Coalition of Civil Society groups in Ekiti State, under the aegis of Alliance for Equity and Justice Initiative, has accused the State governor, Abiodun Oyebanji of orchestrating plans to manipulate the outcome of the local government election scheduled to hold in December this year.
The Civil Society groups further alleged that some preferred names have already been pencilled down as winners of the primary election by the governor, even when the election is yet to hold.
In a statement by the groups coordinator, Comrade Kayode Oluwafemi, and Secretary, Hon, Kingsley Wale, described the governor’s action as undemocratic and divisive, warning that if not quickly addressed will lead to the break down of law and order and joepardirze the chances of the party in the state.
The Statement reads in parts, “The Alliance for Equity and Justice is in custody of documents obtained through very reliable sources, detailing attempts by the Governor to undermine the upcoming primaries for the Ekiti State local Government elections, scheduled for December 2023.
“The documents indicate that some names has already been pencilled down by the Governor as winners of a primary election that is yet to be conducted. The development raises serious concern to every peace loving citizens of Ekiti State and calls to question, the Governor’s desire to conduct a free, fair and transparent primaries even within his own political party.
“To put the records straight and disabuse the minds of some persons who may wish to see our noble effort at creating an atmosphere for a peaceful and transparent primaries as meddlesome, we have attached herewith, some very vital documents which shows that indeed, the upcoming party primaries will be anything but transparent except necessary measures are taken immediately to reverse the situation.
“It is rather very sad and unfortunate, that the Governor, who rode on the back of the good will, unflinching support, reputation and sterling performance of the former Governor, Dr Fayemi to ascend to power has now turned round with the likes of Chief Ayo Fayose, a former Governor of the State to try to undermine Dr Fayemi for reasons of political expediency.
“Based on the above observations and to get it right with the hope of the party retaining the support of the entire citizens, come the December local Government elections, we recommend that:
The Governor and his team retraces their steps and take immediate and decisive measures to ensure a transparent, free, credible and all inclusive primary election conducted within the ambit of the party’s laws and regulations and in total compliance with Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC ) and party guideline and Electoral laws of the state.
“That attempts by a section of the party heirachy in the State, spearheaded by the Governor to emasculate and rubbish the upcoming primaries be immediately discountenanced.
“The Ekiti State APC Local Government primary Election coming up on the 4th of October 2023 presents a golden opportunity for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to further consolidate its grip on the State but that can only be achieved through a credible, transparent, free and fair Primary election where all the aspirants will be treated equally and fairly, with all eligible members of the party competing on a level playing ground.
“It is only a primary election in which all the aspirants will see themselves as co-winners and happily congratulate each other, that will further engender peace and unity within the party and the State in general
“The onus of choosing a credible, acceptable and accessible candidates for the local Government elections in the State by all stakeholders, through a credible and transparent process, becomes very critical as any mistake in this regard is capable of further creating bad blood within the party and makes it easy for the opposition to take advantage of the loopholes.
“The Alliance for Equity and Justice Initiative therefore, wish to use this medium to call on the Governor, his Excellency, Abiodun Abayomi Oyebanji to work harmoniously with his predecessor and benefactor, Dr Fayemi for the greater good and well being of the people of Ekiti State.
“Any kangaroo primary elections for the upcoming local Government polls must be avoided in order not to further exacerbate the divisions within the party hierarchy in the State,” the statement said.
The state electoral body had expressed desire to conduct credible poll.