Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, has claimed that the Ekiti APC leadership, which is "loyal to Governor Kayode Fayemi," has hijacked the forms for elective positions ahead of next Saturday's ward congress.
Ojudu, who interacted with journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday, stated his dissatisfaction with the state's ward congress preparations.
The party, on the other hand, has responded to the former senator, claiming that he was "unacquainted with the party's procedures and workings."
According to Ojudu, the party leadership purposefully denied members opposed to the governor's "Tokan Tokan" group access to the forms needed to run for positions in the ward congress.
He further stated that the action is in violation of the party's national caretaker committee's authority.
The documents were taken from the ward congress committee sent from the national secretariat to the state on Friday, according to the presidential aide.
He further claimed that the committee was monetarily enticed to return to Abuja without disseminating the forms to interested party members.
Members of the party in the state, he claimed, had paid money into the party's special account for the forms. In the interest of the party, he urged the group to allow democracy to take its course ahead of the congress.
“The instruction was that they stay and sell the form to any party member who was interested,” Ojudu explained.
“Governors came to Abuja to demand the form, but the party's management committee refused.
“They invited all state branch chairmen and instructed them on the importance of providing access to the form to all members interested in contesting.”
He claimed that when the committee arrived in the state on Friday, it gave the forms to the party secretariat, giving the party leadership the power to "disenfranchise" interested candidates.
If the papers were meant for the state chairmen, they would have been given to them when they were called to Abuja last week, according to Ojudu.
“Hundreds of members have paid into the party's account, but the Tokan Tokan section of the party in the state is denying them access to the form.”
Leaders would fight any attempt to approve a consensus structure for the congress, he said, adding that if used, the system would signal disaster for the party ahead of the governorship contest in 2022.
In response, the party's Publicity Secretary, Ade Ajayi, refuted all of the charges made by the presidential adviser, calling them "frivolous and feeble."
Those raising concerns about next Saturday's congress, according to Ajayi, are "strangers who have no awareness of the workings within the party."
He told the audience that everyone would be treated equally.
He went on to say that the state-appointed congress committee was “working round the clock and consulting with stakeholders inside the party to ensure a free, fair, and transparent congress that would usher in new ward leaders.”
The APC in Ekiti State is split into two factions, a scenario that is thought to have arisen as a result of the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, and Fayemi's anticipated presidential ambitions in 2023.
Tinubu's supporters are part of the South West Agenda (SWAGA), which is chaired by Dayo Adeyeye, who is also the campaign manager for Tinubu's ‘candidacy' for 2023.
The party's leadership in the state has opposed this movement, and it has taken steps to censure and suspend the group's promoters in the state.
Ojudu is known to sympathise with SWAGA and has previously chastised the state party for "persecuting" SWAGA members.
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