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Osun APC primary: Oyetola leads, defeats Aregbesola, Lasun in their wards

By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
20 February 2022   |   4:21 am
Early results from some wards in governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State showed the incumbent, Gboyega Oyetola, was leading his co-aspirants, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and Mr. Lasun Yusuf.

Kwara State Governor and Head of seven-man Election Supervision Team, AbdulRazak AbdulRahman (left); his Osun State counterpart and an aspirant, Gboyega Oyetola; his wife, Kafayat and others, at Saint Peter’s Primary School, Ward 1 Unit 2-7, Oloti area, Iragbiji, Osun State …yesterday

• Adeoti’s Supporters Protest Alleged Removal Of Names From Voter’s List
• It’s A Sham — Aregbesola

Early results from some wards in governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State showed the incumbent, Gboyega Oyetola, was leading his co-aspirants, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and Mr. Lasun Yusuf.

This came despite open declarations by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, that Oyetola wouldn’t clinch the party ticket for the July 16 governorship election in the state.

Aregbesola, who has been campaigning for Adeoti, said that Adeoti would defeat Oyetola and Yusuf, if the “primary is fair, free and credible.’But at Aregbesola’s Ward 08, Ifofin in Ilesa East Local Council, Oyetola won with 309 votes while Adeoti got 146 votes.

Meanwhile, Aregbesola was not in town, The Guardian learnt. At Yusuf’s Ward 05, Ilobu, in Irepodun Local Council, Oyetola got 323 votes to defeat Yusuf, who only got 10 votes. Adeoti garnered 62.

Neither Adeoti nor Yusuf got any vote at Oyetola’s Ward 001, St. Peter’s Primary School, Iragbiji, after one Apostle Samson Oyebade, the Returning Officer announced that out of the 2,053 accredited voters, Oyetola got 1,612. Adeoti and Yusuf did not present agents in the ward.

Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who led a seven-man committee for the primary, had promised free, fair and credible exercise. AbdulRazaq said the primary was peaceful, as against speculation of violence before the poll. Meanwhile, there was heavy presence of security personnel around Osogbo and other major towns. Nigeria Police officers and other security personnel were positioned in strategic locations to maintain law and order during and after the primary.

Meanwhile, Aregbesola, has identified some shortcomings in the primary. The former Osun State governor said reports were being collected from members of his factions across the state and after a careful study of the reports, he said legal action would be considered.

Aregbesola said this in a statement by his media adviser, Sola Fasure, entitled, ‘Hold your heads high’.

The shortcomings identified by the minister included vote-buying, absence of result sheets, absence of INEC officials, and disenfranchisement. He, however, urged party members to remain peaceful, assuring them that the credibility of the election would be challenged.

Meanwhile, the factional APC in the state has alleged irregularities in the exercise, saying the outcome of the primary would not be accepted.

The factional party Chairman, Rasaq Salinsile claimed the exercise was marred with irregularities and that it has been skewed to favour Oyetola.

Also, a statement by Abiodun Agboola, the factional Publicity Secretary, said: “It is necessary and important to inform the public and Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq-led Election Committee of the ongoing irregularities in the conduct of the primary election. 

“We strongly condemned the conduct of the primary election. It is nothing but a sham with a fraudulent process to favour Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.

“Verified information from the agents of Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, our aspirant, has it that there was no record and result sheets in any of the 332 wards of the state. 

“Also, there were no proper accreditation in majority of the ward collation centres, where voting took place. Accreditation in some places were skewed to favour of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, as members of the group were allowed to pass through accreditation process without much ado. 

“Names of sizeable number of members of the APC, who wanted to vote for Adeoti were missing in the party register. This, we had envisaged by calling for the display of party register before the conduct of the primary. “We also need to inform the public Oyetola’s appointees were used as collation Officers, which made rigging an easy task. This we strongly condemned, yesterday, at the stakeholders’ meeting with the Primary Committee. 

“Loyalists and supporters of Adeoti are being chased and some were brutally attacked in wards where they have strong presence.  Oriade, Olorunda and Osogbo, Odo-Otin, Boripe and Ile-Ife are the worse of this act of intimidation and disenfranchisement.  “Where results of election were announced (not recorded), the figure declared for Oyetola was highly inflated in the affected wards. INEC officials were noticeably absent in most of the wards to monitor the election. This is unacceptable. It is a shame that a sitting governor could result to malpractices in his desperate bid to secure a second term ticket.  “The Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq led Osun APC Primary Election Committee should know that the primary lacks credibility and fairness.” Members of the APC loyal to Aregbesola yesterday protested the alleged withdrawal of their names on the party membership register pasted at their voting centre.

The affected members, who belong to The Osun Progressives (TOP) at Ward 15, in Oyan town, Odo-Otin North Local Government Area, demonstrated peacefully on Saturday morning while alleging that their names were removed from the party voters list. Displaying their party identification cards, the protesters, mostly women, said they were disenfranchised because they wanted to vote Adeoti.

Speaking on behalf of the protesting AOC members, the Welfare Officer of the party in the council area,Mrs Adesola Adegbite, said her name and other TOP members who were standing behind her were expunged from the party membership register.

“We are here at our voting centre at CMS ground, Ward 06 in Odo-Otin North Local Government Area. We are angry because when we arrived here this morning, we discovered that some people were pasting some papers on the wall, we were happy but when we approached the wall to check our names, we didn’t see any of our names there. Many of us have left the voting centre out of anger,” Adegbite said.

Another protester, Mrs Afolabi Adenike, chairperson of Ward 15, Odo-Otin Local Government Area, confirmed that she did not see her name on the list made available. However, Governor Oyetola has said the primary has been peaceful and credible and said he would win “by the grace of God.”

Speaking after casting their votes, Senate spokeperson, Ajibola Basiru, a member of the House of Representatives representing Irewole/Ayedaade/Isokan Federal Constituency, Taiwo Oluga, Osun State Commissioner for Special Duties, Olalekan Badmus, and his counterpart at the ministry of Finance, Hon Bola Oyebamiji expressed satisfaction at the turnout of party members during the primary.

They also expressed pleasure at the peaceful conduct of party members and the heavy presence of security operatives at polling units. As at the time of filing this report, collation of results were ongoing at the party secretariat in Osogbo.