Osun APC Primary: Oyetola extends hands of fellowship to Adeoti, Lasun to build Osun together

…Urges party members to close ranks, eschew bitterness

…As Omisore, Ibiyemi, Tajudeen win wards

…Election credible, in line with democratic ethos, electoral guidelines — ADAPHAI

By Ismail Azeez, Osogbo, Uthman Salami

The Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has called on every aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress party (APC) to join hands with him to strengthen the party to deliver outstanding results at the July 16 gubernatorial election.

Governor Oyetola made the call while delivering his acceptance speech shortly after he was declared winner by the party’s Governorship Primary Election Committee led by the Kwara State Governor, Abdul-Rasak AbdulRahman.

According to the official results announced, Oyetola polled 222,169 votes to defeat the duo of Adeoti Moshood who is a former Secretary to the State Government  polled 12,921 votes to come a distant second while Hon. Yusuf Lasun who is a former Deputy Speaker, House Representatives polled 460 votes to come third.

Oyetola extended hands of fellowship to the co-contenders just as he urged members of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to close ranks and eschew bitterness in all forms saying the time has come for all the aggrieved members to have a rethink and join hands with him to further strengthen the party.

He reiterated his Administration’s commitment to running all inclusive, equitable and participatory governance in the State.

He described the victory as a restatement of people’s confidence in his Development Agenda which “hope delivered in 2018 and performance sealed in 2022.”

Oyetola said, “On this historic occasion of the peaceful conclusion of the primary election and my emergence as the candidate of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Osun, I give Glory to Almighty God for making it possible.

“Once again, our great party has spoken as a beacon of democracy and as a strong and united channel of development.

“We have jointly made a resolve to continue to redefine governance and re-entrench sustainable democracy. Today’s victory is made possible by the members of our great party who gave us another opportunity to face the people of Osun to seek re-election. The outcome of this primary election is victory for our party and members who have spoken loudly through their votes.

“It is victory for our people who trooped out in large number during our strategic tour of the State to inform them of our intention to seek a second term.

“I thank you all our party members for your constant support, and especially for speaking eloquently today with your massive votes in favour of our administration’s restoration and consolidation agenda.

“With this primary election now concluded, I invite us all to rededicate ourselves and the party to delivering an overwhelming victory at the gubernatorial polls holding on Saturday, 16th July, 2022.

“For me, we are all winners. I, therefore, extend my hand of fellowship to the other two aspirants to join me as we prepare for the July election. We are all brothers. Let’s join hands to build the Osun of our dream.

“Let us close ranks and eschew bitterness in whatever form. Therefore, may I use this opportunity to also ask all our aggrieved members to have a rethink and join hands with us to further strengthen our party and deliver outstanding results at the gubernatorial poll.

“To all our citizens, we thank you for standing by us in the journey of these three years plus. I promise not to let you down in the years ahead.

“As we commence the electioneering campaigns, I urge all contestants across party lines to perform this exercise with utmost decency and not jeopardise the peace and tranquillity our State is noted for. This is the least our people deserve and the beauty democracy requires.”

Meanwhile, the just concluded party primary witnessed bigwigs such as the Immediate Past Governor of Osun State, now Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola losing his Ward 8, Ifofin, Ilesha East to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola at the All Progressives Congress, APC, gubernatorial primaries election.

The Minister, whose anointed aspirant was Former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, was absent at his ward during the voting exercise.

One of the loyalists to Aregbesola at Ward 8, Ifofin, Ilesha East, Saheed Adegoke confirmed to journalists that the Minister was not around to vote.

Adegoke said the Minister had an assignment from the President.

He added that at the end of the exercise, Moshood Adeoti, polled 146 votes while Governor Adegboyega Oyetola emerged with 309.

Also, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola defeated the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuf in his ward Irepodun local government ward 5 with a total margin of 313 votes.

Speaking to journalists in Ward 1, Iragbiji, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the primary election in the state, noting that the turnout of the members of the party has been impressive.

