Adeleke blames detractors for certificate forgery, urges support for party
The standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 22 governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has blamed his detractors over the controversy surrounding certificate scandal leveled against him.
He said the recent court pronouncement on the matter had vindicated him, calling on members of the party to unite and work for the success of its in the forthcoming poll. Adeleke, who broke his silence on the matter at a press conference yesterday in Ede, said he was constrained to talk on it due to the court litigation and the respect he has for party supremacy.
He said: “I chose to remain quiet since the conclusion of the governorship primaries for two reasons. First is my unchanged belief in party supremacy and utmost respect I have for the leadership of our great party.
“The second reason is because the issue of my qualification and eligibility as a governorship candidate has been a subject of litigation. Now that a judicial pronouncement confirming my qualification and eligibility to contest has been made, the time is now ripe to speak on the matter.
“For the record, let me reiterate the obvious and easily verifiable fact that I attended Ede Muslim Grammar School between 1976 and 1981. My schoolmates are everywhere and some are even here with me. “While in school, I was a lover of people as well as football, so I was very popular. I was elected the president of the alumni association of this same school until recently.”He said those who spearheaded the certificate forgery scandal were being mischievous and deceptive, pointing out that it was calculated to whittle down his popularity and PDP’s chances in the governorship contest.adding: “I recognise the concerns the electorate will have as to my competence and capabilities to run and rescue our dear Osun State from the mess we have found ourselves. Every candidate seeking to be governor must be subjected to this competency test.
“I make bold to say that my records of service and achievements as a senator representing Osun West in just one year will answer the question and lay your minds to rest.”He said his passion and commitment to serve as governor, coupled with his scorecard as a senator, “is scaring my detractors and they are afraid of the monumental loss that awaits them come September 22.”
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the party, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, yesterday, have called on all members in the state to put aside all differences and rally round Adeleke to win the election. Babatope, a former minister of Transportation, while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, urged them Wednesday ‘s ruling of an Osogbo High Court, which declined to stop Adeleke’s candidacy, as a victory, not for Adeleke alone, but for the party. Babatope appealed particularly to aspirants who contested along with Adeleke to put loyalty to the party above any grievances they might have and support the candidate to win the election.
“This is not the time to fan the embers of discord or disunity in Osun PDP. This is the time to see ourselves as brothers and unite to support our candidate to win the poll.“We should put loyalty to the party first above everything. Though differences are normal in politics, we should learn how to rise above our disagreements. We should put the grievances of the primary behind us and speak in one voice with the common objective of winning the election,” he said.
Babatope said the South West PDP, led by Dr. Eddy Olafeso, and elders, such as Chief Olabode George and himself, would continue to reach out to members in the state on the need to unite to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC), expressing optimism that the PDP would win the election.
The plaintiffs, Rasheed Olabayo and Idowu Oluwaseun, had sought the order of the court to disqualify Adeleke based on his educational qualification.Disagreements had trailed the July 21 PDP governorship primary, with seven aspirants, including Mr. Akin Ogunbiyi, faulting the process that produced Adeleke and vowing to challenge his emergence in court.
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