A Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Dayo Adeyeye, has accused Governor Ayodele Fayose and the PDP in the state of attempting to derail the electoral process by conducting the local government election primaries at the Government House.
The party had also adopted Option A4 for selecting the candidates in the process which held on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti. The option involves voters lining behind their preferred candidates.
But the PDP in the state has responded to the accusation, saying that the venue of the primaries did not affect the fidelity of the process, saying that instead it provided the needed ambience for a free and fair election.
Mr. Adeyeye who is also the National Publicity Secretary of the party, said on Wednesday that the “Fayose and his agents” were trying to ruin the party and urged the national leadership under Ahmed Makarfi to intervene.
It was Mr. Adeyeye’s argument that primaries were supposed to hold in the respective wards and local governments instead of having the delegates travel from their localities to the Government House.
“In the first instance, Governor Fayose created his own constitution by fixing the maximum age for chairmanship candidates at 50 years while maximum age for councillorship candidate at 30 years against the provisions of Nigerian Constitution,” said Mr. Adeyeye.
“There is nowhere in the constitution that stipulates maximum age for any elective position.”
“The primaries to elect the candidates for councillorship and chairmanship of various local governments commenced at the Government House instead of the various wards and local governments respectively.
“The Governor is the electoral officer for the exercise.
“Thousands of our party people were subjected to untold hardships by sleeping on grasses, inside buses and car and concrete platform. The Governor adopted Option A4 method that attracted a lot of people without any arrangement for accommodation of the delegates.
“Surprisingly, today, the party issued a statement that the governor had disqualified all chairmanship aspirants from Ado local government. Also, some LG chairmanship aspirants from Ido Osi, Moba and Ikole were included in the illegal disqualifications for unruly behaviours, thereby calling for fresh nomination before Friday for other interested aspirants.
“We believe that only a court of law can disqualify candidates for election not by executive fiat by the governor.”
The spokesperson for the PDP in the state, Jackson Adebayo, told PREMIUM TIMES on the phone that there is no constitutional provision detailing where the party primaries would be held.
“The primaries were held at the Government House for reasons of security and crowd control,” Mr. Adebayo said.
“We had earlier received information about troubles brewing in some wards and that is why we chose the Government House where there is maximum security and where the crowd could be controlled.”
He noted that the choice of Option A4, which allows an aspirants supporters to file behind him openly, made the process transparent and without rancour.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fayose, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, argued that Option A4 was adopted to give room for transparent process.
He said the system reduced acrimony as whoever lost would know he lost in a free and fair process.
“We want a transparent process to select our candidates and we don’t want to have serious issues as fallout of the exercise,” he said.
“If a person loses and sees that there was a level playing field, his complaints and grievances would be minimal.”
He said delegates were required to come with their party membership and voter cards. (PremiumTimes)