Barrister Akeem Agbaje, one of the gubernatorial aspirants under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has registered his displeasure over the irregularities that marred the conduct of the primary elections of the party in Oyo state.
Agbaje said the conduct of the primary was fundamentally defective and fraudulent because members of the party did not see the list of delegates elected to vote at all the primaries.
He made this known in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday, in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
He added that it was clear from the onset that Senator Teslim Folarin only wanted to reap where he had not sown with his brand of unethical politics which he called “JAGBA”.
The statement read: “I give thanks and glory to Almighty Allah for His mercy.
“I also express my sincere appreciation to loyal and committed APC party leaders and party members who are an overwhelming majority for their dedication and contributions that has built a formidable Oyo State APC that we have in Oyo State today.
“In any election process that is well known and accepted that only one person can win a race, it is simply common sense that there can be only one winner. However, it is expected that the process will be conducted with integrity by both the umpire and the aspirants to such an extent that the credibility of the result would not be tainted with outright fraud.
“Senator Teslim Folarin never hid the fact that he had no intention of contributing to sustaining the growth of APC in Oyo State. He made it clear from the onset that he only wanted to reap where he had not sown with his brand of unethical politics which he called “JAGBA”.
“He behaved like the leader of a marauding army with the sole intention of creating chaos and disunity in Oyo State APC. He led a minority of members against a vast majority of loyal party members to create utter chaos within the party upon the death of our great leader Senator Abiola Ajimobi. He was successful in his nefarious goal with the active support and encouragement of the party hierarchy.
“The conduct of the APC party primaries for the 2023 General Election is something we must all be ashamed of, that such brazen fraud can be committed in this age and time and the organisers and the sole beneficiary of the fraud are celebrating their fraud.”
Agbaje noted that the conduct of the primaries was fundamentally defective and fraudulent for the following reasons:
- Members of the party did not see list of delegates elected to vote at all the primaries at any time prior to the elections and even Governorship aspirants were “shown” copies barely an hour before the commencement of the process for the Gubernatorial Primaries. “We were not even allowed to have a copy of the list of elected delegates or take photographs of the list shown to us”, Agbaje said.
- At the venue for the accreditation of state delegates, validly elected state delegates from various wards across the state were denied accreditation and only identified loyalists of Senator Teslim Folarin were accredited and transported to the venue of the primaries. “The entrance to the venue for accreditation of State Delegates was manned by loyalists of Senator Teslim Folarin and even we, the other aspirants were denied entry or opportunity to monitor the accreditation process”, he further alleged.
- The open display of partisanship by the party hierarchy in the build-up to the primary elections and the process leading to the exercise were legendary, as the party’s leadership at the national level deliberately ignored the reality on ground in Oyo State, threw caution to the wind and railroaded their way into ensuring the victory of their anointed candidates at the party primaries. “They can be rest assured that it is an exercise in futility as we all cannot be collectively stupid”.
- Although the conduct and outcome of the primary elections was unfortunate and disheartening, it was, however, not unexpected, as it was a premeditated plan by the APC leadership to stifle the party, thwart its chances of winning the 2023 general election and stop it from rescuing Oyo State from the rudderless and inept government of Governor Seyi Makinde. Agbaje noted;
“Indeed, what is happening in APC in Oyo State is a desecration of the progressive posturing of the party and a slap on the collective faces of the overwhelming majority of people of goodwill within the party. It is a reflection of the fact that the party leadership does not have the interest of the party and the people of Oyo State at heart. They are rather more interested in rewarding and sustaining an aspirant based on the relationship they have with him. Sadly, the support was so obvious and carried out with outright impunity.
He concluded: “I say Alhamdullilahi to the Almighty Allah, my Creator and Sustainer, for the opportunity He has given me to put myself forward for the service of the good people of Oyo State. I also express my profound appreciation to our leaders, elders and members of our great party in Oyo State for their overwhelming support, while also thanking gentlemen of the press and the good people of the state for their display of love and affection. It is indeed deeply appreciated. All will be well with our party APC and our dear state, by God’s grace”.