A youth group in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti state under the aegis of the Ekiti APC Young Pioneers has rejected the indirect system of primaries being planned in the state by the Paul Omotosho-led party executive.
In a release made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti and signed by Mr Adebisi Adeyemi Aduloju, the association said: “It will be recalled that the party was clear on her stance to adopt direct primaries in electing their officers or candidates into the National Assembly against the 2019 election. However, it is so disheartening, undemocratic, disgusting and cheer assassination of right to political participation for the APC, Ekiti chapter to have chosen pretentious path to pervading the course of justice by bringing to the fore unconstitutional arrangement.
“The party chairman, Mr Paul Omotosho, today announced that the 2014 membership register will be used to consider eligibility. This simply means, only those whose names were found in the register are eligible to vote and be voted for. Not bearing in mind those members who joined after 2014”
Describing the decision as “sheer day light robbery and an uncanny way of disenfranchising several people from excercising their fundamental human rights”, Aduloju said it is “a deliberate and calculated plan and act scheme out some bigwigs of the party who are more relevant and essential to the success of the election in the party”.
He added: “It is obvious that it is a deliberate move to favour some candidates, it is obvious that the masterminds of this devilish move did not realize that it is a joke taken too far.”
The group accused a former governor of the state and leader of the party, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, of being behind the move in order to prevent some potential candidates from contesting.
“We gathered from Omotosho that it is Otunba Niyi Adebayo who was behind this move having sent an SMS directing that 2014 party members register should be the eligibility benchmark chiefly to favour Hon Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, Adebayo’s anointed candidate,” the statement said.
He stated that “this ungoldly move has forced Prince Dayo Adeyeye, a supposed automatic Senate candidate to represent Ekiti South, running from pillar to post due to the eligibility yardstick”.
The group then appealed to the APC leadership in the state to disengage themselves from activities that could undermine the integrity of the party and also cause disharmony among party members.