Ondo APC primaries: Leaders petition appeal committee, demand fresh exercise

Criticism, on Monday, trailed the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the forthcoming governorship election, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, as some leaders of the party in the state have petitioned the Election Appeal Committee rejecting the outcome of the election.

The aggrieved leaders, in the petition, called for the outright cancellation of last Saturday’s primaries of the party which produced Akeredolu as the party candidate for the November governorship election.

In the letter sent to the Appeal Committee by the APC Central Senatorial Chairman, Mr Adegboyega Adedipe; the Ondo East Chairman, Mr Akintunde Samuel and Chairman of the party in Ondo West, Mr Adeola Ademulegun, demanded for fresh primaries that would reflect true reality of the election.

The petition read “A strange delegate list was introduced on the night of the election after everybody has gone to sleep only for us to wake up in the morning of the election to see a massively corrupted delegate list.

“Names of 47 per cent of delegates in Ondo East were either deleted or substituted with people who are unknown to the party as executive members. Some of the injected names are not even aware of the development and so did not come for the primary election.

“We wrote a petition to the Election Committee Chairman on the morning of the election and it reiterated that only people that had been voting in previous primaries would be allowed to vote with a promise to stand down the voting process for Ondo East and West Local Government Areas. We were shocked that the committee never honoured the pledge.

“In all, a total number of 64 names were injected into the delegate list. The names were unknown to the party. For instance, somebody who never contested any election, and some even unknown to the party suddenly became ward chairmen in wards four, six, two and seven of Ondo East Local Government.

“Our total valid delegates are 135 out of which 64 were disenfranchised, meaning 47 of the delegates on the unlawful list were illicit voters.

“The absence of many legitimate voters paved the way for “See and Buy” voters that were eventually used to further corrupt the process. Many voters were recruited from the road side including okada riders, bread-sellers, street hawkers and others who were not party members, but just loitering around the venue of the primaries.”

The petitioners explained that they were not against the beneficiary of the alleged fraud, but were disturbed by the fraudulent process that produced manipulated result.

They, however, called on the Appeal Committee to order the use of the same premises for accreditation as the voting centre during the re-run primaries to avoid the repeat of the situation where ‘compromised’ security agents load non-delegates to voting centre and give them delegate tags.