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Dissolve INEC now, APGA tells Yar'Adua  (30/04/2009) What Adebayo's resignation indicates, by CLO  (30/04/2009)
Anglican bishops salute Ayoka Adebayo's courage  (30/04/2009) Tofa, PSP chairman rally support for Fayemi  (30/04/2009)
Ekiti REC, Adebayo, returns, ready to conclude re-run polls  (30/04/2009) Ekiti: ACF urges politicians to moderate conduct, utterances  (30/04/2009)
Ekiti REC makes U-turn, agrees to conclude polls  (30/04/2009) ...Exploring the Obasanjo Link  (30/04/2009)
Ekiti REC Reappears  (30/04/2009) RECs Resignation, Act of Cowardice  (30/04/2009)

Dissolve INEC now, APGA tells Yar'Adua   Back To Top

From: Guardian      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu

THE All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), yesterday urged President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to dissolve immediately the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying that the current impasse over the Ekiti State re-run election was an indication that the body, as presently constituted, could not conduct credible elections.

Reacting to the resignation from office on Tuesday of Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Ekiti State, Mrs. Ayoka Olusola Adebayo, the party said the development has exposed the fraud going on in the commission in the conduct of elections in Nigeria.

National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, who advanced the party's position, told reporters in Enugu, that the party was solidly behind Mrs. Adebayo, urging the government to investigate those allegedly behind the hounding of the Resident Commissioner.

Buttressing the stand of his party for the immediate dissolution of the commission, Umeh said that it was a tragedy that even with the provision of 10,000 policemen among other logistics; the commission could not conduct credible election in 54 wards of 10 local councils in Ekiti State.

He added that allowing the commission to continue was a mockery of the nation's fledgling democracy, stressing that it would take divine conviction for a person of Mrs. Adebayo to say no to pressures to go against due process.

According to Umeh, God may have decided to turn the country around using INEC, explaining that Nigerians were keenly awaiting the response of Federal Government to the issue.

He said: "The summary of the whole thing is that the Pandora box has been exposed and that INEC as presently constituted is an irresponsible organisation, which cannot conduct any credible election in this country.

"It is a matter of tragedy that a public officer guided by good Christian conscience has exposed now that INEC has been fraudulently conducting election in the past. It has taken God to use Mrs. Adebayo to expose the way INEC officials have been intimidated into conducting elections in the past.

"The only option left for President Yar'Adua now in his re-branding effort is to dissolve this INEC so as to save the country from further mockery by desperate and fraudulent politicians parading themselves as saints."

Umeh, who stated that the development had become "a case where thieves have been caught in the act", added that other than declaring Mrs. Adebayo "wanted", the Federal Government should investigate without further delay, allegations by her that certain circumstances about the election were changed in the middle of the process.

He warned that the docility of millions of Nigerians over the exercise should not be taken for granted, expressing fears that the country might witness the worst elections by 2011 if something was not done.

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What Adebayo's resignation indicates, by CLO   Back To Top

From: Guardian      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

From Isa Abdulsalami, Jos

THE sudden resignation of the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ekiti State, Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo, amidst the deliberately contrived controversy over the re-run governorship election in that state confirms the widespread belief that neither the Federal Government, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is genuinely committed to electoral reforms.

President of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Mr. Titus Mann, in a statement yesterday, said the earlier statement by the INEC Resident Commissioner following the election clearly shows that she was under tremendous pressure to declare false results.

"That she had to take the desperate and extreme step of resigning strongly suggests that she did not have the support and protection of INEC to enable her resist these pressures, indicating clearly where INEC's bias in this matter lies," the statement added.

CLO asserted that the Federal Government, INEC and the PDP are responsible for any further degeneration of the crisis, while calling on the people of Ekiti State to resist this brazen attempt to nullify their will.

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Anglican bishops salute Ayoka Adebayo's courage   Back To Top

From: Guardian      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chris Irekamba and Isaac Taiwo

THE Council of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos, (Anglican Communion) yesterday bemoaned the state of affairs in Ekiti State and salute the courage of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Olusola Ayoka Adebayo, to resist being used to announce "fake result" for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In her resignation letter, Adebayo was quoted by the media yesterday to have stated that "Ekiti State election was supposed to be the one that will enhance the image of INEC, electoral process in our dear country, Nigeria and the whole of the black race. "Unfortunately, the circumstances changed in the middle of the process, therefore, my conscience as a Christian cannot allow me to further participate in the process."

