By Abiodun Badejo
Amid the speculations that the September 3, 2016 gubernatorial primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in Ondo State has been cancelled; winner of the election, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has appealed to his supporters not be troubled, saying the election has never been cancelled.
According to a statement signed by Aketi Media Group and made available to journalists this morning, the Election Appeal Panel (EAP) which looked into the controversies surrounding the primary election submitted two conflicting reports and recommendations to the APC National Working Committee (NWC).
Whereas two of the three-member panel recommended the cancellation of the election, the other member upheld the results of the September 3, governorship primary election that produced Akeredolu as the winner.
The latter report which also accused the two members of bias and corruption dominated discussion at the NWC meeting in Abuja yesterday.
Akeredolu said the misinformation making the rounds on the social media and a section of the traditional media was the handiwork of some desperate politicians and their hirelings who strive on propaganda and misrepresentation of facts.
The statement quoted Akeredolu as saying; “The election will not be cancelled because it represents the collective will of Ondo APC members who through their delegates elected Akeredolu on September 3, 2016.”
He stated further that; “Party leaders in the state including the chairmen of local governments, the ward chairmen and majority of the aspirants have expressed their satisfaction with the primary election and have pledged their support for me. We are also reaching out to those who are still aggrieved to sheath their swords.”
Meanwhile, the report of the Appeal Panel was rejected by the NWC yesterday. In throwing out the recommendations, NWC noted that the panel was shoddy and lacks integrity.
The party’s highest organ further faulted the panel’s refusal to invite members of the election committee headed by the Jigawa State Governor to give evidence before the Appeal panel.
The NWC also expressed dismay at the panel’s failure to invite members of the NWC to give evidence since the delegates list, which generated the controversy, was issued by the NWC itself.
Based on the foregoing, Appeal Panel’s report which recommended the cancellation of the September 3 election was unanimously thrown out last night by the NWC while the meeting was adjourned till today.
According to Akeredolu, the NWC comprises people of proven integrity and cannot be bought with money. ” I’m very optimistic that justice will be done and I therefore want to assure the good people of Ondo State that the sanctity of the September 3 Governorship primary election that produced me as our party’s candidate will be upheld. I appeal to you all to remain calm… a glorious dawn is assured.”