By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun on Monday congratulated Dr. Kayode Fayemi on his emergence as the Party’s candidate for the July 14 Ekiti Governorship Election following Dr. Fayemi’s victory at Saturday’s APC governorship Primary election.
Odigie-Oyegun also hailed the camaraderie displayed by other APC governorship aspirants after the result announcement of Saturday’s widely-hailed exercise.
The APC National Chairman spoke after receiving the Ekiti Primary Election committee report from the committee chairman, Governor of Nasarawa State, H.E. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura at the Party’s National Secretariat.
He said Dr. Fayemi was on a rescue mission to save the people of Ekiti from the abusive leadership the state has suffered in the last four years.
Speaking on Monday, Odigie-Oyegun said: “At the end of the first attempt (Primary Election), we were all low spirited. But by the time we finished the second go at it, we thought what you (committee) have done is something that will go down into our history as one of the most clinically-executed primaries.
“I want to praise the aspirants. Nerves were frayed at the very beginning but I noticed the camaraderie with which they embraced themselves at the end of the exercise. Each and everyone that has spoken publicly have expressed satisfaction with the transparency of the exercises, so I must congratulate the committee.
“It was sad that we had a false start but for me it was also fortuitous. I think it was God’s plan. Before the committee started its work, there was already that atmosphere of suspicion that the deck has been loaded against most of the aspirants. And they say in politics perception is very dangerous. It is that perception that propelled the overzealous agents to disrupt the exercise.”
Odigie-Oyegun disclosed that already serious work was underway to consolidate on the successes of the Primary Election.
“Every effort is now being made to bring all the contestants and stakeholders together to ensure that the victory that you (committee) have started is carried through right to the July 14 Ekiti Governorship Election.
“All the aspirants have attested to the transparency of the exercise, contrary to some of the earlier espoused views. That gives room for unity of purpose between them. It is for us a very important election, not just from the view of the people of Ekiti, but from the type of very abusive leadership, totally lacking of decorum and respect that has been inflicted on the people of Ekiti over the last four years.
“It is an election we are going to take very seriously. Fortunately the candidate made an exemplary speech when his victory was declared and ofcourse as a result of that all the aspirants have warmed up to him. So the stage has been set for an exciting campaign process and for a victory which by God’s grace and the will of the people of Ekiti will become inevitable in July.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Primary Election Committee and Governor of Nasarawa State, H.E. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura said his committee was delighted over the successful completion of the Primary Election and Monday’s submission of the committee’s report after a previously botched exercise.
“It must be emphasised that the derailment of the first exercise was not as a result of poor preparations or lack of capacity to conduct such elections. Everything was perfect, accreditation, voting was well underway until some overzealous and hyper active agents disrupted the election” he said.
Governor Al-Makura said there were lessons learnt from the prior mired primary election particularly in relation to security, venue, delegates and aspirants, saying “The committee made sure that lapses that were observed during the last exercise were corrected”.
He hailed the cooperation from the aspirants and peaceful conduct of the delegates which he said made last Saturday’s exercise rancour-free.
“We were so impressed and excited immediately after declaring the results to find most of the aspirants in the gallery coming around and congratulating Dr. Fayemi and showing him solidarity. I believe the Party should use that platform to ensure cohesion and affinity among aspirants. I believe if the Party encourages these aspirants, they will deploy their efforts in ensuring that we win July 14 Ekiti Governorship Election.” he said.