Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, in another act of desperation on Wednesday hosted officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission to a lavish dinner at the Government House in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, ahead of the All Progressives Congress primary election slated for Thursday (today).
In photographs exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, the INEC officials could be seen fraternising with the governor and other Ekiti government officials at the event while being treated to sumptous meals.
“INEC officials were hosted to a dinner by Fayemi at the Government House. Today’s primary seems compromised already,” a top source said in reference to the development.
Recall that SaharaReporters had on January 24, 2022 exposed how Governor Fayemi paid N1.2billion to members of the APC Primary Election Committee for the state to ensure that his ‘anointed’ candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, a former Secretary to Ekiti State Government, emerged representative of the party ahead of the June 18, 2022 election.
Fayemi had earlier mounted pressure on Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, who heads the APC’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee to replace Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State with Jigawa State governor, Badaru Abubakar, as chairman of the Primary Election Committee.
The plan to replace Governor Sule, who was put forward by Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, with Badaru created apprehension among APC members in Ekiti but at the end the party danced to the tune of Fayemi by announcing the latter as head of the committee.
Victor Olabomtan will serve as the committee’s secretary, while Kafilat Ogbara, Julius Ogunro, Tayo Adewakun, Lanre Issa Onilu and Mohammed Bamanga will all serve as members.
Named on the Primary Election Appeal Committee are Tijani Musa Tumsah (chairman), Hadiza Bala Usman (secretary), Niyi Akinsiju (member), Ogaga Ifowodo (member), and Aisha Aliyu (member).
Top sources within the party had told SaharaReporters that Fayemi, who cannot run for another term as governor of Ekiti having previously completed one four-year term, doled out the N1.2billion to buy over the committee members and pave the way for Oyebanji to emerge as APC governorship candidate and eventually succeed him in office.
“Fayemi has already bought over the committee; he splashed N1.2billion on members to ensure his candidate emerges at the end of the exercise.
“You can see the list released on Monday by the party, Jigawa State governor was named as chairman exactly the way Fayemi wanted it. So, things are going according to his plan,” one of the sources had said.
However, some APC members in Ekiti, who are not happy about the development, had vowed to work against the interest of the party if Oyebanji was imposed on them by Governor Fayemi.