The Governor who is one of the aspirants jostling for the APC ticket, as he seeks a second term as the governor, sued for peace and rancour free primary election

“I want to appeal to all our people all over the state to, please, maintain peace. This election process should not be a battle field. It should not be a do or die affair. There should be no violence. Let everybody have the opportunity of participating. I think that’s the process and I think it has gone very well contrary to the speculation.”

The Governor who is optimistic of winning the election said members of the party have witnessed tremendous achievements recorded in his first term and would present him for second term to allow continuity of the good work he has started.

“I’ll win by the grace of God. I want to appeal to all of us to see this issue as a family affair. It’s APC all through. We should brace up for the challenge ahead. We are going to face another party in this campaign we don’t know yet.”

However, former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, the publisher of Nigerian NewsDirect Newspaper, Dr. Samuel Ibiyemi, and Deputy Chairman Osun State APC Tajudeen Lawal delivered their wards to ensure Oyetola’s victory.

In Omisore’s Moore ward, Oyetola polled 1,475 votes as against Adeoti and Lasun who polled 33 and 00 votes respectively. Also, Ibiyemi and Tajudeen’s Ilode 2 and Okerewe 2, the incumbent Governor polled 1,242 votes and 1,065 votes to beat Adeoti and Lasun who both polled 04 votes.

However, the Publicity Secretary, factional members of the party, Abiodun Agboola described the conduct of the primary election as a fraudulent process to favour Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.

Agboola said that Alhaji Moshood Adeoti has no record and result sheets in any of the 332 wards of the state.

“There were no proper accreditation in majority of the ward collation centres where voting was taken place. The accreditation done in some places were skewed in favour of Governor Gboyega Oyetola as members of the group were allowed to pass through accreditation process without much ado,” he said.

Meanwhile, an NGO, Advocacy for Advancement of Peace & Harmony in Africa Initiative (ADAPHAI), has commended the peaceful conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries on Saturday in Osun.

The National Coordinator of the NGO, Mr  Sulaimon Suberu, at a news conference on Sunday in Osogbo, stated that the process allowed every member of the party to exercise their franchise in the atmosphere of peace and orderliness.

Suberu said the reports across the 332 wards, monitored by the NGO’s election observers, adjudged the process as free and peaceful.

“The pattern of conduct of the process was credible and in line with democratic ethos and electoral guidelines, with the display of party register in all the 332 wards and proper accreditation of party members.

“The turnout of members of the party was massive and participation was active and encouraging.

“Largely, every member was given opportunities to exercise his/her franchise without any form of intimidation.

“The process of the APC Primary election in Osun was free, fair and democratic. It is indeed a model for other states and other political parties,” he said.

Suberu, however, condemned the activities of some politicians in the state, preceding the primary, which according to him, created tension and panic.

He went ahead to describe the development as divisive and vindictive.

The National Coordinator also frowned at what he called a reckless display of power by some politicians, with apparent abuse of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to foment trouble in the state.

Suberu eulogised the peaceful nature of Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola, noting that he has been very calm in the face of  provocation.

He said, “We have been monitoring political events in Osun for many years with satisfactory knowledge and understanding of the inherent dynamics in its polity.

“The recent political development in the state has put Osun on the front burner of national debate and  political discourse.

“As a leading organisation with mandate to promote good governance and political stability through the propagation of peaceful co-existence and non-violent culture, we considered it paramount to do a thorough intervention in the state.

“This is for the purpose of ensuring peaceful political process. It is a known fact that the state, by all standards, remains a peaceful federating unit, arguably the most peaceful.

“Meanwhile, the capacity to sustain that feat solely rests on leadership, it is on that note that we commend the state governor for his peaceful nature and maturity to remain calm irrespective of the degree of provocation.”

Governor Oyetola won the primaries with 222,169 votes, while his closet rival Alhaji Moshood Adeoti pulled 12,291.

The Governor, who won all the 30 Local Government Areas in the state in the direct primary election on Saturday, also defeated Mr Lasun Yusuf, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who scored 460 votes.

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