The aspirants — Kayode Mojo, Demola Popoola, Femi Bamisile, Bamidele Faparusi, Dayo Adeyeye, Opeyemi Bamidele and Afolabi Oluwasola — are protesting alleged irregularities in the conduct of party primaries.
They thronged the party Secretariat in Ado Ekiti with their supporters on Thursday, claiming the process has been manipulated to favour Abiodun Oyebanji who is tagged Governor Kayode Fayemi’s preferred choice.
They also accused the superintending officials of distributing voting materials earlier than scheduled with a sinister objective to give a sole aspirant an edge.
They warned that the controversial primary may spell doom for the party as the result of the election will not be acceptable.
Meanwhile, voting was going on at various wards across the state with some centres recording huge turnout of voters as of the time of this reporting.
“We are not voting! No primary election in Ekiti,” some party members chanted on Thursday morning.
The primaries are to choose the party’s flag bearer for the June Governorship election in the State.
The APC is adopting the direct primary mode for the exercise and aspirants have been traversing the 177 wards in the state to woo voters.
Some of the issues that have been at the front burner include an agenda for the South Senatorial district to occupy the governor’s seat for the first time, speculations of an anointed candidate by the state governor and fears of violence.
The State government had announced the closure of all public and private schools on Thursday to forestall any untoward event.
The Police also assured adequate security with advise to political groups to toe the lawful path.
On Wednesday, opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had held its primaries for the governorship election.
The immediate past Chairman the party in Ekiti, Olabisi Kolawole, emerged as the winner.
He won with 671 votes out of 1185 up for grabs.
Kolawole, who enjoys the unreserved backing of former Governor Ayo Fayose beat his closest rival, former governor Segun Oni, who polled 330 votes.
Eight aspirants – including former Governor Ayodele Fayose’s deputy and PDP candidate in the 2018 election, Professor Olusola Eleka – participated in the delegate primary election that held in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
Others include former PDP National Treasurer Wale Aribisala, as well as Bisi Kolawole, Kayode Adaramodu, Lateef Ajijola, and Mrs Titilayo Owolabi-Akerele.
Before the commencement of the exercise, one of the key aspirants, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, withdrew from the race.
Olujimi, who represents Ekiti South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, cited gender bias and an unfair resolution of matters arising from a lingering controversial congress of the party.
According to her, the list to be used for the primary puts her at a disadvantage as her local government is left with only 12 delegates as decided by the party leadership.