A group within the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, the Concerned APC Patriots, has threatened to challenge the eligibility of former governor Kayode Fayemi in court, if cleared for the May 5 governorship primary.
The group cited the state government’s White Paper indicting Fayemi as the reason for his proposed action.
CAP warned that it would not mind seeing the APC, the party it had worked hard to build, disqualified from participating in the July 14 election.
According to the group, this will be a reward for the party for shunning the pieces of advice given to it not to field a candidate with alleged tainted integrity.
CAP further warned the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun National Working Committee against exerting undue preference for any aspirant in the primary to dispel the allegation that members had been bought over by the minister.
Governor Ayodele Fayose last year set up a judicial panel of inquiry to probe the administration of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, where he was indicted for alleged financial impropriety and was barred from holding public office for 10 years in a white paper.
Speaking through its coordinator, Ife Olu-Olubusuyi on Wednesday, the group said, “The minister and his handlers have been bragging around that he would be given a clean bill of health to contest. He even boasted that he would be given the ticket on the premise that Chief Odigie-Oyegun and his members have been purchased. All these will boomerang if found to be true in the end.
“We are concerned and advise that the APC headquarters must adhere strictly to its own rules and disqualify whoever has not met the minimum conditions for governorship as indicated by the constitution and guidelines.”
The group reminded the Chief Timipre Sylva executive that certain sections of the party’s statute frowned seriously on indictment, particularly the one that bordered on financial profligacy.
Olu-Olubusuyi stressed the need for the APC at the national level to embrace zoning in Ekiti in favour of the Ekiti South Senatorial District that had not produced the governor since 1999.
“If you check the nomination form of our party, there is a column where the aspirant was asked whether he has been indicted before or not. This is not an issue that can be suppressed else, our party will have no candidate in this election.
“And should our party decided to gloss over this and go ahead to screen former governor Fayemi, we will have no choice but to challenge his eligibility in court, because our party is very dear to our heart and we don’t want to miss the opportunity to reclaim Ekiti in this election.
“We have consulted our legal team and they are fine-tuning arrangements on all necessary steps to take as regards this,”he said.
Reacting, Fayemi’s spokesman, Yinka Oyebode, dismissed the group as a faceless group not known to the APC in Ekiti.
“There is machinery in place. We are not a lawless society and the APC is not a lawless party. Everything is being done according to the dictates of the laid down procedure. They are faceless group not known to the party, having collected money from their paymaster; they want to disrupt what the party is doing. Let them go ahead.
“This is a faceless group and we believe they have a paymaster. However, they can go ahead, we are not bothered about all that, it all amounts to ranting of a tainted ant.