Oke, APC disagree over Ondo guber primary election
One of the aspirants for last Saturday’s governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke, has described the process as a sham.
Speaking through his campaign co-ordinator, Otunba Bola Fisayo, Oke “urged the people of the state, particularly members of the APC, not to be deceived, and that what they saw on television as a process was a voodoo. The primary election was anything but credible.”
But the leadership of the party in the state, speaking through the Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Adesanya, said Oke’s allegations don’t hold water because “we are satisfied with the entire process.”
The party also appealed to all aspirants to “embrace the candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, in the interest of our great party and the general interest of the state.”
Oke, who scored 576 votes to place third in the exercise, alleged that the election was deliberately delayed through needless postponements “to allow time to perfect the rigging strategy of the primary to return a pre-agreed aspirant,” and that about 500 delegates that were already on his side were disenfranchised to criminally reduce his voting strength.
The aspirant, who claimed that the election was “a sham”, described himself as a democrat “who will ordinarily accept loss or gain in any democratic process.”
He listed the three areas of rigging allegedly employed to include substitution of delegates’ list, introduction of illegal manifest and abuse of delegates’ tags as those identified by his campaign office in the conduct of the election.
“The illicit substitution of the delegates’ list officially given to the aspirants from Abuja, less than 12 hours to the primary, was meant to allow persons who were never members of the executive of the party to participate as voters in the primary. We are aware that the delegates’ list finally used for the primary, which was kept away from the aspirants, was impregnated with over 400 delegates who never emerged from any congress of the party as required by the party’s constitution and guidelines.
“The introduction of manifest where delegates’ names were written after accreditation as the basis for admission of voters into the voting centre was for pervasion of the process. The manifest was used to import the illegally enlisted delegates into the polling centres. It would have been observed that the ballot papers used by the illegal delegates were issues to them serially and serially cast. All of these were designed and perfected to ensure the emergence of a pre-arranged aspirant.
“Delegates tags were released to unauthorised persons, also, manifest papers were issued to authorised officers. The perpetrators, who were given the manifest, will then impute the names of the illegal delegates on the manifest, put them into a bus and take them to the voting venue to vote.”
In his reaction, Adesanya, in a statement said: “We reject the insinuations being peddled in some quarters that the delegates’ list used to conduct the governorship primary election was doctored. This allegation is unfounded and untrue.
“The delegates’ list has been in existence and was used to conduct the primaries of the 2015 State House of Assembly and National Assembly elections.
“We appeal to all our party members and supporters across the state, our esteemed aspirants and leaders to embrace the party’s candidate, Mr. Akeredolu, in the interest of our great party (APC) and the general interest of the state.”