Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, a former Secretary to Ekiti State Government, on Thursday won the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state for the June 18 governorship election.
The Chairman, APC Governorship Primary Electoral Committee for Ekiti and Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru, who declared Oyebanji winner of the primary election, said the former SSG scored 101,703 votes to defeat other aspirants.
Badaru announced that former governorship aspirant, Kayode Ojo, got 767 votes; National Assembly member, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, scored 760 votes; former Minister of Works, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, secured 691votes; and House of Representatives member, Femi Bamisile scored 400 votes.
Others are former House of Representatives member, Bamidele Faparusi, who garnered 376 votes; aviation expert, Demola Popoola, got 239 votes; and Oluwasola Afolabi scored 47 votes.
According to Badaru, the election followed the party’s guidelines and he had not received any official complaint from any aspirant, but seven of the eight governorship aspirants protested the list of Local Government Electoral Committees for the exercise, saying it contained names of Oyebanji’s supporters and campaigners.
The aggrieved aspirants – Bamidele; Adeyeye; Bamisile; Faparusi; Ojo; Popoola; and Afolabi, alongside their supporters stormed the state APC Secretariat where they called on the party national leadership and the Badaru-led committee to suspend the primary.
“We request that both the Local Government Election Committee and Ward Election Committee as constituted on the list already in circulation is disbanded and replaced with names that would reinforce internal democracy and uphold the aims and objectives of the party,” they said.
The aggrieved aspirants took their grievances to the state headquarters of the Nigeria Police, Independent National Electoral Commission and the Department of State Services.
However, Oyebanji, described the primary as credible, free and fair, contrary to the position maintained by his co-contestants, who branded the poll as a sham.
He said that the APC appeal panel would handle any controversial issue surrounding the conduct of the election.
The former SSG said, “The guidelines of our party gives room for the constitution of appeal committee to attend to whatever grievances anyone has. They have the right to their opinions, but the party will come up with its position on whatever they say.”
Disproving the allegation of fraud and manipulation, Oyebanji said, “We thank God for the role of technology in our politics. The reports I got was that things are going on well. I have seen people queuing for accreditation and voted. In fact, the process has gone on seamlessly and peacefully and the committee should be commended.”