By Collins Dupson, 1 June 2022
One of the aspirants contesting for House of Representatives under the All Progressive Congress (APC), Dr Victor Ategbole has accused the state chairman of the party in Ondo State, Engr Ade Adetimehin of moving the inconclusive primary of Akoko South West/East Federal Constituency venue from Oka to Akure, where his preferred candidate was declared winner.
The supposed primary of Akoko South West and East Federal Constituency slated for Oka Akoko was moved to the DOME in Akure where delegates loyal to Gboyega Adefarati cast their votes as against other four aspirants waiting for Primary Election Committee at Oka.
Speaking with PATH, Dr Ategbole called for total cancellation of the shambolic primary conducted to favour anointed political godson of the state chairman.
His words :” the primary was supposed to be held at Oka Akoko but unfortunately, for reasons best known to them and the level of desperation and impunity on the part of the state chairman, he moved the primary to Akure to pave way for emergence of his preferred candidate”.
Ategbole noted that, no election took place, describing Akure primary as kangaroo that has no basis and can’t stand the test of time.
“We have five aspirants in the race; one of the aspirants, a preferred aspirant went to Akure on the instructions of his godfather, with only his agent present at Akure venue where figures were allotted to other aspirants to authenticate his victory. We were not part of the Kangaroo election orchestrated by Adetimehin and his corhort”.
“There was no primary, we were not there for primary; we were waiting patiently for the party Primary Election Committees at Oka while some people were holding “arranging primary” in Akure. I don’t know where they manufactured the figures allocated to us”.
Meanwhile, Ategbole has submitted his appeal along others to the Party Appeal Committee, waiting for the outcome of the panel.
According to him, ” I believe in the leadership of the National Party who will do the needful to correct all anomalies that greeted the primaries across the state”.
He frowned at the impunity that has become the character of some leaders who have turned themselves to Emperor, adding that the party chairman was desperate to lord his preferred candidate on the delegates and party’s faithful from the Federal Constituency.
He wondered what went wrong as the party’s leadership promised a level playing ground prior to the election, condemning the action of leaders who have hijacked the process for their selfish motive.
Ategbole called the leaders of the party as a matter of urgency organize re-run within the stipulated period of INEC timetable.
” Those shifted the primary to Akure know I stand a better chance of picking the party’s ticket; that is the main reason why some loyal delegates of the anointed candidate of the state chairman were moved to Akure. One thing we all know is that, no election took place and the party should begin the process of conducting another primary”.
He appealed to his teeming supporters to remain calm ,saying the party will definitely conduct another primary that will be generally acceptable to all the aspirants in the race.
” I am using this medium to plead with my supporters to remain calm; I believe in democracy and I am not an apostle of autocratic leadership, hopefully, justice will prevail at the end of the day”.
Ategbole exonerated the governor of the state, saying Akeredolu should not be dragged into the mess created by the party’s state chairman who was desperate to impose his favour aspirant on the party.