Here is why the APC governorship primary in Ekiti ended on a violent note.
Ole is the Yoruba word for “thief”.
John Kayode Fayemi is the current Minister of Solid Minerals in the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Ekiti elects a new governor on July 14, 2018 and Fayemi is up against the likes of Babafemi Ojudu and Segun Oni for the APC ticket.
Two former governors and three former senators are among the 33 governorship aspirants jostling for the sole APC governorship ticket.
Chairman of the organising committee, Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, had a hard time getting a handle on proceedings--with a section of party faithful inside the stadium accusing him of receiving orders from Abuja to rig the vote for Fayemi.
Party agents would go on to disrupt the process; as security agents cordoned off the voting area in a bid to keep ballot boxes and papers from an angry crowd.
On the grounds of the stadium, security personnel opened fire sporadically to deter hoodlums from going haywire.
Shortly after the rancour at the venue of the primaries, the process was brought to a halt and the election postponed indefinitely.
A vote of no confidence was also passed on Al-Makura who was called biased and compromised to his face.
Thugs who had been baying for blood before the first vote was cast in anger, continued chanting and threatening as the day wore on.
“The process has been compromised. When there was a rule that you can only bring in two people. Fayemi brought in 18 observers. He cannot come here and disrupt what is going on in Ekiti State,” Ranti Adebisi, DG of the Babafemi Ojudu campaign said in a statement sent to Pulse afterward.
But a representative of Fayemi, Abejide Adewumi, denied that Al-Makura was working to influence the vote for the minister.
According to Adewumi, the other contestants decided to disrupt the process because they knew they were losing.
A video sent to Pulse by the Fayemi campaign contained the following words: “Why are they afraid of Fayemi? The discrediting and maligning of Dr. Fayemi’s integrity started before the APC primary.
“Not only did they doubt his entry into the Ekiti primary, when he did, they doubted his capacity to rally the delegates. Since 2014 and for 3 years, Dr. Fayemi stood with the party delegates. Within 3 weeks, he moved across the wards, addressing party loyalists and all of the delegates who had his support since they became delegates (and stood for them when others opposed them).
“Dr. Fayemi’s delegates came into the stadium in a celebratory mood: chanting JKF’s name and hopeful of an eventful APC primary outcome. This, no doubt, infuriated JKF’s detractors who were (and still are) bent on ensuring his political demise.
“The regulations of the APC stipulates that illiterate and visually impaired delegates could be assisted in casting their votes by the agent representing their candidate.
“After 5 LGAs, the repeated mention of ‘Fayemi’ by JKF’s delegates painted a clear picture of victory for JKF and resounding defeat for his opponents. This was the final straw.”
A Fayemi supporter told Pulse that "the primaries were going his way. Main reason the other parties scattered the primaries".
Fayemi has also denied that he tried to disrupt the process.
In a statement made available to Pulse by his media aide Yinka Oyebode, Fayemi went after two of the other aspirants.
“It is quite painful seeing some desperate elements trying so much to rubbish the party we all labored to build to national reckoning, out of sheer lust for power.
“If the quest for political position is to serve, then one wonders why the desperation being displayed by the likes of Femi Ojudu and Bimbo Daramola”.
In his response, Ojudu who is a Special Adviser to Buhari on political matters, said Fayemi promised to disrupt proceedings if the vote didn’t go his way.
“This is another tantrum from a man whose political fortune has taken a deep slide in recent times and whose entire campaign strategy was built on lies, orchestrated violence and cheap anti-democratic tricks”, Ojudu said in a statement.
Ojudu said it is disingenuous to suggest that he was behind the violence.
“We implore the security agents who made several arrests at the scene to make public the identities of the people arrested and their sponsors. I can tell you 100 percent that they have no link whatsoever to the Ojudu campaign.
“Fayemi has been the candidate threatening violence since he joined the race last month. He threatened to cripple the state if not given the party ticket. He deployed security agents to intimidate delegates even during the conduct of the primaries.
“He is the aspirant that has been avoiding democratic test of popularity. Clearly, if there is anyone desperate, that person is Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
“Fayemi came late into this very contest to realise that the boat has left the shore. He is now looking for any straw to hang on to. He was shocked to realise that his much advertised hold on the state executive was a fluke.
“He was shocked that Ojudu was coasting home with a landslide so he has to haphazardly change from one rigging strategy to the other but Ekiti people are not fools.”
After an emergency meeting held in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, 27 of the 33 aspirants who participated in the APC governorship primary election, called for the disbandment of the organising committee led by Governor Al-Makura.
The aggrieved aspirants also called for the cancellation of the votes cast by four local governments before the exercise was disrupted on Saturday.
The communique from the aggrieved aspirants contained the following words: “We want the committee to be disbanded completely and our National Working Committee should set up a new committee to conduct another primary that will meet international standard.
“Even many of those in the panel were friends to a particular candidate and this we thought could vitiate the outcome of the election.
“We are determined to win Ekiti but the right thing must be done for a candidate that will command the respect of everybody to emerge.”
Fayemi lost his re-election battle to the PDP backed Ayodele Fayose who trounced the minister in all 16 local governments in Ekiti State.
After the defeat, Fayemi wasted no time conceding—an act that was hailed across the land as sportsmanly and gentlemanly.
A year later, Fayemi was appointed minister in the Buhari cabinet.
Whoever emerges APC candidate will square up against a handpicked PDP flagbearer.
Fayose has already anointed his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka, as his successor.
Eleka is likely to emerge the PDP flagbearer at the party’s primary election on Tuesday.