Friday, August 3, 2018 3:46 pm
One of the participants in the Osun APC governorship primaries, Mr Kunle Adegoke, on Friday insisted that the exercise was not free and fair, calling for outright cancellation of the exercise.
Adegoke told a news conference in Lagos that only a court decision could stop him from seeking redress on the outcome of the poll, held on July 19.
“I will be bound by court decisions on the issue but if I feel that justice was not done by the result being cancelled, I may leave the party to seek another platform for my aspiration,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high stakes Osun governorship election has been slated for Sept. 22.
On July 22, the APC leadership in Osun, congratulated members of the party and aspirants, who participated in the direct primary election that produced Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola as flag-bearer.
The party in a statement by its Director of Publicity and Strategy, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, said it was impressed and proud of the attitude of the aspirants.
The statement explained that the aspirants exhibited an uncommon spirit of sportsmanship, which was not anticipated by observers and some supporters of the party.
Twelve aspirants had before the primaries, rejected the direct primary option adopted by the party’s leadership, insisting that delegates’ primary should be used.
They argued that their stand was because of the fact that there was no verifiable data base of APC members from the unit level, electoral ward or state level.
Adegoke noted that the direct primary option gave room for manipulations at the primaries.
“I do not have problems with the direct primary option because it is recognised in our constitution. My problem is that the decision not only came late, there was also no verifiable register for members of the party in Osun State.
“There is no ascertained APC party members/strength in Osun State. The party membership registration has never been updated since 2014.
“The tradition has been indirect votes by delegates, which we were all working with until two days to the primaries where we had no time to verify the register.
“The APC constitution which I also participated in drawing has rules on the adoption of direct method of voting in primaries.
“The rules are that the membership register must be verified by aspirants way ahead and must be updated before primaries.’’
Adegoke said that he had tried to reach out to the party’s structure, based on laid down rules for petitions within the party but was not successful.
“At the Oshogbo office of the APC there was no committee in place to accept my petition and Omo-Agege, who led the primaries election committee for Osun State has not responded to my calls.
“I am a founding member of the APC right from the days of the Alliance for Democracy. I am desirous of remaining a member of the APC.
“I have handled over 50 pro-bono cases for the party nationwide. I love my party but I want justice to be done. Purchasing a nomination form for N8m is not easy for me but I did that.
“All I want is fairness in the process and I will pursue the matter to the highest court of the land if it has to be so,” he added.