In his opening address at a meeting of the council held at the Cathedral Church of St. James, Ota, Ogun State, the Archbishop of Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos and Bishop of Lagos Diocese, Most Rev Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, who spoke on behalf of the Bishops said: "We must salute her courage for the way she behaved and must not be crucified for her action but must be celebrated."

Stating further in a statement issued at the end of a two-day meeting, Archbishop Ademowo said: "For a woman of her standing to say that she would resign because of what she had seen needs to be commended.

"This woman is a real incarnation of Polycarp, a Church Father, who refused to deny his faith in the face of persecution. "She must not be persecuted, she must be allowed to carry out her assignment without any threat, and she must be protected."

The bishops called on President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua not to allow his name to be soiled, saying that he must allow the rule of law to prevail.

"The President is not a President of a political party or an ethnic group, but the President of Nigeria," appealling that Ekiti must not be a warfront. He urged Nigeria to emulate other progressive nations where elections are held without political violence.

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Tofa, PSP chairman rally support for Fayemi   Back To Top

From: Guardian      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

From Adamu Abuh, Kano

TWO notable Kano-based politicians, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa and Dr. Junaid Mohammed yesterday expressed support for the Ekiti State Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

The duo, who spoke separately with The Guardian yesterday in Kano, noted that the stalemate in the Ekiti re-run gubernatorial election is a tell-tale sign that President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua is unserious about the reform in the election process.

Tofa, who is spearheading moves for the formation of a mega-party ahead of the 2011 polls, enjoined well-meaning Nigerians to resist suspected moves to rig the Ekiti poll in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Segun Oni.

According to him: "The Ekiti political stalemate is a clear proof that this government is not serious about political reform. We had hoped that the president would make it abundantly clear to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police to ensure a world-class election for everyone to see and to be convinced that he is serious about bequeathing for this country an election reform that we can all be proud of. If he did tell them, and I suspect he did, then, regrettably, they have failed him.

"I call upon all opposition parties and people of honour to rally behind AC and its candidate in this new struggle to ensure justice is done. If we allow this to go as it is, then we can all forget about transparency in all future elections. The vision of genuine electoral reform and, maybe sustainable democracy is dead and buried in Ekiti."

Mohammed, who is the national chairman of the Peoples Salvation Party (PSP), lauded the electorate in Ekiti for resisting attempt by the PDP and INEC to rig the election.

Noting that the stalemate in the rerun poll in Ekiti is a clear signal that the PDP-led administration is headed for self-destruct, he said: " Those who the gods want to destroy, they first make them mad. I believe this government and the PDP are getting mad and are heading for destruction. I am not surprised with the outcome of the rerun poll in Ekiti."

Mohammed Added: "I knew ab-initio that there wasn't going to be any credible election for as long as we maintain the present INEC as it is composed. We all know the mindset of the PDP and I know they would attempt to rig, but the good thing is that they have failed woefully in Ekiti. We are moving forward now; at least Ekiti people have succeeded in stopping these riggers and dishonourable men who have been making a mockery of our democracy.

He described the situation in Ekiti as a clear signal that people are now awake and are determined to challenge the government. I am in support of confronting this government otherwise, the pattern would continue and if the PDP is not stopped in Ekiti, then we should forget about democracy in Nigeria.

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Ekiti REC, Adebayo, returns, ready to conclude re-run polls   Back To Top

From: Guardian      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

We've lost confidence in her, says PDP

Ekiti women stage pro-Fayemi protest
From Mohammed Abubakar (Abuja), Ifedayo Sayo (Ado-Ekiti) and Kamal Tayo Oropo (Lagos)
CURIOUSER, curiouser and curiouser.

The dizzying pace of political developments in Ekiti State got curiouser and reached a higher gear yesterday as the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Chief Olusola Ayoka Adebayo, not only came out of 'resignation' as earlier reported but also offered to conclude the suspended re-run governorship election.

Just on Tuesday, Adebayo was alleged to have resigned as Ekiti electoral chief because she could not reconcile her Christian conscience with what she considered as unfortunate "circumstances" which "changed" the re-run in "the middle of the process."

