- Resumes office at party secretariat
Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
The Chairman of the Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Jide Awe, yesterday eulogized Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose for withdrawing the murder case he and other members of the party were facing.
Awe, who was on a three-year exile over the alleged murder, was last week discharged and acquitted by the court due to the State Government’s disposition to discontinue the case.
The party head praised Governor Fayose for withdrawing the case and for allowing peace and good will to prevail in the community, saying this has cut short his stay in the ‘wilderness’.
On the July 14 governorship election in the state, Awe said the State Executive Council (SEC) had sought the help of the National Working Committee (NWC) and the Zonal leadership of the party to intervene to be able to appeal to the 37 aspirants to allow civility after the primary.
Recall that the APC chairman fled the state in 2014 after the State Government declared him wanted for arraignment over his alleged involvement in the murder of late Mrs. Julianah Adewumi and one late Mr. Ayo Jeje at Erinjiyan Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Government prior to the 2014 governorship election.
Mrs. Adewumi, mother of the Ekiti State Deputy Speaker, Hon. Segun Adewumi, was attacked in the town while planning to defect from the APC to the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The State Government subsequently declared him wanted with a N5 million bounty placed on him as a reward to whoever could facilitate his arrest.
Speaking during a reception organized for him at the party’s State Secretariat in Ado Ekiti, Awe said he expected the worst during his time in exile, 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 being discharged and acquitted of the murder charges, 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 kill my own subjects? This is unheard of and I will never be part of such,” Awe stated.
Praising his party for standing by him, Awe said: “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 pass vote of no confidence on 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 wins 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 fulfill our own side of the conditions, they will surely embrace us,” he stated.
Awe said the party will conduct a free, fair and credible primary that will appeal to all the aspirants and will back whoever emerges winner.
“We are going to conduct credible a primary, and I will see among them who will not support our candidate; that shows the person is about leaving APC.
“That is why I am warning our delegates not to extort these aspirants. Whatever they will collect must be a collective and legitimate gift they can defend anywhere,” Awe advised.