Ondo APC primaries: Boroffice, observers fault process

The lawmaker representing Ondo North senatorial district, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, on Thursday, called for the cancellation of the last Saturday’s governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State.

Boroffice, who polled 471 votes to come fourth in the election won by Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, called for the cancellation of the election, saying he was informed that those who were not delegates voted.

The lawmaker stated this in his Oka country home during a reception rally organised for him by the lawmakers representing Akoko South West/South East federal constituency, Babatunde Kolawole who also said the election was characterised with malpractices.

Boroffice, who called for total cancellation of the primaries, urged the Election Appeal Committee put in place by the party to investigate all the allegations.

He said “before the conclusion of the election, I kept hearing the rumour that the delegates, list has been infiltrated and doctored.

“That there are even some people who are not accredited, who are not even delegates, but were given tags and induced to come and vote and this has been substantiated. This is unfortunate.

“I am in support of total cancellation of the election. The election should be cancelled while a fresh election should take place,” Borrofice said.

He, however, pledged to remain in the party, by working towards ensuring that the party wins the November 26 governorship election, even if the result of the primaries is not cancelled.

“I am not in this party to be a governor. I am in this progressive party to help build Nigeria and if I don’t become governor, another person will be governor, as long as the process is free, fair and credible.”

Also speaking, Kolawole commended Boroffice for being a party man and assured him that the people of the Ondo North senatorial district will always be ready to support him.

He commended the national leader of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, for ensuring the party remain united despite the noise and crisis that heralded the party’s primaries.

Meanwhile, the Accredited Observer Group for the last Saturday’s governorship primaries of the APC in Ondo State, on Thursday, said the election process was marred with irregularities.

The group, which stated this in Akure, the state capital, during a press conference, called on the leadership of the APC to give necessary attention to all protests and allegations arising from the primaries.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Richards Adebayo stressed the need for the party’s leadership to give immediate attention to all the allegations tabled before the Election Appeal Committee and also to settle internal crisis within the party in the state.

Adebayo noted that most tags of the delegates were not signed and there was no mode of identification of the delegates.

According to Adebayo, the group observed that both accreditation and voting exercise were conducted manually but said “the poll officials detected that the accreditation of delegates was hastily done without proper screening and many delegates were given unstamped tags.

“Some of the delegates that came to the voting centre were not accredited by the three major accreditation centres because they were not duly screened in contravention of the rules and regulations of the electoral committee.”

The group noted that the chairman of the electoral committee, the governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, worked outside the agreed arrangement during the election and queried why electoral committee provided tinted buses to bring delegates to voting centres?

“Alhaji Abubakar informed the electoral session that he has organised few buses to go and bring the remaining delegates that were delayed due to topology of the area and to enable them cast their votes.

“Few of the contestants’ agents observed that such arrangement of vehicles to convey delegates to voting centre was outside agreed arrangement. However, such delegates were brought and allowed to cast their votes without proper screening before the electoral committee rounded the voting.”

Adebayo said though, some of the agents noticed and protested against the cluster of delegates who were allowed to cast their votes without proper screening in contravention to the regulation of the election but the delegates were not stopped from voting.

The group, however, called for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidance and monitoring of various party electoral bodies for the improvement of accreditation and voting process of delegates at future elections.

The group also called for sensitisation of political class on how to further consolidate internal democracy.