Olusola Oke, one of the aspirants in Saturday’s governorship primary of the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC)has alleged irregularities in the process.
He said the process which returned Rotimi Akeredolu as winner, was fraught with malpractices as over 500 illegal delegates were included in the list of delegates, while authentic voters were denied the opportunity to vote.
Speaking through his Director of Campaign, Bola Fisayo, in Akure, Mr. Oke said the illegal delegates were not constitutionally elected as delegates of the party.
“The illegal delegates voted because the organizers introduced a delegates manifest with which tags were issued and which admitted the delegates into the centre,” Mr. Oke, a former leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state said.
According to Mr. Oke, the list of delegates used deferred from the authentic list. He noted that some delegates were deliberately omitted and replaced with those who were not elected as officials of the party.
The aspirant, who scored 576 votes to come third behind Olusegun Abraham, also alleged that the “illegal” voters were used to rig the election after they were given multiple ballot papers to vote for a particular candidate.
“We have made representations to the appeals committee already, hoping that it would look into the process,” he said.
Mr. Oke was reluctant to congratulate Mr. Akeredolu after the latter was declared winner in the early hours of Sunday. He said he would review the exercise and come out with a position.
He also said those insinuating that he would leave the party if he failed to win were only expressing their personal opinions.
But the Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Omo’oba Adesanya, said the primary was transparent and free from any malpractices.
He argued that the list of delegates used was the authentic one.
According to him, the list earlier available to aspirants was not authentic because it did not have the names of some elected officials who should be there.
“For example, the name of the Woman Leader, South, who has been in that position for the past two years was not in that list of delegates,” Mr. Adesanya said.
“These issues were raised and the Appeals Committee made a recommendation, but congress could not implement that list before the 2015 election and so the faulted list continued to be in use.
“Now that the national body got interested, Kekemeke (state party chairman) had no choice but to submit the authentic list which was used by the organising committee of the primary.”