Ekiti 2022: No Aspirant Boycotted APC Primaries, Says Badaru

Ekiti 2022: No Aspirant Boycotted APC Primaries, Says Badaru
Badaru Abubakar

Abubakar Mohammed Badaru, chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Primary Election in Ekiti State, has stated that no contestant boycotted the party’s shadow election held in the state on Thursday.

Recall that before the primaries, seven aspirants complained that party members close to the governor were chosen to act as returning officers in various wards and local governments; an issue that was swiftly addressed, he claimed.

Badaru made the announcement to journalists after presenting the official results of the state’s 166 ward primaries to the Caretaker Committee at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja yesterday, via the party’s Director of Organization, Prof. Usujji Medaner.

Badaru, who was accompanied by the party’s former National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, faulted the claim that some aspirants pulled out. He said nobody boycotted the exercise but only complained about the returning officers; an issue that was attended to.

Asked why seven of the eight aspirants boycotted the exercise, Badaru said: “That is not true. When we landed on the 26th of January, I had meetings with all the aspirants and seven attended out of 8. We discussed the guidelines and we agreed on all the terms.

“What they are alleging probably was that party members loyal to the governor were chosen to serve as returning officers in various wards and local governments.

“They raised that at the meeting. And I asked them, the guidelines are to use the party people to do the job. We cannot hire or take people that are not from the party. But they can also give us 20 persons each from the party people that they believed will do justice to them. And they provided lists of 20 persons who we incorporated into returning officers.

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“This was communicated in the early morning to them because they sent their list very late, and that was what even delayed us that night. But we managed to incorporate all the 20 people they each sent to us to participate in the exercise.”

Governor Badaru who said the primary was peacefully conducted in line with the party’s guideline, however, said that results of 11 wards were cancelled due to gross malpractice that characterised the primaries in the affected areas.

“There was no challenge in the whole process. People came out and voted for the candidates they wanted, and it has been relatively peaceful in the 166 wards.

“And when you have issues with only 11 wards, mark you, we have also checked, the number of registered voters in the 11 wards can’t upset the margin of lead by the winner.

“It then means that we declare the election conclusive. Because if we say let us do a re-run, the margin of victory is far beyond the number of cancelled wards.”

He advised the defeated aspirants to join hands with the winner, reminding them that he had told all the aspirants and other stakeholders that power comes from God.