The main challenger of Governor Gboyega Oyetola for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket in Osun State, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, has vowed to approach the court to challenge what he described as “pyrrhic victory” won by Oyetola in yesterday’s primary election in the state.
Specifically, Adeoti accused the governor of rigging the election with the apparent backing of the National Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (NCECPC) of the party.
Speaking at a press conference in Oshogbo yesterday, Adeoti who belongs to the camp led by the minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said the ugly development in Osun State APC sends a wrong signal as to whether the APC has a future in the state, and whether the 2023 general elections can be free and fair despite repeated assurances by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Adeoti alleged that Governor Oyetola used intimidation and violence to ensure that the primary election was everything but free and fair.
He said, ”There was violence in Olorunda Local Government where the Ward 3 Chairman of the Rasaq Salinsile-led APC in Olorunda Local government, Mr Sala Ademola and his secretary, Mr. Ajisefini were kidnappe. Our supporters were also disenfranchised in all the wards in Ife East by not being accredited and being intimidated with thugs wielding dangerous weapons.
“In Ife, Senator Iyiola Omisore took over the electioneering process. He stopped the accreditation process, sent out my supporters using thugs but allowed and counted members from the Governor’s group”.
The APC governorship aspirant also alleged that the Osun State government procured the services of armed policemen who aided the well-choreographed rigging of the election.
Adeoti said there was no way any primary election conducted in the state can be fair if Governor Oyetola remains a member of the NCECPC.
His words: “What we are witnessing is a case of a thief adjudicating his own case. He can never convict himself. Governor Oyetola’s membership of the NCECPC is against the democratic norms. We dare say that this is capable of causing disquiet, more than we are facing in Osun APC now, if allowed to pass us bye.
“We are reliably informed that Governor Oyetola is the one who hand-picked the Chairman and members of the primary election committee. It is within human reasonability not to trust such handpicked committee by an interested party member. Such committee would never be fair to other contenders.
“We therefore express absolute opposition to the outcome of the election because they were chosen by Governor Oyetola. There can only be point of convergence for us if Governor Oyetola could resign his membership and the process of conducting the primary begins afresh”.
He further said Oyetola’s participation in the election was a violation of the provision of Article 31(iii) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Constitution (2014) as Amended which says: “Any party office holder interested in contesting for an elective office (whether party office or office in a general election) shall resign and leave office 30 days prior to the date of nomination or party primary for office he or she is seeking to contest.
“From the Constitutional provision quoted above, it is against the tenet and intendment of Article 31(iii) for Governor Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola to still remain and retain his membership of CECPC. A closer look at the provisions of the Constitution quoted above shows that the drafter of the APC Constitution has envisaged a situation as the one that is currently happening in Osun State”.
He further alleged that the process had been orchestrated from the outset to manipulate the outcome in favour of Governor Oyetola which was why the date of the primary was changed from March 5 to February 19.
“We have it on good authority that the NCECPC was influenced by Oyetola to reverse the date to have the primary before the National Convention scheduled to hold on February 26, 2022. It is believed that Oyetola is afraid of contesting a free and fair primary election to be conducted by an objective committee after a neutral leadership of the party would have emerged,” Adeoti alleged.
He however appealed to his supporters to be calm, saying he will definitely seek a legal redress.
”In the true and tested tradition of our party, APC, we will be mounting a robust legal challenge against the so-called primary election in Osun State which gave victory to Oyetola,” he said.