TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY ALHAJI MOSHOOD ADEOTI, GOVERNORSHIP ASPIRANT IN SATURDAY, GOVERNORSHIP PRIMARY ELECTION OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) IN THE STATE OF OSUN, TODAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2022
I welcome you, gentlemen of the press and our party leaders to this press conference aimed at highlighting the anomalies in the governorship primary election exercise coming up tomorrow, 19th day of February, 2022.
As preliminaries, we note that our party, APC in Osun has been having internal crisis for quite some time now, and it has caused us some untold woes and unnecessary stress and strains in the past. The efforts by some genuine progressive elements within our fold to right the wrongs have remained unheeded by those who felt bigger than the party because they hold government positions, or that they are benefiting from the government. We must state quickly that the level of impunity shown by few people in government has ridiculed and diminished us before the public and has reduced the love and support thy have for us.
May we note that the impunity from the people in government is what they want to carry out in tomorrow’s primary election, and that may do the APC more harm than we can guess.
Oyetola’s Failure To Resign From NCECPC
It is on record and has been decided in several law suits that it is not possible to be a judge in your own case. We note that it is the display of “they cannot do anything” that makes Governor Gboyega Oyetola to remain in membership of the National Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, (NCECPC) of APC till date. It is on record that we have advised him to resign but he has remained adamant and unperturbed. The reason, by our estimation is simple: Governor Oyetola has enjoyed the manifest misuse of the power of the committee to his own advantage since its evolution. It is sad that the NCECPC has decided all cases brought before it by us and other stakeholders in favour of Oyetola. We have it on good authority that there is understanding between members of the NCECPC that they would protect members interests at whatever point it is needed. And this has been the case in all of our efforts to seek justice in all disputation between us and governor.
In the spirit of fair play, objectivity and natural justice, Governor Oyetola is not supposed to remain in the membership of the NCECPC. What we are witnessing is a case of a thief adjudicating his own case. He can never convict himself. Governor Oyetola’s membership of the NCECPC is against the democratic norms. We dare say that this is capable of causing disquiet, more than we are facing in Osun APC now, if allowed to pass us bye.
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Tomorrow’s governorship primary cannot be fair, free, and equitable if Governor Oyetola is still a member of NCECPC. We note that like it happened in time of the Congress, we are reliably informed that Governor Oyetola is the one who hand-picked the Chairman and members of the primary election committee. It is within human reasonability not to trust such handpicked committee by an interested party member. Such committee would never be fair to other contenders. We therefore express absolute opposition to whatever committee that will conduct tomorrow’s primary election because they were chosen by Governor Oyetola. There can only be point of convergence for us if Governor Oyetola could resign his membership and the process of conducting the primary begins afresh.
Violation of APC Constitution
The provision of Article 31(iii) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Constitution (2014) as Amended reads as follows:
“Any party office holder interested in contesting for an elective office (whether party office or office in a general election) shall resign and leave office 30 days prior to the date of nomination or party primary for office he or she is seeking to contest”.
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From the Constitutional provision quoted above, it is against the tenet and intendment of Article 31(iii) for Governor Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola to still remain and retain his membership of CECPC. A closer look at the provisions of the Constitution quoted above shows that the drafter of the APC Constitution has envisaged a situation as the one that is currently happening in Osun State.
Change of Primary Date
We also note that the need to manipulate the primary process and outcome in favour of Governor Oyetola is responsible for drawing back the date of the primary from March 5 to February 19.
It is unfortunate that, with the background of the formation of APC with high moral ground in following the law, rules and regulations, the party will play the role of reversing itself in a serious matter like the date of primary already advertised for close to three months. It is unacceptable and shameful that the NCECPC will shift the goal post in the middle of the game. The date for Osun APC primary was fixed for March 5, 2022 but was hurriedly reversed to February 19, 2022. This is mind boggling and begs the question; why?
We have it on good authority that the NCECPC was influenced by Oyetola to reverse the date to have the primary before the National Convention coming up on February 26, 2022. It is believed that Oyetola is afraid of contesting a free and fair primary election to be conducted by an objective committee after.
It will not be in the interest of APC to be found manipulating the process of the primary, as it will diminish its status in the comity of democratic organisations. We note too, that tendency which I represent within the progressives fold in the State of Osun will not give down to such perverse situation. In our tendency, fairness and equity are fundamental watchwords which have corollary with the essence of progressivism.
Party Membership Register
We put on record, the fact that The Osun Progressives (TOP), a caucus of APC to which I belong, has not been availed with the membership register of the party, which will be the basis of voting tomorrow. We put on record that there ought to have been display of party register, with claims and objections made before we go to voting. We recall that TOP had reported the abuse and manipulation to which the party’s register had been subjected to while been compiled by Governor Oyetola and his cabinet members. And this allegation was unattended to, but cannot be wished away. We state that if there is no deliberate attempt to manipulate the primary process, it is important to make the membership register available, display it for claims and objections before using it for tomorrow’s primary election or any time it will come up. The APC, we say with confidence, will not want to involve itself in a muddled-up arrangement that could tarnish its democratic image.
Power of (Thuggery And Violence) Incumbency
The power of incumbency is euphemism for the use of thug and violence on election day. The Oyetola government has dealt a heinous deal of usage of thugs and violence on our political tendency in the last one year. We have survived not less than 16 of such brutal attacks in the last one year and the goons are ever-ready to deal more blows on us. As a matter of fact, it is the fashion within and among the Governor Oyetola’s group, IleriOluwa to talk of not coming to the collation centres to line up but just write figures suitable for them anywhere they found suitable. In order not to give an iota of chance to the opposition, they have planned to unleash thugs, including the Niger-Delta ones hired for them by a Lagos based relative of the Governor to prevent APC members from showing up or lining up for the primary exercise. This will be inimical to the image of APC and we wish it is never allowed to happen.
Usage Of Political Appointees As State Committee For Primary
We have it on good authority that Governor Oyetola has appointed members of the Local Government Caretaker Committees as members of the Osun APC state committee for the primary. The reason for this is obvious. An appointee of the governor cannot be a fair umpire in the election. The game plan is to rig the primary election for Oyetola. We reject inclusion of any political appointee of the governor in the Osun APC committee for the conduct of the primary.
In all of these, the NCECPC owe itself discerning mind to discharge itself well of the assignment on hand and take deserved glory for it, or deliberately support the evil plans by desperate elements who care less about the consequences of their irresponsible actions.
In conclusion, in spite of the highlighted anomalies above, I and me supporters are going to participate in the primary election tomorrow. We are not going to boycott. I want to urge all APC members to go to their Collation centres in their various wards to vote for me. I called on the security agencies in the state to provide adequate security for our people. As said earlier, the Governor’s camp is planning violence, but we are resolute and believe that the security agents will act responsibly.