The winner of the Ondo State governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress, Rotimi Akeredolu, has called on his supporters to stay calm amidst reports that his election as candidate of the party has been cancelled.
Reports that the election was cancelled as recommended by the appeals panel had set the party on the path of confusion given that the deadline for party primaries was September 19.
The National Working Committee of the party has been locked in a make or mar meeting which has entered its second day to decide the fate of the election in the face of allegations of irregularities.
Mr. Akeredolu told his supporters in a statement on Tuesday to disregard the reports, saying the election had not been cancelled.
According to him, the Election Appeal Panel which looked into the controversies surrounding the primary election submitted two conflicting reports and recommendations to the APC National Working Committee.
“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,” Mr. Akeredolu said.
“The latter report which also accused the two members of bias and corruption dominated discussion at the NWC meeting in Abuja yesterday(Monday).”
Mr. 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 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 said.
“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.”
He also noted that the report of the Appeal Panel was rejected by the NWC, which described the panel as “shoddy and lacking in integrity.”
Mr. Akeredolu said the party’s highest organ 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.
He said 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(Tuesday),” he said.
“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.”