Ekiti 2818: Today’s APC primary elections will be free and fair – Al-Makura promises

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Nasarawa State governor and chairman of the electoral committee on Ekiti State governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, has promised massive security within and outside the venue of the event today.

Addressing a news conference at Damlek Event Centre, Ado-Ekiti venue of the primary yesterday on the level of preparedness for the exercise, said that accreditation would begin at 8 am.

He promised a free, fair and credible exercise.

The media parley was attended by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bello Ahmed; Director of Department of State Services, (DSS), Mrs. Promise Iheanacho; Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr. Donatus Ikemefuna and Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Ismaila Kugu.

Those to be accredited are aspirants, delegates, journalists, observers and other critical stakeholders.

Apart from the security arrangement, Al-Makura explained that facilities needed for the conveniences of participants had been provided.

The electoral panel chair said dedicated tents had been provided for delegates on the basis of the three senatorial districts: Ekiti South, Ekiti North and Ekiti Central.

Al-Makura said: “Any delegate accredited won’t be allowed to go out for any reason.

“Any delegate that enters the arena must be identified by his party membership card and extra statutory identity like International Passport, Driver’s Licence and National ID Card.

“Such delegates must be identified with the list given to us by the National Secretariat.

“All accreditation must be completed for delegates from all the senatorial zones before voting starts.

“Voting will be done once at a time, and it will start with delegates from Ekiti South, the farthest, then to Ekiti North and Ekiti Central, the closest.

“After identification, delegates will be given ballot paper and they will submit their delegates tag for punching, and they will also submit the ropes of their tags.

“Cubicle for voting area are ready for delegates and delegates will go in and cast their votes. One outlet will be dedicated for voters and no voter will be allowed back into the hall once he votes.

“At the end of the voting, there will be sorting to be followed by counting.”

He also said the panel would not allow any aspirant or delegate that wears branded materials to the venue of the primary.

Responding to a question, Al-Makura stressed that some agents that were barred for their involvement in the fracas that broke out in the botched primary would be arrested if found in the vicinity of the primary.

Al-Makura disclosed that some of the hoodlums arrested for disrupting the primary election previously were being prosecuted.

Party secures new venue as 32 aspirants jostle for ticket

All is now set for the rescheduled governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State billed to hold in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, today.

Not willing to take chances, the Electoral Committee chairman and Nasarawa State governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, has secured a new venue for the rescheduled primary.

It will now hold at Damlek Event Centre, along Afao Road.

Speaking with reporters during a tour of the town to get an alternative venue, Al-Makura said the event centre was okay for the primary election, given its space and facilities.

He said the primary would be conducted without any fear of bad weather as was experienced during the botched primary.

The governorship primary, which initially held at Oluyemi Kayode Stadium on May 5, was marred by violence as some delegates and suspected thugs disrupted the process and smashed the ballot boxes.

The aggrieved delegates and thugs claimed that the process was skewed in favour of one of the aspirants.

The party’s national leadership, after consultations with the aspirants and the electoral committee, picked today as the new date for the primary.

Thirty-three aspirants participated in the last primary, but one of them, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, announced his withdrawal from the race on Thursday.

A total 2,409 delegates are expected to cast their ballots for the aspirants of their choice.

Al-Makura said arrangements had been made for the successful conduct of the primary, including the security of those that would perform one role or the other in the shadow poll.

At the time of filing this report, Al-Makura was fine-tuning last-minute arrangements with the state APC leaders at the hotel where he lodged in Ado-Ekiti.

The shadow election has become the talk of the town as residents discuss it as newsstands, bus stops, markets, shops, offices and junctions.

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