Facts have emerged on how Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, paid N1.2billion to members of the All Progressives Congress Primary Election Committee for the state to ensure that his ‘anointed’ candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, a former Secretary to Ekiti State Government, emerged flagbearer of the party ahead of the June 18, 2022 election in the state.
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.
Ho. 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 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 source said.
However, some APC members in Ekiti, who are not happy about the development, have vowed to work against the interest of the party if Oyebanji was imposed on them by Governor Fayemi.
One of the members, who asked not to be named, challenged the leadership of APC in Ekiti to feel the pulse of the people in the state as regards the plot by Fayemi.
"The national leadership of our party should interact with the people on the street and see what is happening in Ekiti.
"Some party members would rather work against the APC than work for the emergence of Oyebanji, who does not know anything about the party," the member said.
Some officials of Governor Fayemi’s administration and the APC at the national level contacted by SaharaReporters on the issue declined to comment.