Akin Ogunbiyi, the Chairman of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, on Sunday, July 22, kicked against the result of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governorship primary election held on Saturday, July 21, in Osun state.
Ogunbiyi said that he will do his utmost to use the internal means of the party to reclaim the “stolen mandate” from Senator Ademola Adeleke (Osun west senatorial district) who emerged winner of the polls. Adeleke won the contest by 1,569 votes while Ogunbiyi came second with 1,562, Punch reports.
After the announcement of the results by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa who headed the electoral panel, Ogunbiyi’s agents insisted that the ballot must be recounted.
He alleged that accreditation, voting, sorting and counting were manipulated to favour Adeleke, adding that he scored more than the number of votes credited to him by the panel.
Some of his supporters were unsatisfied with the entire electoral process and therefore demanded that Adeleke’s votes should be recounted but this was not done.
Ogunbiyi stated: “I assure you all that the mandate which was freely given to me by majority of the delegates will be reclaimed by the special grace of God.
“The outcome of that primary has been a subject of concern to a great majority of our party members who have been disappointed, disillusioned and confused by the conduct of the exercise and the results as declared by the panel led by His Excellency, Governor Seriake Dickson.
“Some of the major issues which compromised the integrity of the exercise and made the results clearly unacceptable include the non-adherence to the clear provisions of the Electoral Guidelines and unfortunate manipulation of the accreditation, voting, sorting and counting of the votes cast by delegates at the primaries.
“Consequent upon these infractions, therefore, the votes attributed to me at the end of the voting exercise were much lower than what I actually scored as valid votes.
“I have, therefore, resolved to use the internal mechanism of the party to seek an immediate redress of this clear case of injustice which is contrary to the spirit of transparency and justice being propagated by the new leadership of our party led by the National Chairman, Prince
“While this process is on, I wish to use this opportunity to thank leaders and members of our party who stood by me before, during and after the primary.”
Meanwhile, Soji Adagunodo, the Osun state chairman of the PDP, who congratulated Adeleke on his victory, said that his triumph was divine and urged him to be magnanimous in victory and reach out to his co-aspirants in the spirit of reconciliation
The state party chairman also urged all party members to rally round the governorship candidate and begin to work in earnest for the success of the party ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial polls. On his part, Adeleke has expressed gratitude to all contestants including those who stepped down for him after their ambition. He also thanked party members for their support which, according to him, was instrumental to his victory.
Adeleke remarked:“I congratulate Dr Akin Ogunbiyi and his hard-fighting team for running a good and impressive campaign. It was a brotherly contest in our collective strive to redeem our state. It is, therefore, no gainsaying that we are all winners.
“My emergence as the governorship candidate of our great party marks the beginning of the divine liberation of our dear people from repression and oppression. Today is a great Day! I thank Team Imole and our committed delegates for their steadfastness and undying passion.
“The end of phase 1 has come and the start of the great battle to fully liberate our people through the forthcoming governorship election must commence.”