In what seems to be generating many controversies amidst the keenly contested gubernatorial primaries of the All progressive Congress in Osun state that saw chief staff to the Osun state governor, Alhaji Oyetola gboyega being declared winner, had some of the contestants either withdrawing from the exercise and citing lack of confidence in the process with having others alleging that what was done is skewing the process in favour of a particular candidate.
The result of the outcome of the process was announced by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who was in an acting capacity as the chairman of the APC Governorship primary election panel and which affirms that Oyetola scores the highest number of votes in the primaries and as such becomes the winner of the primaries
Oyetola, who is from Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area, in the Osun Central Senatorial District won the highest number of votes in the primary.
He polled 127,017 votes to defeat the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Lasun Yusuf; the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Dr Najeem Salaam; Mr Kunle Adegoke; Mr Saka Layonu (SAN), and other contestants.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives came second with 21,975 votes while the Speaker of the House of Assembly came third with 17,958.
Some of the governorship aspirants had announced their withdrawal from the race shortly before the exercise started amidst controversies.
Their withdrawal came as the party went ahead with the direct primary method where supporters queued behind the agents of their preferred aspirants after which the Chief of Staff to the Osun State Governor, Oyetola, took an early lead.
One of the aspirants, who participated in the primary, Mr Kunle Adegoke, described the exercise as a charade, saying it was skewed to favour the winner.
Adegoke said, “What we experienced in Osun today is not a primary in any way. It was a charade and it was in contravention of basic tenets of democracy.
“I will not dump the party because of the issues. I will remain in the party and correct this anomaly by challenging the process in court.”
He lamented that the party conducted the primary without a verifiable membership database despite using the direct primary method instead of a delegate system.
He also alleged that hoodlums were used to harassing and coercing members of the party to vote for Oyetola and that those that resisted were beaten by the thugs.
The Senator representing the Osun East Senatorial District, Babajide Omoworare; Secretary to the Osun State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti; and the Chairman of the Osun State Local Government Service Commission, Mr Peter Babalola, had withdrawn from the election before its commencement.
Omoworare’s decision not to participate in the exercise was contained in a statement by his Director of Communications, Mr Tunde Dairo, while Babalola’s decision to boycott the election was monitored on Rave FM, an Osogbo-based private radio station.
Meanwhile, the declared winner of in the just concluded primaries in the person of Alhaji Oyetola Gboyega said more battles lie ahead after the winner is declared. While appreciating his supporters, he reminded them that he will be a leader for all as he calls other contestants to join him.
Oyetola, while reading his acceptance to newsmen on Friday night, shortly after he was declared the winner of the primary, said that he was humbled by the victory.
” With deep humility and a sense of duty, I accept your verdict that I should carry forward the torch of our party in the next elections.
” I assure you that your choice will not be wasted.
” You have settled for a man steady in his ways, firm in his convictions about the purpose of government, which is to promote the welfare of the people, protect their rights and provide good governance”.
“We have only won the battle. The war lies ahead of us. Our opponents from other parties increase their arsenal to fight with us.
“But we are ready. We are tested. Like the broom sweeping away the rot, we are set and ready.
Oyetola thanked all the party’s member for ensuring his victory, adding that his emergence as the party’s flag bearer was made possible by them, whilst thanking his governor saying he would ensure continuity and consultation of his efforts