Stakeholders within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, has rejected the outcome of Saturday’s ward congresses in the state, calling on the National Caretaker Committee of the party to order for a fresh exercise in the interest of unity in the state chapter of the party.
The stakeholders under the aegis of South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023(SWAGA). described the exercise as a charade that was manipulated by the group loyal to Governor Kayode Fayemi.
There were reports that one person was killed, while several others sustained injuries in the violence that marred the exercise in the state on Saturday, after the loyalists of the governor insisted on consensus arrangement, which was vehemently rejected by members of SWAGA, who insisted on voting.
Speaking with newsmen on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the National Chairman of SWAGA, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, lamented the violence which characterised the intra-party exercise, which he said was witnessed in Ijero, Ado and Oye Local Government Areas of the state.
Adeyeye explained that the congress was not monitored by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agents, describing it ”as a charade that cannot stand the test of time.”
He noted that on Sunday morning the congress was said to have been conducted at Ado ward 8, ”where passers-by were drafted to the place this morning (Sunday) for what they called congress.”
”The Ward Congresses purportedly took place in Ekiti State. But the manner of its conduct was nothing near all democratic norms as it was warped, disorderly, perverse and can only pass for a charade.
“Now the consequences of the arrogance and selfishness of the Tokan-Tokan group, to impose their favourites on members, stares us in the face.
“As witnessed yesterday(Saturday) the presence of INEC officials was not felt at the congresses. In most of the centers, members of the Tokan-Tokan group took over the INEC job. The presence of the law enforcement agents was also very insignificant. We witnessed a situation where people waited agitatedly from dusk to almost dawn, in a decoy deployed to frustrate voters.
“We also recorded a situation later in the day where the Tokan-Tokan group, hand-picked some loyalists and were moving them from one ward to the other, in a save-face measure to give a semblance of congress.
“We are miffed by this level of desperation and wanton electoral recklessness. If it will take killings, wounding of over a hundred of our members and all sorts of violence, for the Tokan-Tokan group to succeed in an intra-party contest, what are we going to witness in a general election?
“It is disheartening that those charged with the responsibility to strengthen our party in Ekiti are rather pillaging and giving it all sorts of bad names on the track of violence. If we lost three lives in the Ekiti East bye elections and this again in an intra-party affair, then there is still more to be done to lead us to the right path.
“We are hereby telling the CECPC, our party members nationwide and indeed, all Nigerians, that there was no congress in Ekiti State yesterday(Saturday). The CECPC should call for a fresh exercise at a later date to save the party. What happened was a charade that cannot pass the test of democracy and it is totally unacceptable,” he said.
Adeyeye reiterated that the stakeholders are interested in electoral fortunes of the APC in the state, saying: “APC, to us, is one big family and in view of this, internal conflicts should not be allowed to fester; if people are really desirous of our victory in coming polls. I think it is time we bury our arrogance and ego, for the party to thrive.”