Ekiti: APC shifts primary to Saturday as Ojudu withdraws

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Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu

The All Progressives Congress has announced Saturday (tomorrow) as the new date for its botched Ekiti State governorship primary.

The primary was earlier rescheduled to hold today (Friday) but was further shifted till Saturday at the instance of a majority of the aspirants, who asked for more time to enable them to prepare better.

The new date was contained in a terse statement signed and issued by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, in Abuja, on Thursday.

The statement read, “The All Progressives Congress has rescheduled the Ekiti governorship primary for Saturday, May 12, 2018. Time: 8am prompt.

“This followed consultations between the APC National Working Committee, aspirants and other stakeholders.”

It was reported that the aspirants had requested that the botched primary should be shifted to Sunday to enable them to return to Ekiti to prepare better after spending two days attending meetings with party leaders.

Meanwhile, one of the 33 aspirants, Babafemi Ojudu, has withdrawn from the Saturday race.

Ojudu, who is the Special Adviser on Politics to President Muhammadu Buhari, announced his withdrawal at a press briefing in Ado Ekiti on Thursday.

He accused the National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, of conspiring against the people of Ekiti State to foist an unacceptable candidate on them.

The former senator who represented Ekiti Central between 2011 and 2015, said he withdrew from the race in the interest of the party, citing growing tension among aspirants and the party on the primary.

Ojudu, who said he had worked hard to realise his ambition, said he was embarrassed by the events leading to the aborted primary.

The primary held on Saturday was aborted after thugs disrupted voting by smashing ballot boxes and emptying the ballot papers in them.

Trouble started when agents of some of the aspirants complained that the electoral process was being manipulated.

Ojudu revealed that his efforts for aspirants to arrive at a common front or to step down to prune the number of contestants failed.

“Through the embarrassing events of last weekend’s botched Ekiti governorship primary, its aftermath in the state, and the efforts of our revered leaders from the South-West this week, to save our dear party from ruination in Ekiti State, I have learned many lessons.

“Key among the lessons is that you never can tell the man who will attempt to destroy what many others have built from one who will aspire to elevate that which is thrust into his hand.”

Ojudu accused Odigie-Oyegun of conspiring with an aspirant to compromise the election committee in order to realise his agenda for tenure elongation.

He accused the national chairman of putting in the election committee members that were friends of a particular aspirant.

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