But after a 45-minute meeting with electoral chiefs at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja yesterday, Adebayo expressed her willingness to continue the Ekiti electoral process from where she had stopped.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti has, however, declared that it no longer has confidence in her ability to handle the process.

The REC's appearance came barely 24 hours after she was declared wanted by the Federal Government on the strength of her purported resignation, following the debacle surrounding the inconclusive governorship re-run in the state. Curiously, she declined to confirm or deny the letter of resignation.

The 74- year-old REC, who came to the commission's premises at Zambezi Crescent, Maitama, at exactly 2.04 p.m., in a silver M Class Mercedes Benz Jeep ML 350 model with registration number CW 507 ABJ, held a closed-door meeting with the management of the commission led by its Chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu.

Also on hand were the three remaining national commissioners - Adedeji Soyebi, Philip Umeadi (Jnr), Victor Chukwuani - and the secretary to the commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Kaugama. Mrs. Adebayo waited briefly at the waiting room of Iwu accompanied by some of her aides, on arrival, before she was eventually ushered into the chairman's office.

Some National and FCT members of the Executive of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) were on hand to monitor the development. They later left and moved to the Force Headquarters.

As the meeting lasted, hordes of journalists kept vigil at the waiting room of the chairman until the Ekiti REC emerged from Iwu's office at exactly 3.13 p.m. accompanied by Soyebi and Chukwuani with Umeadi and Kaugma following in tow.

She prayed for the peace and prosperity of the country. According to her, "God bless the country and may there be peace and prosperity for the people of Nigeria."

Thrice, journalists asked her about the letter, but on each occasion, she kept quiet. Asked to clarify her resignation, she said: "I am a member of the INEC family."

"Was the letter of resignation actually from you?" She kept mute. "Did you actually resign?" she responded: "I said I am still a member of INEC family as a Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Ekiti State."

Asked if she was going to conclude the Ekiti election, she said "yes". But pressed further about the time she was going to conclude the exercise, she said "no comment."

At that juncture, she was sandwiched by her aides and taken to her waiting vehicle before she was driven to an unknown destination.

The commission has not made any statement regarding the meeting as at the time of going to press, as all the top management staff of INEC went into their offices after the meeting.

However, PDP has said that it does not have any confidence in the ability of Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) to conclude elections in the remaining two wards of Oye Local Council.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the Segun Oni Campaign Organisation (SOCO), Dayo Adeyeye, the party said Mrs. Adebayo had shown that she did not possess the kind of character and integrity needed to conclude the re-run governorship election.

"We received with great amusement the news that Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo did not resign her appointment as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti State and we wish to state that whether she had resigned or not, we in the PDP no longer have confidence in her.

"Mrs. Adebayo has presented herself as a tool in the hands of desperate politicians whose interest is to destabilise the country and cast aspersion on the electoral system. She abdicated from her position under questionable circumstances, thereby throwing the entire country into confusion only for the apprehensive Nigerians to be greeted with news of the resignation of her appointment hours later.

"During this period, supporters of the Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, boasted that they were in constant touch with her and that she had informed them that she was being pressured to announce fake results.

"The funny thing about the whole drama was that the news of the resignation was broken only by the media owned by Senator Bola Tinubu, which are Adaba 88.9 FM based in Akure, Ondo State, TV Continental and Radio Continental 102.5 FM based in Lagos.

"Fayose on Monday, April 27, 2009, said on Adaba FM radio that he was in constant touch with Mrs. Adebayo. He (Fayose) even volunteered to release her telephone number to the public. It was also published in The Nation newspaper of Monday, April 27, 2009 that Mrs. Adebayo spoke with one Mr. Omolayo who claimed to be the Ekiti State chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). The said Omolayo is an ally of Fayose.

"Now that we are being told that Mrs. Adebayo said she did not resign, we wish to state categorically that we do not trust her and we call on security agencies to probe the incident. The whole world is interested in what transpired between the night of Saturday, April 25, 2009 and yesterday that her letter of resignation was made public. The AC cannot continue to hold the nation to ransom even when it has not been able to offer satisfactory explanation about forged Police report in the Osun State Election Petition case," the statement said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of women from different parts of the state trooped to the streets of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, half-nude yesterday in protest.

