– An APC governorship aspirant in Ekiti, Ayo Arise, has said the party would still emerge victorious, despite its current crisis
– He described the botched primary as a shame, because those who were supposed to conduct a free and fair election couldn’t do it
– Arise called on the APC to put its house in order quickly in order to improve its chances at the polls
Senator Ayo Arise, an All Progressives Congress (APC) Ekiti governorship aspirant, has expressed optimism that the party would still emerge victorious at the July 14 governorship election in the state, despite the current crisis rocking it, Vanguard reports.
In a chat with newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Monday, May 7, he said the ruling party is more determined to oust the Ayo Fayose-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership in the state.
NAIJ.com gathers that Arise, however, described the botched May 5 governorship primary as “unfortunate and a total embarrassment”; but he said the party is conducting investigations into the matter, and would sanction those responsible for the fiasco.
He refuted reports that the exercise had been hijacked by hoodlums, pointing out that it was brought to a halt by aspirants’ agents and party members when irregularities and electoral malfeasance were noticed.
In his words: “I don’t think that those who participated can really be described as hoodlums; I think they were agents and party members, so I believe there are some irregularities that they noticed and that led to what we all saw as the effect of the outcome that were noticed and with some evidences that we have seen.
“What happened was a shame because those who were supposed to conduct a free and fair election couldn’t do it. Some people were allowed to be exchanging cards, money and promissory notes were being given for collection of cash after voting while the election was going on, and I believe this is the immediate cause of the reactions that we have all seen that has put us in Ekiti in a very bad light.
“But I want to say that if such anomalies continue, it is very likely that we would still be getting the same result. We have asked for a free and fair election; and that is the minimum that we expect from the party, and that is the minimum that we would accept as the final outcome.
“We want a free and fair election; we do not want anybody throwing money around while election has started under any disguise, it is a total aberration, it is against the electoral law. Anybody that is found culpable should excuse from this process.”
On whether he still has confidence in the Governor Tanko Almakura Electoral Committee, he said: “I understand many of us have been shortchanged by the way and manner some members of the committee found their names in the committee; and that has been expressed.
“Almakura went as far as changing the secretary; but there is general consensus of the participants of this election that that committee is compromised because a particular aspirant has been fingered to be the one that nominated most of the members, in such a way that every other contestant is at disadvantage.”
He added: “The earlier we able to put our house in order, the better the chances of our party in the election. The situation on the ground is very tense, and I believe we are going to Abuja to meet our leader and find out the way forward so that this problem would not drag for too long.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the APC will disqualify aspirants found guilty of disrupting the recently held Ekiti gubernatorial primary.
The hint was given by Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the party’s national publicity secretary, on Monday, May 7, during a chat with newsmen at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Abdullahi made his comments following the submission of the report by the Governor Tanko Al-Makura-led Ekiti State Governorship Primary Committee, to the party’s National Working Committee.
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