A collection of non-members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the aegis of Ekiti Resolution Group (ERG) has suggested two ways of resolving the crisis caused by the aborted gubernatorial primary election of the party in the state. The group made the suggestions in a statement issued on Monday.
Jointly signed by Professor Mobolaji Aluko (Ode-Ekiti), Professor Anthony Kila (Efon-Alaaye), Dr. Laofe Ogundipe (Ijesa-Isu) and Mr. Seye Adetunmbi (Ifaki-Ekiti), the statement described the abortion of Saturday’s primaries as disgraceful and abhorrent.
The ERG wondered how two clearly identifiable thugs could disrupt the process in the presence of security operatives and live on television. It called for the arrest and prosecution of the thugs for destruction of property and incitement to violence in public space.
As a way out of the impasse, the ERG called on all the party’s governorship aspirants to exhibit maturity and suggested either a continuation of the aborted primaries or the adoption of a consensus candidate.
The first option, said the ERG, is based on the fact that accreditation had been completed before the disruption.
“Our suggestion is for re-accreditation of only those who have not voted.
“All ballot papers in intact ballot boxes should be retrieved, counted and the partial results announced for full transparency.
“Any soiled ones in scattered ballots should be counted wherever possible and set aside as rejected,” the group stated.
It added that in the event that there is serious doubt about the integrity of the intact ballots, re-accreditation should be extended to all delegates and also recommended that only one one agent and one observer per aspirant be allowed into the venue for the continuation of voting.
Also as part of the first option, the group advised that only re-certified delegates should be allowed into the venue of the primaries-one at a time-and searched for cameras, phones and writing materials, which might compromise secret balloting or one-person-one-vote. The ERG added that each delegate should be led to the polling booth by security officials to fill in ballot paper, led to the ballot box to drop the ballot paper and ushered out of the venue immediately.
“Under no circumstances should there be more than 20 delegates at the same time waiting to vote in the arena.
“After all re-certified delegates have voted, the votes should be counted in the presence of all the aspirants and their agents, announced, and then added to the disrupted votes for final results,” ERG said.
As a second option, the group suggested the whittling down of the number of aspirants for the purpose of arriving at a consensus candidate. It advised that each of the 33 aspirants should name his top four choices from among his rivals and the results tallied.
According to the ERG, the top candidate for the first round will be the one that must have received the highest number of first and second nominations, while the second will have the highest tally of second and third nominations. The third must have been have been named second or fourth favourite more times than others, while the fourth must have been named third and fourth choice more than others.
For the second round, the ERG suggested that all the aspirants should vote for a consensus candidate from the top three aspirants. And in the case of a tie, the group advised that a further round of voting be conducted.
“The consensus candidate will be ratified in a delegate convention within a few days after a consensus candidate emerges.
“We consider Option A to be the more democratic and fair, but more expensive and time-consuming.
“Option B, the quicker and less expensive, however, leaves room for ganging up or for horse-trading.
“We appeal to all aspirants and their supporters to understand that the governorship election is not about themselves only, but also about all the ward delegates and the electorate at large.
“In essence, it cannot be my way or no other way; they must be ready to accommodate other interests and stakeholders in the matter,” counselled the ERG.
The group also called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to take lessons from the fractious APC primaries and conduct a violence-free shadow election on Tuesday.