The women whose ages ranged from 55 to 80, mostly members of the Action Congress (AC) and Women for Peace Organisation, dressed in white attires, had massed at the popular Fajuyi Park before embarking on a long trek to the AC secretariat where they were addressed by the deputy governorship candidate of the party, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, in company of the state chairman of the party, Chief Jide Awe, and the wife of the party governorship candidate, Mrs. Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi.

At a point, some of the older women had to be taken in a vehicle to enable them to go along in a protest many saw as having serious spiritual implication for the state.

The women, who chanted incantations and waved white handkerchiefs, expressed their support for the state REC, Mrs. Adebayo, warning against her persecution by the police and INEC leadership over her insistence on speaking the truth concerning the re-run election in the state.

They equally demanded the immediate release of the result of the re-run election, pointing out that they had given their mandate to the AC governorship candidate, Fayemi, and nothing should be done to stop Fayemi from becoming the governor of the state.

They asked President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to prevail on his deputy, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan and other PDP governors to steer clear of the re-run election in the state, saying Fayemi won the election and must be declared the winner.

The women numbering over 800, carried placards with inscriptions such as: "INEC Announce Election Result Now", "Prof. Iwu be Warned", "Dr. Fayemi Won, No Mago Mago", "We Salute Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo's Courage" and "Prof. Iwu fear God".

At Okeyinmi Junction, the women who were initially very orderly suddenly removed their clothes to expose their breasts which they wielded in raining curses on those who wanted to abort the wish of the people as expressed in the re-run election.

Their leader, Mrs. Ronke Ogunsanya, who addressed them, said the curse was upon those who were putting pressure on Mrs. Adebayo to announce fake results in the re-run election.

She added that all those involved in the attempt to impose a candidate on the people of the state would live to regret their action, saying the people of the state and God had expressed their preference for Fayemi as the next governor and nothing could stop it.

The women, half-nude, later trekked the two kilometres distance to the AC secretariat.

At the AC secretariat, Olayinka urged them to remain calm while demanding justice in the re-run election.

She lauded Mrs. Adebayo's insistence on announcing the true result of the re-run election as against fake result.

She urged Adebayo not to allow herself to be intimidated to submission as she had God to account to and not human beings in all her actions with respect to the election.

The Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, yesterday said it is a thing of joy to all Nigerians that the Ekiti State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo, has reappeared from hiding. She spoke at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.

Also, the Police High Command may have deployed more officers to Ekiti State to beef up security.

A top officer at The Force Headquarters in Abuja told The Guardian that the Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro, has put everything in place to avert any lawlessness during and after the election

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Ekiti: ACF urges politicians to moderate conduct, utterances   Back To Top

From: Vanguard      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

Written by Emeka Mamah

Kaduna The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed concern over the growing tension in the country following the Ekiti State governorship re-run election and cautioned the leadership of the political parties to moderate their conduct and utterances in the interest of the nation.
The ACF also urged the Federal Government to release the former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha; and Military Administrator of Zamfara State, Col. Yakubu Jibril, among others who have been in jail since 1998.

This was contained in a communiqu issued after a meeting of the National Working Committee of the organisation in Kaduna, yesterday.

According to the ACF, democracy is the contest of ideas and reason and certainly not a contest of survival or zero-sum-game where the winner takes all.

The communiqu read in part: The meeting observed the growing atmosphere of tension surrounding the re-run election in some local government areas of Ekiti State and the ensuing altercations between the leaderships of the opposing political parties.

The ACF appeals to the leadership of political parties to moderate their conduct and utterances in the interest of peaceful co-existence among the people of different political groups in Ekiti State, as well as in the interest of our young democracy.

So, in order to discourage violence in the polity, it is necessary for governments at all levels to cultivate the noble practice of running all-inclusive governance where access to national resources by way of distribution of projects, of public offices/employment and contracts, and not unduly skewed against the parties that lost elections.

The ACF is pleased with the Federal Governments decision to provide N200 billion for commercial agricultural credit scheme and the increase from the already announced N70 billion intervention fund for the revival of the textile industry.

But these laudable gestures would still achieve little if there are no sturdy mechanisms for their management in terms of reaching the targets and recovering same as and when due.

Therefore, the forum call on the government to put in place, good management of these funds for common good.

The ACF is still very much concerned about the endless incarceration of Messrs Al-Mustapha, Yakubu Jibril and others, against the spirit of national reconciliation as strongly recommended by the Oputa panel.

