the primary should return and complete the exercise.

The aspirants, who were reacting to a statement credited to the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, said  that the ballot cast on Saturday in five local governments  before the violence erupted had been rendered invalid.

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Among those present at the forum,  apart from Oni,  were  Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, Opeyemi Bamidele, Bimbo Daramola, Sen. Ayo Arise, Sen. Gbenga Aluko, Kola Alabi, Muyiwa Olumilua, Dr Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, Debo Ranti Ajayi and  Dr Bayo Orire.

The spokesperson for the group, Yaya-Kolade, said the fact that the votes were not counted, collated and announced at the venue, had rendered the process invalid.

She declared that the 27 aspirants would not accept attempts to validate unverified results of the few delegates that had cast their votes on Saturday neither  would they accept the Tanko Al-Makura-led committee again as umpire.


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