Twenty-seven of the 33 aspirants who contested the Ekiti governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have written a letter to the national working committee (NWC) of the party, demanding that a fresh primary should be conducted within 72 hours.
After the election hit a standoff on Saturday, the aspirants held a meeting and decided that a fresh primary should be conducted.
Rating the election committee chaired by Tanko Al-Makura, governor of Nasarawa state, poorly, they asked the leadership of the party to appoint a new committee.
In a letter seen by TheCable, the aspirants expressed disappointment with the “unsatisfactory level of preparedness for and conduct of Saturday’s primary election”.
They called for unbiased security agencies to see to it that the election is free, fair and credible.
“All the thirty-three (33) aspirants were invited. Twenty (20) aspirants were present at the meeting while two (2) sent in their representatives, while nine (9) were unavoidably absent. The remaining two (2) did not respond to the invitation,” the letter read.
“We discussed the way out of the current imbroglio and came to the following conclusions and recommendations:
“That a fresh election be conducted within 72 hours to determine who represents the party in the forthcoming July 14 governorship election in Ekiti as the 5th May exercise was compromised.
“That a new elections committee be constituted to address the issue of conflict of interest of at least three (3) key members of the Governor Al-Makura-led Committee which was discovered in the course of the election to favour one of the aspirants (a business associate, a friend and a landlord), at the expense of the remaining thirty-two.
“That security agencies be unbiased in ensuring a free, fair and credible election since it was obvious they had sympathy for one of the aspirants, which resulted in the security lapses recorded in the course of the exercise, such as the unrestricted invasion of the election venue by friends and associates of one of the aspirants who expectedly interfered with the voting process.
“Other demands and observations highlighted by the aspirants include: “that the quality of the ballot paper be improved because the photographs of the aspirants on the ballot papers used for the cancelled poll were blurred, small, and the names of aspirants were muddled. All these made it difficult for delegates to identify their preferred candidates.
“That the NWC appeals to executive governors in the neighbouring states to please support the process in the interest of the party instead of showing bias to one of the aspirants.
“That aspirants and delegates should respect the secrecy of the ballot. No aspirant should demand evidence from delegates.
“We ask the national working committee to recuse itself further from this process. The only way out as a result is to refer the report of the Al Makura committee promptly to the full NEC of the APC in an emergency meeting where the President and leader of the party working with South West regional leaders can take a firm position on the way forward in adherence to the party’s constitution.”
The party has up till Monday to present its candidate to the Independent National Electoral Committee (INEC).