The All Progressive Congress, APC, in Osun has described as false, the reasons adduced by erstwhile aspirant for the Osun West senatorial seat, Ademola Adeleke, for his withdrawal from the party’s primary election conducted on Wednesday in Osogbo.
The publicity secretary of the party, Kunle Oyatomi, said in a statement that Mr. Adeleke’s withdrawal and resignation were “purely a reconsideration as well as an admission of his apparent weakness to confront a tough challenger with substantial grassroots backing.”
Mr. Adeleke had alleged that he withdrew from the APC primaries because of manipulation and interference by some political power brokers in the party, which saw the clearance of his rival, Mudashiru Hussein, who was disqualified both by the screening and appeal committees.
He also cited the decision of the party not to conduct the primary election in Iwo, the headquarters of the Osun West Senatorial District, but chose Osogbo, thereby exposing the process to “a potential nullification.”
Mr. Oyatomi however said Mr. Adeleke’s allegations were baseless and unsubstantiated.
He also said Mr. Adeleke was not conversant with the established procedure for the nomination of a candidate to contest an election in the APC.
“Contrary to his erroneous claim of obvious manipulations and interference, paragraph 16(d) of the 2014 Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for Public Office makes it clear that the National Working Party (NWC), acting on behalf of National Executive Committee (NEC), is the ultimate authority on the qualifications of candidates to contest a primary election,” said the party’s spokesman.
“This is more so if an appeal is lodged by any aggrieved aspirant or candidate. Therefore, the decision of the NWC cannot be seen as manipulation as this has been the standard practice of our great party since its formation.
“Second, the claim that the primary was not held at the Senatorial District headquarters is baseless. For one thing, there is no such thing as a senatorial district headquarters in the 1999 Constitution.
“As such, there is no provision either in the Constitution of the APC or the 2014 Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates for Public Office that the primaries must be held at a particular venue. For example, the presidential primary in 2015 was held in Lagos. It could have been held in Osogbo or anywhere else in the country.
“Third, available records now reveal that Otunba Adeleke was never a member of APC in the state, as there is no evidence of his registration as a member in his Abogunde/Sagba Ward 2 in Ede North LGA. There are also no records of his involvement in party meetings at all levels.
“Rather, there is a petition, dated the 9th day of June, 2017, which is to the effect that Otunba Adeleke is not a member of the APC. At best, his only affiliations with the party were his occasional appearances with his late brother, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, at party functions, particularly the campaigns.
“The fact that he is a member of the Adeleke family therefore cannot and does not confer membership of the APC on him. This is like the case of Fadeyi Oloro, a popular Yoruba artiste, who always attends APC functions, without being a member of our great party.
“In any event, at the Security Stakeholders Meeting held just yesterday, where Otunba Adeleke was represented by his brother, Dele Adeleke, he did not object to the arrangements for the primary, but rather concurred with the outlined procedure, including the venue, security and logistic arrangements.”
Mr. Adeleke has already secured the ticket of the Ali Modu Sherif faction of the People’s Democratic Party to contest the election slated for July 8.
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