The forum, therefore, appeals to all the authorities concerned to please effect the release of these gentlemen, not so much on the basis of any legal imperatives but on human consideration of the difficult circumstances under which they operated.

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Ekiti REC makes U-turn, agrees to conclude polls   Back To Top

From: Vanguard      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

Written by Umoru Henry, Gbenga Ariyibi, & Emman Ovuakporie
Half-naked women stage protest

ABUJA EKITI State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs Olusola Ayoka Adebayo, who resigned her appointment Tuesday, made a complete U-turn yesterday, and agreed to conclude the re-run election in the state.

Mrs Ayoka Adebayo, Ekiti State Resident Electoral CommissionerHer decision followed a meeting with the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Maurice Iwu and top management of the Commission.

After the meeting, Mrs. Adebayo emerged to meet a large number of journalists who kept vigil for her at the entrance to the Commissions headquarters, but refused to say much, in spite of probing questions of the newsmen.
Reacting to a question on whether she will conclude the election, she responded: Yes, I am still the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Ekiti and the election will be concluded by me.

Asked when she would conclude the re-run election, Mrs Adebayo echoed: No comments, no comments before she was whisked away in a metallic grey Mercedes ML350 with number plates CN507ABJ.

Asked whether she was the author of the resignation letter that was circulated to media houses on Tuesday, Mrs. Adebayo shouted God bless Nigeria.

It was widely reported in the media that the REC had resigned her appointment with the apex electoral body on Tuesday.

The Federal Government rejected her resignation, while the Police threatened to declare her wanted if she does not reappear in 24 hours before she surprisingly surfaced at the INEC HQ.

She was declared wanted by the federal authorities in a press conference jointly addressed by the Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili; the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro and the INEC Chairman, Prof Maurice Iwu.

Half-nude women stage protest

Mrs Ayoka Adebayo, Ekiti State Resident Electoral Commissioner, after a meeting with Prof Maurice Iwu at the INEC headquarters, Abuja. yesterday. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.Meanwhile, Ekiti traditional rulers yesterday called for fasting and prayers for three days so that peace could reign before, during and after the remaining part of the re-run election, even as some half-naked women staged a peaceful protest in the streets of Ado Ekiti, pressing for the release of last Saturdays election in the state.

The monarchs in a communiqu issued after their emergency meeting in Ado Ekiti yesterday urged the people of the state to embark on fasting and prayer for three days to avert imminent danger.

The monarchs called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to promptly see to the conduct of the election in Oye Local Government without further delay as continuous delay on the part of INEC can lead to increase in tension which is already palpable in the state.

The communiqu signed by the chairman of the council, Oba Emmanuel Aladejare urged the general public to go about their duties without molestation

The protesting women who trooped out in their scores frowned at the delay in announcing the winner of the April 25 governorship re-run election in the state.

Operating under the umbrella of Ekiti Women for Peace, the placard-carrying women commenced their procession at about 9.35 am from Fajuyi Park to Ajilosun area of the town.

The sight of the half-naked women who came from the 16 local government areas of the state, especially the old ones, sent people off the streets, as the sight is considered a taboo in the south west part of the country.

The protesters who were led by the President of Ekiti Women for Peace, Mrs. Ronke Okusanya, were later joined in the march by the wives of the AC candidate, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi and the AC deputy governorship candidate, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka.

Soldiers sighted again in Ado Ekiti

Soldiers were once again sighted in Ado Ekiti, the state capital yesterday

The soldiers who are apparently from the 19th Battalion of the Nigeria Army, arrived Ado Ekiti at 4.05 pm, 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm respectively in three batches of three big lorries, four pick-up vans and a Hilux bus with their leader in a separate official car en route Akure, passing through Ajilosun Street down to Irona Street in the state capital

Their mission and destination was not immediately known, but an unconfirmed security source told Vanguard that the presence of the soldiers in the state may not be unconnected with the present political logjam in the state

The source further disclosed that the Army personnel may stay in the state to assist the Police and other security agencies during the resheduled election in Oye Wards 1 and 2 and may still be around till the time the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would announce winner of the gubernatorial re-run election in the state.

Asked to comment on the presence of the soldiers, the Chief Press Secretary to the Acting Governor, Mr Rotimi Ajisola, said he was yet to be officially briefed on the soldiers mission.

