The governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has been stalled due to violence.
Voting was ongoing and a good number of delegates had cast their votes when suddenly delegates raised the alarm that a candidate, the Minister of Mines and Steel, Kayode Fayemi, was breaching the rules without any caution from the organisers.
The agents of the other aspirants alleged that the process had been compromised due to some practice allegedly introduced by delegates voting for Mr Fayemi. Mr Fayemi could not be immediately reached for comments.
The agents immediately disrupted the process, forcing security agents to cordon off the voting area to secure the ballot boxes and papers.
There was sporadic shooting by security personnel to ensure calm.
Efforts by the Chairman of the organising committee, Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa, to call the primaries to order were unsuccessful as at 5.00 p.m.
Mr Fayemi’s representative, Abejide Adewumi, said other agents realised that his candidate was coasting home to victory and decided to disrupt the process.
He said the other aspirants should have allowed the process to go through even if they had grievances.
He also added that the organisers should resume the process and allow the remaining delegates to cast their votes.
But the director general of the Babafemi Ojudu campaign, Ranti Adebisi, said the process could not continue because it had been compromised.
“The process has been compromised. When there was a rule that you can only bring in two people. He brought in 18 observers. He cannot come here and disrupt what is going on in Ekiti State,” he said.
Other agents complained that the party had no clear guidelines as to how the process should be conducted, changing the rules intermittently without informing those participating in the process.
They also alleged that some security operatives close to the voting area were telling the delegates how to vote and to vote for Mr Fayemi.
They want the process stopped and all their observations considered before the primaries could continued.
Meanwhile, the organising committee has called for more security reinforcements to ensure that the situation does not degenerate further.
Two former governors and three former senators are among the 33 governorship aspirants testing their popularity in Saturday’s primaries.
The journey so far has been rancorous, although contenders had at a meeting with party leaders committed to a peaceful exercise.