Some aggrieved All Progressives Congress governorship aspirants in Ekiti State, including the representative of Ekiti Central Senatorial District, Opeyemi Bamidele, and a House of Representatives member, Hon. Femi Bamisile, have vowed to teach the All Progressives Congress a bitter lesson if the party leadership fails to do the right thing.
Addressing their campaign teams across the 16 local government areas, who converged on the office in Ado Ekiti, Bamidele and Bamisile rejected the outcome of the primary that produced Biodun Oyebanji after due consultations with their supporters.
The aspirants clarified that their grievances over the shadow poll won’t make them defect from the APC to another political party.
As much as they won’t dump the party, the aspirants posited that they won’t hesitate to stay inside the party and teach it a bitter lesson over the alleged electoral malfeasance perpetrated during the primary using political and legal means.
Bamidele added that all the alleged shenanigans and breach of party’s constitution perpetrated by Governor Abubakar Badaru-led Primary Committee will be addressed politically and legally to teach the APC a lesson it will never forget.
Bamidele said: “None of us is contemplating defection from APC.
“This is our party.
“We have contributed so much to it from the days of Alliance for Democracy.
“All we are asking for is justice.
:”We are waiting for the national leadership to take the right step and this must start by them submitting a dummy name to INEC and use the two weeks window available as contained in the Electoral Act to do what is right in this matter.
“I can be quoted that the name that will be taken to INEC in Abuja will be dummy name, so those celebrating should do that in moderation.
“If it is part of their calculation that we will leave the party for them, they are making a mistake.
“We are still waiting for the national leadership on our collective position.
“We have filed petitions and if they endorse that impunity they called primary, it will be clear that we have exhausted all the internal mechanisms for crisis resolution and we can from there return to the court of law.”
Bamidele said that the Badaru-led Committee hijacked the process by distributing materials a day before election, changed collation centres, and arbitrarily appointed those that would do Oyebanji’s biddings to compromise the process and subvert the will of the people.
He added: “The Ad hoc staff were to be adopted for the conduct of the poll because it was assumed that every member in Ekiti would have taken position.
“When you talk of ad hoc staff, it means those that would be brought from the national Secretariat of the party or APC members from other states.
“The process was totally hijacked by Badaru committee.
“What we saw was seeing people who were campaign managers, sponsors and promoters of Biodun Oyebanji being appointed and saddled with the responsibility of being Returning Officers in the 16 local governments.
“The election materials were to be distributed early on Thursday before the start of the primary and to be distributed in the presence of agents of aspirants, INEC, security chiefs and monitoring teams.
“But materials, both sensitive and nonsensitive, were distributed the previous night.
“We got calls that as of 11pm, Governor Badaru had handed over materials to Returning Officers from the 16 councils.
“Out of the 16 Returning Officers appointed, 11 of them were with Oyebanji when he collected his expression of interest form at the party Secretariat in Abuja.
“In several of our local governments, the venues of our collation centres were changed.
“At the appropriate time, we will give evidence that will put all of us in public court and that will be useful in the court of law.
“Available INEC report shows that there was no voting, no valid primary election in Ekiti.
“One thing I can assure you is that the last is yet to be heard about the Ekiti governorship primary.
“We will not stop at anything seeking for justice.
“We should take every step that will challenge this political misbehaviour from repeating itself in future, so that politicians can learn how to take caution and be civil.
“Majority of Ekiti people are seriously disappointed with the way the election went.
“I thought the election would be free and fair, because I thought Dr. Kayode Fayemi won’t get involved in things that will deprive the party of free and fair process and that he will provide for a level playing ground.
“Only history will judge me whether I was right or not .
“I thought I knew him, but I didn’t know that I did t know him quite enough.”
In his submission, Bamisile warned security agencies against threatening people with arrest over the APC governorship crisis, saying such will not work.
He said: “This is our state.
“We are fighting for what we believe in.
“This is a democracy where everyone has the right to support whoever he likes.
“The police shouldn’t threaten us with arrest.
“Nobody can stop this.
“The only thing they can do to stop us is to allow justice in our party.
“Whatever votes they have allotted to us will reflect on the day of election.
“We won’t leave this party, but not leaving does not mean that APC will not be taught a lesson.
“This is not a threat, but a prophesy that will come to pass.
“We are not going anywhere, but if the party doesn’t do it right, they will be taught a lesson they will never forget.”