Acting gov calls for calm

Meanwhile, the acting governor of the state, Mr Tunji Odeyemi, has urged the people of the state to remain calm and allow INEC to complete its assignment

Odeyemi in a radio broadcast to the people of the state yesterday, warned the politicians who are out to set the state on fire to have a rethink, saying his administration would not hesitate to bring to book those who are working against the interest of the state.

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...Exploring the Obasanjo Link   Back To Top

From: This Day      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

It has emerged that the Ekiti Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo, is a close friend of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who nominated her into the position.
Writing in her book, "Bitter-Sweet: My Life With Obasanjo", Mrs. Oluremi Obasanjo ex-wife to the ex-president expressed a feeling of rivalry with Adebayo on page 114.
She, while describing an incident that happened many years ago, wrote: "Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo was sitting by him (Obasanjo). I told her to leave the seat. She resisted and as I was getting angry, Obasanjo stood up and moved to another seat to avoid a commotion."
She described Dr. Onaolapo Soleye in harsh words, calling him a "schemer" who, like a puppeteer, "manipulated Obasanjo".

"He (Soleye) is a friend not a cousin as the press has claimed over the years. He is truly a cousin of Ayoka Adebayo, wife of Mr. Oluwole Adebayo, my husband's relative, who was shot dead in front of Owu Baptist Church in 1990," Mrs. Obasanjo wrote.
Adebayo's son also worked as Special Assistant in Obasanjo's government, fuelling speculation that the former president may still wield significant influence on the Ekiti REC.
"Obasanjo's influence in the PDP as chairman of Board of Trustees is being watered down, as evident at the recent convention," a source told THISDAY last week. "The Ekiti case has afforded him an opportunity to get back at the PDP. You can see the writing on the wall."
The source further said Adebayo's son, who served in the Presidential Villa, worked closely with the ex-president's confidant, Andy Uba, who is also said to wield enormous influence on the INEC Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu.
At press time, it was not clear if the Ekiti events had an Obasanjo touch or she was acting purely on her own.

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Ekiti REC Reappears   Back To Top

From: This Day      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

PDP: We've no confidence in her AC: She must be guided by her conscience

From Chuks Okocha, Juliana Taiwo, Senator Iroegbu in Abuja, Toba Suleiman in Ado-Ekiti and Jaiyeola Andrews in Abeokuta

A window of opportunity to break the logjam in the Ekiti State governorship rerun may have opened as the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo, who earlier resigned her appointment, has reappeared.
In a seeming volte-face, Adebayo said she was still the state REC and would conclude the election.
But the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said last night that it had no confidence in Adebayo.

Action Congress (AC) National Secretary Usman Bugaje, however, welcomed her reappearance but expressed the hope that Adebayo would be guided by her conscience.
Last Saturdays rerun in the state was stalemated as results in four local governments remain unannounced and election in two wards in Oye-Ekiti still outstanding.
The whereabouts of Adebayo expected to announce the results were initially unknown, giving room for all kinds of speculations, only for her to forward a letter of resignation to President Umaru Musa YarAdua on Tuesday.
Inspector-General of Police Mike Okiro was to declare Adebayo wanted while the Federal Government rejected her resignation, saying there was no evidence to show that she was impeded from carrying out her statutory assignment as a returning officer in the state.
But Adebayo emerged yesterday at the INEC headquarters.

She came in a Mercedes Benz SUV ML350 with FCT registration number CW507AB around 1.58 pm accompanied by three persons including her son, Wole, and INEC National Commissioner Adedeji Soyebi who hails from Ogun State like her.
After waiting for close to 30 minutes, she was ushered alone into Iwus office while her son was called in after 23 minutes.
The closed-door meeting went on for a while before Adebayo and her son came out.
Emerging from the meeting, Adebayo told journalists that she was going back to conclude the rerun in Ekiti State.
I am a member of INEC family. I am still the Ekiti REC and I will go on to conclude the election in Ekiti, she said.
The REC, however, refused to discuss what transpired at the meeting with Iwu and the authenticity or otherwise of the resignation letter purportedly written by her.
When asked did you resign? she answered in the negative. No. I am still part and parcel of INEC; I am still a member of INEC family as the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Ekiti State, she affirmed.
Spirited efforts to get her to confirm or deny the letter of resignation did not yield any fruit as she parried the question.
She left INEC headquarters in company with Soyebi.
But journalists waited in vain for Adebayo at the Force Headquarters.
Speaking to journalists after the long wait, Force Public Relations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Emmanuel Ojukwu, said Adebayo did not show up at the police headquarters and might not turn up again.
Ojukwu said the REC was not a criminal that will be hunted by the police but was only invited to make clarifications on statements credited to her.
She was seen at INEC headquarters and she is considered a law abiding citizen, Ojukwu said.

