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Ekiti: APC heads to court to challenge guber polls as incumbent concedes defeat

By The Citizen
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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it would challenge in court the outcome of the June 21 governorship election won by the Peoples Democratic Party's candidate, Mr. Ayo Fayose.

Governor Kayode Fayemi had lost the governorship election to the former governor, Fayose, by a wide margin and had since conceded victory.

His open acceptance of the results elicited wide commendation by Nigerians and international community and he was hailed for his sportsmanship.

The APC insisted that the election was everything but free and fair, despite widespread acknowledgment that it was credible, orderly and peaceful.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, however, said the party's decision to act was not only to ensure that the 'irresponsible and unconstitutional acts exhibited by the security agencies before and during the election are not repeated in subsequent elections, especially that in Osun in August and next year's general elections, but also because they have always said that evil thrives when good men do nothing'.

But Mohammed who briefed the journalists shortly after the first National Working Committee, NWC, of the new executive said that it would challenge the outcome of the election in the court.

He said: 'While voting on the election day may not having been characterised by the usual brigandage and violence, we submit that the entire process was everything but free and fair.

'If an integral part of the process was badly tainted as we have clearly and fully demonstrated above, then the entire process cannot but be tainted. 'Voting in Ekiti may have been free of the usual violence or manipulation at the collation centres, but the entire electoral process in the state was not free, fair and credible.

'Therefore, in order to prevent a recurrence of what happened in Ekiti, especially the militarisation of the process, the harassment and intimidation of citizens, especially those in opposition, my party has decided to challenge in court some of these constitutional breaches and will also encourage our leaders and supporters, who were arrested, harassed and intimidated to seek the enforcement of their constitutionally- guaranteed fundamental rights that were recklessly abridged by the security agencies.'

The party said it commended Nigerians who had spoken out openly against this 'bare-faced acts of hooliganism and brutalism' by the agents of state paid by taxpayers to prevent such acts.

APC recalled that at a press conference addressed by its National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, on the eve of the election, it had warned that the nation's democracy was in clear and present danger from antidemocratic forces that were bent on winning elections at all cost.

'Today, we restate that warning and call for a reversal of the incidents that made sure a level playing ground was not provided for all the candidates at the just concluded election in Ekiti,' he said.

But the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has condemned the national leadership of the APC for not accepting the processes and outcome of the last Saturday's Ekiti governorship election.

National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said the position of the APC national leadership over an election widely accepted as one of the freest, fairest and most credible elections in Nigeria, and in which their candidate, Fayemi, had also conceded defeat, demonstrated their 'preference for anarchy and blind homage to nihilism and destruction of the democratic order'.

'The APC has once again confirmed that it is nothing but a chaotic organisation, totally averse to democracy and orderliness. It has shown that it is a party of desperate, frustrated and violent individuals promoting a Janjaweed ideology.

'This is a party that is fully aware that it was trounced in all the local governments of the state and even lost in the polling units and wards of its campaign director-general and that of its deputy national chairman, yet it is bent at fomenting trouble to disrupt the peace in Ekiti State apparently out of frustration that it did not get the chance to rig the polls.

'We restate our commendations to security agencies for the roles they played in maintaining law and order and providing level playing ground for all parties before, during and after the election.

'However we wish to alert of an orchestrated plot by the APC to now use the instruments of wild allegations and spurious claims to set the stage to unleash mayhem on Ekiti State using imported armed thugs.

'We, therefore, urge Nigerians to note this and hold the APC responsible should there be any breakdown of law and order in Ekiti State,' the party said. - National Mirror.