Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu and Bisi Akande, on Tuesday called on the runner-up of the party’s governorship primary election in Ekiti state, Segun Oni, to come out publicly to dissociate himself from a suit allegedly filed, asking the court to revoke the candidacy of Kayode Fayemi.
On Monday, it was alleged that Oni filed a case at a Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the emergence of Fayemi as the party’s standard bearer for the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti state.
He purportedly asked the court to determine if Fayemi did not violate the constitution and the guidelines of the ruling party primary by contesting the primary election at a time he was still serving as minister in the federal government.
But in a statement on Tuesday, Tinubu, a national leader of the APC, and Akande, the party’s former interim chairman, condemned the alleged action.
They said in a statement, “The decision to support Kayode Fayemi was reached through a combination of persuasion, reconciliation, consensus- building and understanding on the part of all the stakeholders.
“We led several intervention meetings that held in Abuja, Lagos and Ekiti with all the APC Ekiti gubernatorial aspirants where we resolved to support whoever emerges from the May primaries.
“We have stood behind Kayode Fayemi’s candidacy since he won the governorship primaries and when we all gathered in Ekiti for the Mega Rally on June 19, it was an emphatic declaration of support for his candidacy.
“Again on the night of June 19, we as leaders met with all stakeholders including all former aspirants and commended them for not defecting from the party. They all emphasized their commitment and suggested that Kayode Fayemi run an effective and inclusive campaign that will ultimately lead to an all-inclusive government.
“We have been consistent in our position working to ensure victory for the APC candidate, we are therefore surprised to find out through media channels about plans to challenge Kayode Fayemi’s candidacy on spurious grounds.”
“Furthermore, it is worrisome that a court action against Kayode Fayemi and our party is alleged by media reports to be instituted by Chief Segun Oni, which from our investigations is being sponsored by some unknown persons.”
The chieftains are demanding the sponsors of the court action to withdraw their case immediately if, indeed, they are not agents of the opposing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“We also request that Segun Oni should also come out publicly to dissociate himself from and condemn the case and play active role in the APC campaign.”
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has accused some top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of conniving with Governor Ayodele Fayose, to rig the coming election.
The former minister of Mines and Steel Development accused three top INEC functionaries from Abuja of holding a secret meeting with Fayose in the Government House, Ado Ekiti, some days back under the guise of being in the state for official duty.
Fayemi urged the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris and the Director General of the Department State Services, DSS, Mr. Lawan Daura, to investigate the allegation and bring the culprit to book.
But INEC’s Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Taiwo Gbadegesin, said the electoral body did not receive any official from Abuja, saying none of their officers visited the governor on any scheduled or emergency invitation.
Gbadegesin assured the people that INEC would conduct free, fair and credible election in the state, saying the technology that had been put in place will make rigging difficult and unachievable.
Briefing journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the Deputy Director General (Ekiti South), Kayode Fayemi Campaign Council, Hon. Bamidele Faparusi , pointedly accused these three electoral officials namely: Egharevba John, Festus Aisien, Igidiogu Kelechi and one Ishaku Abbo, a former INEC staff of conspiring to vitiate and compromise the process.
Fayemi said one Ishaku from the northern part of the country, allegedly brokered the deal on Fayose’s behalf.
According to him, the said Ishaku, has allegedly been living in the government house in Ekiti in the last six months.
“We have it on good authority that an election expert, one Ishaku, a former INEC official, has been living with the governor in the Government House since January this year. After these illegal activities in the Government House, there was a secret meeting held with three top officials of INEC from the national headquarters in the Government House,” he said.
“Curiously, these three top officials hold strategic positions in election management. One is from the administration, one is from Stores and Distribution Department, while the other is ICT top official.
“For the reasons best known to them, only the Government House was their exclusive port of call; APC was never in the picture. After this evil agenda, Fayose stormed the media to raise allegations the APC was in Ondo State Government House to manipulate the ballot to give APC an edge in the July 14 election,” he said.