PDP said that it had no confidence in Adebayo to conclude the election in the remaining two wards of Oye-Ekiti.
In a statement signed by the Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the Segun Oni Campaign Organization (SOCO), Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party said Adebayo had shown that she does not posses the kind of character and integrity needed to conclude the rerun.
Adeyeye said: We received with great amusement the news that Mrs. Adebayo did not resign her appointment as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti State and we wish to state that whether she had resigned or not, we in the PDP no longer have confidence in her.
Mrs. Adebayo has presented herself as a tool in the hands of desperate politicians whose interest is to destabilize the country and cast aspersion on the electoral system. She abdicated her position under questionable circumstances, thereby throwing the entire country into confusion only for the apprehensive Nigerians to be greeted with news of the resignation of her appointment hours later.
Information and Communications Minister Dora Akunyili, however, expressed joy that Adebayo had come out of hiding, saying her disappearance would have damaged the countrys political process.
Speaking with State House Correspondents, Akunyili said: In the morning I had expressed concern about the disappearance of Mrs. Adebayo and I also said that Nigerians deserve to know the truth and that this woman is the only custodian of the truth and that she must step out to tell us what happened. And that as long as she is in hiding, the whole of this country is embarrassed, Nigerians are embarrassed as long as she does not come out to tell us what happened.

Fortunately, as soon as I came out from council I heard that she has appeared in INEC but I have not been able to find out what she said. But I want to let you that it should be a cause for jubilation by the whole country because the disappearance of this lady would have destroyed our political system. Our electoral system would have been destroyed if she did not appear.
People would have been blaming themselves; there would have been suspicions upon suspicions but now that she has appeared, she will give us the benefit of the doubt to know what happened.
I am particularly happy about it and I know that you are all very happy that she has appeared. Now, we will know the truth.

However, security has been beefed up around Adebayos private residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, following rumours that her residence was torched by aggrieved political thugs.
When THISDAY visited her residence, a bungalow located on Tobiloba Way, Chief Sesan Okutoro Avenue in Adigbe, Abeokuta, the gate was firmly locked. Attempts made to gain entrance were rebuffed by guards keeping watch on the house.
Meanwhile, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Publicity, Mr. Philip Umeadi, has said the decision on the expected date for the conclusion of the rerun in the two wards of Oye Local Government, will be reached today at the meeting of the commission with RECs from all the 36 states of the federation, including Adebayo.

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RECs Resignation, Act of Cowardice   Back To Top

From: This Day      Published on: Thursday, April 30, 2009

From Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described the purported resignation of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti State, Mrs Ayoka Adebayo, as an act of cowardice.
A statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, condemned the resignation of Mrs Adebayo as a great act of cowardice.
According to the statement, We wish to state emphatically that the timing of her purported resignation is not only suspicious and cowardly but also goes a long way in confirming popular belief that she has been working hand in gloves with the Action Congress (AC) since the beginning of this exercise.
It said with the contents of her resignation letter which was expressly laden with mischief; all aimed at painting the entire electoral process and the Federal Government in bad light, such a calculated disposition can only worsen an already tense political situation in Ekiti State.

The party commended the Federal Government for the swift rejection of Mrs. Adebayos resignation and called on her to go back to her duty post and declare the verdict of the Ekiti people in the elections concluded in 61 out of the 63 wards if indeed she had nothing to hide.
According to PDP in the statement, There is no gain saying that the political situation in Ekiti State requires God fearing, patriotic and courageous commitments from participants and umpires alike and not cowardly acts of dereliction and abdication of duty to suit the desperate whims of a disorganised political group which seeks to gain power through the backdoor.
While calling on Police to investigate allegations making the rounds that Mrs. Adebayo had been compromised to sabotage the electoral process in Ekiti State .
PDP called on INEC to go ahead with its plan to conduct the elections in the two wards in Oye-Ekiti Local Government Area so that the people of Oye will not be dis-enfranchised.

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