• Voters to queue behind aspirant’s poster for APC primary, says Badaru
Candidate of the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, Chief Bisi Kolawole, was last night declared winner of the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held yesterday to fly the party’s flag in the June 18 governorship election in the state.
Kolawole, former chairman of the PDP in Ekiti, edged out Chief Segun Oni, an ex-governor, and Prof. Kolapo Olusola, a former deputy governor of the state. The primary election held in Ado-Ekiti.
Other aspirants who contested the primary are Senator Biodun Olujimi, Yinka Akerele, Deji Ogunsakin, Lateef Ajijola, Wale Aribisala, Ayodeji Kazeem, Kayode Adaramodu and Wale Aribisala.
Olujimi, the senator representing Ekiti South, later pulled out of the shadow election, citing alleged manipulation of delegates’ list in favour of a particular aspirant.
The delegates first converged on Pastoral Centre in Ado-Ekiti to get accredited, after which they moved to Great Eagle Hall for the voting.
Kolawole was declared winner by the chairman, electoral committee of the party, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State. He said Kolawole won having scored the highest number of votes cast.
According to him, Kolawole scored a total of 671 votes to defeat his closest rival, Oni, who polled 330 votes.
Other highlights of the poll included void votes, 13; Adekemi Adewumi, one; Biodun Olujimi, two; Lateef Ajijola, one; Ayodeji Kazeem, six; Kayode Adaramodu, 10; Kolapo Olusola, 93 and Adewale Aribisala, 56.
Addressing journalists, Governor Udom appreciated party members for their display of maturity and cooperation, which led to the success of the poll.
He noted that the election was transparent and devoid of any manipulation, and called on the winner to be magnanimous in victory, while those who lost should be strong in defeat.
Kolawole had resigned his position as Ekiti PDP chairman to contest the governorship election. Kolawole is a former lawmaker representing Efon constituency in the state House of Assembly. He also served as Commissioner of Environment between 2015 and 2018.
While endorsing Kolawole for the governorship election, Fayose had described him as a bridge-builder who will usher in a better future for Ekiti and the PDP.
“The man you have come to honour, Bisi Kolawole, is our collective project. I made him my preferred candidate in the overall interest of our party, but this does not foreclose due process of nomination in PDP,” Fayose said.
MEANWHILE, chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Primary Election Committee for Ekiti and Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, has said party members who would vote in the primary election across 177 wards in the state would queue behind their preferred aspirant’s poster today.
Badaru said that the stakeholders and aspirants had resolved that only members with valid membership cards as well as voter cards would be allowed to participate in the exercise.
The committee chairman, who spoke in Ado Ekiti during a stakeholders’ meeting attended by aspirants and party leaders, assured of “free, fair and credible primary,” saying no aspirant would be cheated in the exercise.
Aspirants in attendance were National Assembly member, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele; former Minister of Works, Senator Dayo Adeyeye; House of Representatives member, Femi Bamisile; former Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji; former House of Representatives member, Bamidele Faparusi; former governorship aspirant, Kayode Ojo; and Oluwasola Afolabi.
Badaru, who said the committee had instruction to adopt Option A4 direct primary, said: “The party has a guideline in the conduct of direct primary, which is the accreditation of party members after getting their voter cards and party membership slips carrying their photographs and their names.
“After this is done, the members would now queue behind the agents of their preferred aspirants in each ward before counting. It is whatever that is counted across the wards and acceptable to all agents that will be collated and announced accordingly.
Badaru directed each aspirant to nominate 20 persons that would work with the committee as local organising committee in the collation and transmission of results, saying he adopted the modality to make the process more credible and acceptable.