Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, Chief Jide Awe, resumed office on Monday after over three years in exile, thanking the State Working Committee for not impeaching him while away.
Awe had been in exile after the State Government refiled a criminal case against him and two others for the alleged murder of Mrs Julianah Adewumi and one Mr Ayo Jeje at Erinjiyan Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Government Area prior to the 2014 governorship election.
But an Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday discharged and acquitted them following the withdrawal of the murder ccase by the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kolapo Kolade, on the orders of Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Speaking during a reception organised for him at the party’s State Secretariat in Ado Ekiti, Awe praised the governor for allowing common sense to prevail, saying this had made his stay in the ‘wilderness’ to be cut short.
He said, “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 said he expected the worst during his time in the wilderness, thanking the party for being honourable enough to tolerate him.
“The executive members can read the constitution of our party and pass 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 the APC. They have realised that the stomach infrastructure promised them was no longer forthcoming, so we must work hard and win the coming election.”
Awe, however, appealed to delegates not to allow money to influence their choice of candidate in the party’s primary and cautioned them against extorting the governorship aspirants.
He said, “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 the 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.”
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