APC Primaries: Osinkolu Threatens Court Action Over SWC’s Sudden Change of Election Method ... As VOK, MKD Round Off Campaigns, Sure of Victory
An All Progressive Congress Senatorial Aspirant in Ekiti North, Dr Olusegun Osinkolu has threatened to sue the Ekiti State Working Committee of the party for suddenly changing the rules of the game barely 24 hours to the party's primary election.
This threat of court action came up yesterday against the backdrop of a press release signed by the State Public Relations Officer of the APC, Hon Ade Ajayi announcing that indirect primary would now be used for the primary election contrary to its decision at the house of the National Deputy Chairman of the party, Otunba Niyi Adebayo that National Assembly elections shall be by direct primaries. The new State Executive Committee was inaugurated on same day at the leader's house in Iyin Ekiti.
Meanwhile, two of the House of Representatives aspirants, Messrs Victor Olumuyiwa Kolade and Makinde Araoye rounded off their campaigns yesterday in anticipation of the primary election on Wednesday this week.
Mr Kolade, a lawyer organized the grand finally of his rally in Efon Alaye attended by the 33 wards in his Federal constituency while Araoye organized his grand finale empowerment programme for members of his Federal Constituency at Ise-Ekiti. It was a mammoth crowd that attended the two events at Efon Alaaye and Ise-Ekiti.
Kolade and Araoye who did not comment on the change of the election method said that though they were yet to be officially communicated on the change in the method to be adopted, they were fully prepared to coast home victory in their respective Federal constituencies.
The NWC had last week released the guidelines for the conduct of the primaries in all the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory and direct primary was specifically slated for Ekiti.
However the Ekiti APC SWC at its emergency meeting of October 1, 2018 took a contrary decision, by opting for indirect system.
To justify the action
the statement signed by the State PRO cited security challenges as a cogent reason for the party's decision. The statement reads: “The Ekiti State APC had unanimously adopted indirect primary for the conduct of state and national assembly primaries scheduled for October 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
“this decision was taken in line with the party’s constitution and having considered the security challenges of the state presently”.
Ajayi said the motion for the adoption of indirect was moved by an ex-officio member, Mr Akinleye Michael and seconded by the party’s Chairman in Oye Council, Mr Olumide Adeyanju.
Countering this position of the NWC, Dr. Osinkolu and a House of Representatives aspirant in Ekiti North Central Federal Constituency II, Akinlayo Kolawole, urged the NWC not to bow to sudden deviation from the agreed direct system.
Osinkolu made efforts to personally visit the Paul Omotoso-led SWC in Ado Ekiti on Monday to protest over the change of modality for the conduct of the primary, but the office was under lock and key.
The aspirant said it sounded so unfathomable that the party could take a position that negated the preference of the national body, describing this as a great erosion of the democratic hierarchy in APC and party supremacy.
“The Oshomhole led executive was very clear that primary should be used. I don’t know where this actually came from. How could they have changed the rules in the middle of the game?
“Since that pronouncement was made in Abuja, we have been preparing towards that and for them to change now and said it was indirect primary was not only anti-democratic but sent a signal that the process could be mismanaged if not properly guarded.
“We call on the NWC not to waver or succumb to intimidation that indirect primary will be used and any attempt to adopt such will be challenged in the court of law”, he stated.
Also, a House of Representatives contender, Mr. Akinlayo Kolawole, appealed to the National Chairman of the party, Com. Adams Oshimhole to retain Direct primary for the State.
The primary for the House of Representatives in APC will hold on Wednesday, October 3.
The aspirant begged Oshiomhole not to be swayed by clandestine pressure coming from some quarters that indirect primary should be allowed in Ekiti, describing such agitation as an attempt to impose candidates, who can’t win elections on the people.
Kolawole, who is eyeing the National Assembly seat to represent Ekiti North Federal constituency II, advised the party to consolidate on the gains of the victory of the July 14 governorship election won by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, by being fair to all aspirants in the impending primaries, saying only Direct primary can guarantee such to party
Speaking in Ikosun Ekiti in Moba Local Government on Sunday over the pressure being allegedly mounted by some aspirants and their backers on the National leaders of the party that indirect primary should be used in Ekiti, Kolawole reminded that such attempt would reinforce some people’s powers to impose their surrogates against the people’s preferences.
Kolawole said Oshiomhole upon assumption of office promised to do justice to even the least rated person in the party, saying the best way the party could be fair to all aspirants, is by conducting free, fair and unblemished primaries through direct option, in any constituency or senatorial district, where consensus could not be breached.
“Direct Primary remains the best way to pick a candidate where there is crisis on consensus option, and that must come to play in Ekiti to prevent protest votes.