Some leaders of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State have called for the cancellation of the party’s primary held last Saturday in Akure.
The leaders made the demand in a petition to the chairman of the Election Appeal Committee.
A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), emerged the winner of the election to pick the party’s ticket for the November 26 governorship poll.
The leaders, who signed the petition, included a former APC Central Senatorial Chairman, Mr. Adegboyega Adedipe, the Ondo East and West Local Governments chairmen, Mr. Akintunde Samuel and Mr. Adeola Ademulegun respectively.
In the petition, the leaders alleged that the exercise was characterised by malpractices and urged the committee to conduct a fresh primary.
They also alleged that a strange delegates’ list was introduced on the eve of the election after everyone of them had gone to sleep. They said it was the same list that was eventually used for the election.
The petition read in part, “Names of 47 per cent of the delegates in Ondo-East were either deleted or substituted with people who were unknown to the party as executive members. Some of the injected names were not even aware of the development and so did not come for the primary.
“We wrote a petition to the election committee chairman on the morning of the election and it was reiterated that only people that had been voting in previous primaries would be allowed to vote with a promise to stand down the voting process for Ondo-East and Ondo-West local government areas. We were shocked that the committee never honoured the pledge.
“In all, a total number of 64 names were injected into the delegates’ list. The names were unknown to the party. For instance, somebody who never contested any election, and some even unknown to the party suddenly became ward chairmen in wards four, six, two and seven of Ondo-East Local Government.”
The petitioners also alleged that “the absence of many legitimate voters paved the way for “see and buy” voters that were eventually used to further corrupt the process.
“Many voters were recruited from the road side including okada riders, bread-sellers, street hawkers and others who were not party members but just loitering around the venue of the election.”
The aggrieved APC members, however, noted that they were not against the winner of the election but vowed to contest the alleged fraudulent process through which he emerged.
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The petitioners urged the appeal committee to order the use of the same premises for accreditation as the voting centre during the re-run primaries they demanded to avoid the repeat of the situation.
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