2023: Protests Hit APC Over Alleged Imposition Of Candidate

Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have begun a protest to resist a plot to impose the Ekiti State Assembly deputy speaker, Hakeem Jamiu, as candidate of the party for the 2023 general election.

The aggrieved members on Saturday, stormed the secretariat of the party in Ado Ekiti to register their displeasure, and limited access to the office. Mr Jamiu is seeking a second term as a member of the House of Assembly representing Irepodun/Ifelodun State Constituency 2.

Though, the constituents want the ticket to be open to other contestants rather than imposing a candidate on them.

They accused the State Working Committee, led by Paul Omotoso, of working with others in the state government to foist Mr Jamiu on them.

Mr Jamiu is from Igbemo Ekiti and currently serving out his first term in office.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, former Chairman, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Council, Kayode Ojo, said that any imposition would be tantamount to flouting the entrenched rotation policy in the constituency.

The purpose of this protest is to let our party know that it can’t afford to impose Hon Hakeem Jamiu, someone who is widely deemed to be unpopular on all of us, unless we want to lose to opposition,” said Mr Ojo.

Again, we have unwritten rotation policy among Igbemo, Iworoko, Are, Afao/Araromi Obo wards that we should rotate this assembly seat, and that we have been doing faithfully. We don’t know the motive behind attempt to impose the lawmaker at all cost.

“We are also saying that why the choice of Hakeem Jamiu? What has he done to deserve a second term? Why Igbemo Ekiti again that had occupied the seat six times when other wards have not occupied it for once?

“Our party should go and gauge the mood of the people in that constituency, they don’t want Jamiu any longer. He had offended so many people.

“This is not hatred against anybody, but a sincere concern for our party. So, if it is going to be Igbemo at all cost, the party shouldn’t impose Jamiu.

They should allow free and fair primary. That is our humble demand.” But exonerating the party of complicity in the alleged imposition plot, the APC State Publicity Secretary, Segun Dipe, said the party was not considering such plan, describing it as a baseless and unfounded accusation. Mr Dipe, however, added that the party and those opposed to Mr Jamiu have no right to stop the Deputy Speaker from re-contesting, saying it is within the lawmaker’s constitutional right.

We are not going to impose anybody. We are not planning to impose. The party will conduct free and fair primary, but we won’t stop Hon. Hakeem Jamiu from seeking a second term, it is his right,” he said.

Again, among all the towns in that constituency, Igbemo Ekiti is the most steadfast and consistent with the progressive party. So, if the party says we should allow the seat to remain in the town, it has a cogent reason for that. “We are running a disciplined party and these protesters should allow peace and concentrate their energies on how we can win, because we are not planning any imposition.”

The APC had been enmeshed in a series of crisis in the last four weeks over allegations of imposition of candidates, especially some serving lawmakers seeking reelection.

Similar protests were also staged by some leaders in Ido/Osi Constituencies I and II against surreptitious moves to impose some aspirants in the area against the popular will of the people.

Also, some notable members of the party in Ekiti West Constituency 1, including former APC State Chairman, Jide Awe, narrowly escaped attack at Erinjiyan Ekiti last week after affirming reelection of the present occupant of the seat, Tajudeen Akingbolu.

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