The Chairman of the Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Jide Awe, on Monday said the State Executive Council (SEC) has sought the help of the National Working Committee (NWC) and the zonal leadership of the party to intervene in appealing to the 37 aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket to allow civility before May 5 primary.
Awe, who resumed office at the party’s secretariat in Ado Ekiti today after over three years in exile, also appreciated Governor Ayodele Fayose for initiating the process that led to the withdrawal of murder case against him and some members of the party.
The APC chairman fled the state in 2014 after the state government wanted to arraign him over the alleged murder of Mrs Julianah Adewumi and one Mr Ayo Jeje at Erinjiyan Ekiti, in Ekiti West local government before the 2014 governorship election.
Mrs Adewumi, who was the mother of the Ekiti State Deputy Speaker, Hon. Segun Adewumi was allegedly attacked in the town while planning to defect from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party.
The state government subsequently declared him wanted and placed a N5 million price tag on him as a reward for whoever could facilitate his arrest.
Speaking during a reception organized for him at the party’s secretariat on Monday, Awe said he expected the worst during his time in the wilderness, thanking the party for being honourable enough to tolerate him.
He said he decided to thank Fayose for initiating a judicial process leading to his freedom, saying: “If the governor wanted to prolong my stay outside the state, he would not have investigated the case and found that there was no evidence against me in this matter.
“It was after the state investigated the matter that they knew I had no hand. How could a high chief like me carry gun and killed my own subjects? This is unheard of and I will never be part of such. "
He expressed gratitude to his party for standing by him, adding, “I expected my impeachment when I was away and impeachment is an ingredient of politics. But this party is populated by honourable people.
“The executive members can read the constitution of our party and passed vote of no confidence in me, but they didn’t do this.
“With this, you have spurred me into action to be able to do more. The people of Ekiti are yearning for APC. They have realized that the stomach infrastructure promised them was no longer forthcoming, so we must work hard and win the coming election.
“That is why we must listen to the people before picking our candidate, because not APC members alone are the ones to decide who win the election.
“I want to warn our delegates not to collect money from aspirants, if you want to collect, let it be a legitimate offer. The civil servants are ready for us, Okada riders, market men and women and even PDP members are ready for us. They have given us conditions and if we can fulfil our own side of the conditions, they will surely embrace us.”
Awe promised that the party would conduct free, fair and credible primary that will appeal to all the aspirants and make them to back whoever emerges.