The Chairman of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, has rejected the result of the Osun State Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship primary election held on Saturday.
Ogunbiyi, who rejected the outcome of the exercise at a press conference he addressed at Ileogbo, his hometown on Sunday, vowed to use the internal mechanism of the party to reclaim the “stolen mandate” from Senator Ademola Adeleke, who was announced as the eventual winner of the contest.
Adeleke, who is the Senator representing the Osun West Senatorial District, won the primary election by polling 1,569 while Ogunbiyi came second with 1,562.
The Electoral Panel headed by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State had announced that Ogunbiyi scored 1,559 votes but his agents ( Ogunbiyi) insisted that the ballot must be recounted.
He claimed that accreditation, voting, sorting and counting were manipulated to favour Adeleke, saying he scored more than the number of votes credited to him by the panel.
Some of the agents of Ogunbiyi had required for the ballot to be recounted and after the recount, his votes increased to 1562. Some of his supporters were still not satisfied and they demanded that the votes of the winner should also be recounted but this was not done.
Ogunbiyi said, “I assure you all that the mandate which was freely given to me by majority of the delegates will be reclaimed by the special grace of God.
“The outcome of that primary has been a subject of concern to a great majority of our party members who have been disappointed, disillusioned and confused by the conduct of the exercise and the results as declared by the panel led by His Excellency, Governor Seriake Dickson.
“Some of the major issues which compromised the integrity of the exercise and made the results clearly unacceptable include the non-adherence to the clear provisions of the Electoral Guidelines and unfortunate manipulation of the accreditation, voting, sorting and counting of the votes cast by delegates at the primaries.
“Consequent upon these infractions, therefore, the votes attributed to me at the end of the voting exercise were much lower than what I actually scored as valid votes.
I have, therefore, resolved to use the internal mechanism of the party to seek an immediate redress of this clear case of injustice which is contrary to the spirit of transparency and justice being propagated by the new leadership of our party led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
“While this process is on, I wish to use this opportunity to thank leaders and members of our party who stood by me before, during and after the primary.”
Meanwhile, the Osun State Chairman of the PDP, Mr Soji Adagunodo, has congratulated Adeleke on his victory.
Adagunodo said this in a statement he made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Sunday.
The party chairman described Adeleke’s victory as divine and urged him to be magnanimous in victory and reach out to his co-aspirants in a conciliatory manner.
Adagunodo also called on all party members to rally round the governorship candidate and begin to work in earnest for the success of the party in the September 22 governorship election.
Adeleke has also expressed gratitude to all contestants including those who stepped down their ambition for him and party members for their support which he said led to his emergence.
Adeleke said, “I congratulate Dr Akin Ogunbiyi and his hard-fighting team for running a good and impressive campaign. It was a brotherly contest in our collective strive to redeem our state. It is, therefore, no gainsaying that we are all winners.
“My emergence as the governorship candidate of our great party marks the beginning of the divine liberation of our dear people from repression and oppression.
“Today is a great Day! I thank Team Imole and our committed delegates for their steadfastness and undying passion.
“The end of phase 1 has come and the start of the great battle to fully liberate our people through the forthcoming governorship election must commence.”