Uproar As Ogun APC Election Panel Makes U-Turn, Voids One Vote Cast For Otegbeye - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Friday, May 27, 2022

Uproar As Ogun APC Election Panel Makes U-Turn, Voids One Vote Cast For Otegbeye

The committee members

ABEOKUTA - The last may not have been heard over the just concluded APC Governorship Primary in Ogun state, as the Election committee headed by Mr. Wale Ohu voided one vote cast in favour of another governorship aspirant, Barr. Biyi Otegbeye.

The members of the committee had on Thursday, during the counting of votes cast at the Ogun State All Progressives Congress governorship primary, held at the MKO Abiola stadium, Abeokuta, publicly announced one vote cast for Otegbeye by one of the delegates from Ipokia local government, however, made a u-turn and declared the vote void after heated argument among the committee members and brief consultation with some governor's aides.

The committee had recorded 1,168 votes for Governor Abiodun from the delegates drawn from 20 local government areas of the state, defeating five other aspirants who the electoral committee said got nil after it voided Otegbeye's one vote.

Other aspirants who participated in the governorship primary election are Remilekun Bakare, Modele Sarafa-Yusuf, Barr. Biyi Otegbeye, Arc. Owodunni Opayemi, and Hon. Adekunle Akinlade.

Our reporter who was at the venue observed that as soon as the Ipokia votes were counted and one vote was announced for Otegbeye, some aides of the governor became unsettled following the body language of the governor and quickly engaged the committee members in brief discussion.

The committee after collating the whole votes, however, declared no vote for all other aspirants including Otegbeye who had been announced to have gotten one vote from Ipokia.

The committee while counting the votes said, “Ipokia had 59 votes for Dapo Abiodun and one vote for Olubiyi Otegbeye."

It added that for Yewa South, Abiodun  had 50 votes while others had nil, in Imeko-Afon, Abiodun had 49 votes, Yewa North, Abiodun had 55 votes and nil for others and Ado Odo- Ota had 80 votes for Abiodun and nil for others.

The committee also announced that

Abeokuta South had 75 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Abeokuta North had 75 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Odeda had 50 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Ifo had 55 votes for Abiodun and nil for others and Remo North had 50 votes and nil for others.

It continued, “Ewekoro had 50 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Obafemi-Owode had 60 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Ijebu Ode had 50 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Ikenne had 50 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Odogbolu had 75 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Ijebu North East had 50 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Sagamu had 75 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Ijebu North had 55 votes for Abiodun and nil for others, Ijebu East had 55 votes for Abiodun and nil for others.”

Confusion however, rented the air when the controversial state party electoral chairman, Mr. Wale Ohu voided Otegbeye's one vote and recorded zero for all the aspirants.

Unconfirmed source hinted that, the second voided vote was cast for Hon. Adekunle Akinlade from Ado-Odo Ota, but was also voided for unknown fear.

Ohu said “total delegates for the election were 1,180, while  accredited votes were 1,180. The  total votes cast were 1,170; valid votes were 1,168 and two votes were voided.

“Abiodun had 1,168 votes, Bakare had 0 vote, Sarafa-Yusuf had 0 vote, Olubiyi had 0 vote, Owodunni had 0 vote, and Akinlade had 0 vote.”

“Prince Adedapo Olusegun Abiodun having had the highest votes cast is hereby declared the winner of the primary election for Ogun State and declared as a candidate of APC in the 2023 general election.”

Earlier, barely few hours to the commencement of the primary election, Akinlade and Otegbeye passed vote of no confidence on the 5-man election panel headed by Chief Wale Ohu.

They declared that Chief Ohu, as the chairman of the gubernatorial primary election in the state, lacked the capacity and integrity to conduct “an objective and the impartial” gubernatorial primary election for the state on the ground that “he is a partisan politician”.

In a statement issued in Abeokuta and jointly signed by Akinlade and Otegbeye, they queried the credentials of Ohu to have earned him the chairmanship of the election committee, alleging that previous exercises which he handled for APC in the state still accounted for the prevailing disaffection among party members.

They alleged that the Ohu-led APC governorship election panel did not make available to them, the delegate's form as stipulated in the guidelines for the conduct of the exercise, but made such available to Governor Dapo Abiodun.

The duo said though, they would participate in the primary election because of their loyalty to the party and respect for its leadership, they, however, warned that post gubernatorial primary election dispute may be inevitable if the election panel failed to make available the authentic delegates list to the other aspirants before the commencement of the exercise.

"The same Mr. Wale Ohu was the Chairman of the ward, local government, and state congress committees in Ogun state in 2021. The three congresses ended in controversies and deepened the cleavages within the APC in Ogun state. It is noteworthy that the crisis emanating from the congresses featured prominently before the National Reconciliation Committee of the APC under the able leadership of your good self.

"It was, therefore, surprising that the same man, Mr. Wale Ohu was again appointed to serve as Chairman of the gubernatorial primary election in Ogun State. It is intriguing that out of the millions of members of the APC nationwide, Mr. Ohu is having an exclusive preserve of the chairmanship of all congresses in Ogun state.

"Our members who have bitterly complained about the partisan conduct of Mr. Wale Ohu in all the congresses he had super-intended in Ogun State are therefore not comfortable with the choice of him as Chairman of the election panel. By his antecedents, we do not believe that he can conduct an objective and impartial gubernatorial primary election."

Reacting to the primary election, Adekunle Akinlade, the Ogun Governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has described the outcome of the Thursday primary elections in the State as a ‘shocking charade’ and a show of arrogance.

Akinlade, in a short statement personally signed and circulated Friday morning said the outcome of the primaries is not the end, but an indication that the state urgently needs men of good faith should rescue the state.

Akinlade, the first runner up in the 2019 general elections, was amongst the five other aspirants who were declared to have scored zero votes in the outcome of the election which was held at MKO Abiola stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta.

Akinlade in the statement alleged that aspirants were threatened while agents were harassed at the voting ground.

The statement read, “The shocking charade that took place at MKO stadium Abeokuta clearly shows that our State urgently needs men of good faith to stand up and come to her rescue. The show of shame now has no bounds!

“That 5 aspirants in a governorship primary will not score one single vote is not only shameful but shows how arrogant these set of people are. This insulting impunity and arrogance must be curtailed. Aspirants were threatened, their agents harassed and delegates coaxed.

“Please note that yesterday’s APC gubernatorial election results is NOT the end for us! Ogun State is bigger than any party or individual.

“As we prepare for the 29th/30th of May APC presidential primary, I besiege you all to roll up your sleeves because the match to ‘reset Ogun’ begins on the 31st of May 2022.”

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