Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
A young banker, Mr Akinloye Ayegbusi, 44, has defeated a former ambassador to Canada, Dare Bejide, and others, to win the Social Democratic Party (SDP) ticket for the July 14 gubernatorial election in Ekiti State.
The party held its governorship primary election on Friday across the 177 wards in the state to pick its governorship candidate.
The election, which is through ‘Option A4’ direct primary, had Ayegbusi emerging winner when he polled 16,921 to defeat his closest rival Ambassador Bejide, who polled 14,783, while Olamide Oni (Oni Atiba) polled 4, 258 to come third.
The final collation and declaration of results took place at MC Event Centre, Poly Road, Ado Ekiti.
The result was announced at 3 a.m. Friday.
Meanwhile, the SDP has denied allegations that the election was rigged in favour of the winner.
One of the aspirants was said to have accused Adeniran of compromising the election in favour of Ayegbusi.
But reacting to the report that an aspirant of the party who lost the election has accused Professor Tunde Adeniran of rigging him out of the contest, a member of the National Working Committee, Mr Yemi Akinbode, said that nothing could be farther from the truth.
He said that the former Minister of Education is the symbol of a new political order and therefore cannot be associated with rigging elections.
“If he had been elected as the chairman of the PDP, all these rancour would not be happening. The party went through the process of Option A4 because it believes there is need to have a paradigm shift and give power to the people.
“We left the PDP because of impunity and lack of internal democracy which cost the party victory in the 2015 General Elections. The SDP and its leaders, therefore, abhor rigging under any circumstance. The open primary of the party, which was monitored by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is credible, free and transparent.
“Professor Adeniran has never in any way influenced the process. He didn’t mention the name of any aspirant as preferred. He allowed the aspirants to go to the field and ensure a process where the people themselves chose the candidate.
“So, all the allegations by some aspirant that there were manipulations to favour a particular candidate is not true.
“What we are trying to do at this time is to call party leaders and others together, especially those who contested in the election, to see this assignment as a family affair so that we will all understand one another.”