After initially congratulating Rotimi Akeredolu, the winner of the APC, Ondo State governorship primary, the runner up of the primary, Dr. Segun Abraham, has rejected the outcome of the exercise.
The primary was held last Saturday with Abraham coming second with 635 votes behind Akeredolu.
But Abraham now says his decision to reject the outcome of the primary was based on the alleged irregularities that characterised it, adding that he has filed an appeal against the outcome of the primary before the appeal tribunal set up by the party.
Abraham, who was alleged to have been the preferred candidate of some party leaders before the primary, said in a statement issued by his campaign director, Prince Olu Adegboro, that he cannot accept the outcome of the primary because of the anomalies that marred it.
The statement read in part: “It is no longer news that as a true democrat, imbued with the best spirit of sportmanship, I congratulated Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, who purportedly emerged as the candidate of the APC in the September 3, Gubernatorial Primary election in Ondo State in the face of palpable disbelief and surprise on the outcome of the Primary election by my numerous supporters.
“The news however is that, sordid and staggering facts have since emerged on how the process leading to the primary election was manipulated and compromised. It is now beyond doubt that the delegate list used on the day of the primary election was doctored and strangely injected with a mind bogging number of delegates who are neither executive members of our party nor statutory delegates.
“To say the least, the manipulation of the delegate list, highly skewed accreditation process and the entire processes leading to the conduct of the primary election has cast the darkest stain on the result of the primary election held on the 3rd September, 2016.
“Against this background, coupled with the change and integrity that our party preaches and practices, and having widely consulted with my numerous supporters, I have reached the hour of decision to fall back on the internal mechanism of our great party to seek redress so that the end of justice will be served and more importantly, our democracy may endure.
“To this end, the outcome of the September 3, APC Governorship primaries in Ondo State is unacceptable and I hereby appeal against same.
“The allegations that have sadly pelted the supposedly free and fair Saturday exercise, where 24 aspirants battled to nick the party’s ticket, include but not limited to, delegates list tampering, fake delegates incursion, disenfranchising of rightful delegates, smuggling of illegal ballot papers into ballot boxes”, the statement read.
There were speculations that a number of other aspirants who also lost out in the primary were planning to join other political parties in the state to show their grieviance with the APC, but theis was denied by the state’s APC publicity secretary, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya who said there was no such thing in the offing.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews ….
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