The runner-up in the All Progressives Congress’ governorship primary in Ondo State, Olusegun Abraham, has vowed to continue the struggle to upturn the decision which produced Rotimi Akeredolu as the candidate of the party in the coming governorship election.
Mr. Abraham who spoke through his media aide, Sayo Aluko, on Sunday also denied collapsing his political structure in support of the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Olusola Oke.
He claimed that he was the authentic winner of the September 3 primary, given the number of valid votes credited to him and the fact that the election was fraught with malpractice.
He also vowed not to defect to any other party, but would remain within the APC to reclaim his mandate.
The party had been embroiled in a crisis since Mr. Akeredolu was announced as the winner of the September 3 governorship primary in the face of a recommendation of the appeal committee nullifying the election.
Mr. Abraham who had the endorsement of APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, for the governorship ticket, had his supporters stage a protest march last Tuesday to press for the nullification of the candidacy of Mr. Akeredolu.
The protest however resulted to a violent clash between his supporters and Mr. Akeredolu’s as each group tried to gain control of the party secretariat.
“I use this opportunity to reassure my teeming and esteemed supporters that our mandate is alive, and as long as we keep calling for justice to be done, we shall reclaim this mandate and bring practical governance to the benefit of the Ondo people and the pride of our great party,” Mr. Abraham said.
There were reports that Messrs. Abraham and Ajayi Boroffice had collapsed their political structures to support Mr. Oke.
According to Mr. Abraham, the rumour is “blatantly false” and “lacks commonsense and credibility.”
“Contrary to what Olusola Oke is saying all over Ondo at the moment, I have not collapsed my structure for anybody, talk less someone who is no longer a member of my party and someone who I am far popular than,” he said.
“In as much as I am not surprised at this usual level of desperation from the Oke people, I am disappointed at the extent of falsehood being peddled.
“If he is indeed popular, why get so desperate to use my name under a false pretence to deceive the people and gain popularity?”
“Even, anybody with a politically sound mind will know that such move has no iota of truth in it.
“My candidacy enjoys greater popularity and acceptance compared to Olusola Oke’s and all the other aspirants, both by valid delegates’ votes and by the show of massive public goodwill recently typified by the overwhelming solidarity rally staged by the people of Ondo for my candidacy on Tuesday, the 4th of October, 2016.
“So, how can I then undermine this much faith put in me, both politically and publicly, by collapsing my structure for a less popular individual? It doesn’t fit commonsense and surely lacks credibility.”
He called on his supporters in the party and the state to disregard the rumour, while urging them to remain resilient and focused on the quest to save the party from destruction.