By Kayode Abdulazeez
Controversy has trailed All Progressives Congress (APC) rerun primary election for Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Irepodun/Isin federal constituency of Kwara state, this is just as the winner of the first election, Engineer Cornelius Oluwasegun Adebayo, faulted a rerun describing it as a kangaroo primary election.
It is recalled that a rerun primary election was said to be conducted on Thursday for the Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Irepodun/Isin federal constituency where the incumbent occupier of the seat, Hon. Tunji Raheem Ajulo-Opin reportedly won, against earlier primaries conducted where Engineer Adebayo emerged the winner.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Friday, supporters of the aggrieved aspirant, led by Emmanuel Moronfoye, said that Engineer Adebayo remained the validly elected All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer for
the Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Irepodun/Isin federal constituency.
Moronfoye, who said that there is no valid ground for rescheduling the purported re-run primary election, added that there was no protest or valid complaint against the initial primary election, “as the result was widely accepted by all and all aspirants in that election had congratulated Adebayo.
“The purported re-run election was not communicated to Engineer Cornelius Oluwasegun Adebayo and the reason for the cancellation of the only valid election is still unknown.
“Cornelius Adebayo was neither represented nor did he have any agent present during the rerun. It was an internal arrangement orchestrated by a few unscrupulous elements disguised as progressives”, he said.
Moronfoye recalled that “Engineer Cornelius Oluwasegun Adebayo clearly won the original primary election which was held on May 27, 2022 at Omu-Aran.
“The election on May 27, 2022 was a FREE, FAIR and CREDIBLE ELECTION devoid of disruption.
“After the primary, his fellow contestants conceded defeat and made several broadcasts to congratulate him.
“It came as a rude shock to Engineer Adebayo and his supporters that another rerun was being conducted for the Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Irepodun/Isin constituency Federal House of Representatives seat, with the inclusion of an aspirant who had never participated in the initial process.
“It is worthy of note that Hon Raheem Tunji Olawuyi (Ajulo-Opin) contested for the APC Kwara South senatorial district primary election and lost to Senator Lola Ashiru.
“Also, it is pertinent to state that Hon. Tunji Raheem Ajulo-Opin didn’t by any means whatsoever contest for the Federal House of Representatives seat of the Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Irepodun/Isin Federal Constituency.
“He didn’t partake in the screening for the House of Representatives seat, he didn’t make it to the ballot for the original primary election for the Federal House of Representatives seat and in a similar vein, there isn’t any evidence whatsoever to show that he bought a nomination form for the Federal Representative seat, except if he fraudulently connived with the so-called “cabal” to get the nomination form.
Engineer Adebayo, who appreciated his supporters, encouraged them to be calm while assuring them that justice shall be served, “as the kangaroo rerun election is null and void and cannot stand the test of time”.
Similarly, the Igbomina-Ekiti APC Women Forum, has congratulated the party for a successful primary in the Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Oke-Ero Federal Constituency exercise.
The Coordinator of the group, Mrs Dorcas Atoyebi specifically thanked the national secretariat of the party for its decision to reconduct the primary in Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Oke-Ero Federal Constituency of Kwara in the spirit of fairness and justice.
She stated this in a statement on Friday in Osi, Ekiti local government area of Kwara.
Atoyebi explained that some aspirants had petitioned the appeal committee on irregularities noticed during the initial exercise thereby putting the integrity of the primary in doubt.
She revealed that the national secretariat of the party in its wisdom informed the state and sent officials to reconduct the Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Oke-Ero Federal Constituency primary alongside some other states.
The group adviced party members in the constituency to embrace peace and accept the outcome of the primary in the spirit of oneness.