From Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
The All Progressives Congress, APC working committee in Ekiti state has exonerated the committee set up by the national body of the party to conduct the National Assembly primaries in the state of rigging and brazen display of impunity.
The party also urged the aggrieved aspirants to stop misleading the public by making unsubstantiated allegations of rigging and concoction of figures against Dr. Ibrahim Sule-led Committee in the primary that produced Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi as the Senator for Ekiti North.
Other candidates whose election were being challenged by other contenders were; Mr Peter Owolabi and Ibrahim Olanrewaju, House of Representatives candidates in Ekiti North Federal constituencies I and II respectively.
The party maintained that those making the allegations were the ones who deployed thugs to disrupt the polls but were repelled by security agencies.
Two Senatorial aspirants; Dr Olusegun Osinkolu and Mr. Kayode Otitoju, as well as some House of Representatives’; Hon. Bimbo Daramola, Bunmi Ogunleye and Olufemi Ajayi, had alleged that no election was held in Ikole, Ido/Osi, and Oye council areas.
Reacting to the statement signed by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ade Ajayi, in Ado Ekiti on Monday, the party contended that credible primaries were held to select the House of Representatives and Senatorial candidates, contrary to the claims of some aspirants.
Ajayi posited that the direct primary adopted by the party made it impossible for the committee to concoct figures as alleged, claiming that the election was conducted and every member of the APC participated as ordered by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC.
“We disagreed that there were no elections in Oye and Ikole local governments. The elections did not only hold, but were credible and devoid of rigging, manipulations, violence and intimidation.
“Those who alleged rigging were the people that disrupted the elections at Ido/Osi, Oye, Ikole, Moba and Ilejemeje local governments. They brought thugs to destroy the property of our party including the flag at the party secretariat, they equally carted away election materials. Similarly, some journalists were beaten and their phones destroyed.
“With the use of direct mode of election, nobody could concoct election results because it was what you see, witness and counted verbally that were recorded.
“These aggrieved aspirants knew that the APC was a party of integrity and discipline that didn’t tolerate impunity and injustice.
“They should stop misleading the public and embrace peace in resolving their grievances as regards the use of photocopies of result sheets to conduct elections, rather than resorting to cheap blackmail”, he noted.
The APC spokesman described concoction of results and manipulation of elections as corruption, which the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is strongly aversed to.
Ajayi commended the party faithful for being steadfastness during the primaries, urging them to remain loyal, committed and focused ahead of 2019, even while holding any grievance against the party.