Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has been declared the winner of the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress held on Saturday.
Announcing the result very early on Sunday, the Chairman of the governorship primary committee and Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, said Oyetola won the election, having garnered 222,169 votes, against 12,921 votes that his closest challenger, Moshood Adeoti got. He also said another of Oyetola’s challenger, Lasun Yusuf, got 460 votes and placed third.
He said a total of 408,697 voters registered in the primary election of the party, while 247, 207 voters were accredited to vote. The total vote cast and valid votes were 235,550.
Abdulrazaq said Oyetola won in all the 30 local government areas in the state.
In his remarks, Osun APC chairman, Gboyega Famoodun, commended the diligence of the committee, security agencies and others that worked for the success of the exercise.
Sunday PUNCH had reported that Oyetola defeated Adeoti, a former secretary to the state government, at the ward of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, in Saturday’s APC governorship primary.
But the Rasaq Salinsile-led faction of the party to which the minister belongs, rejected the result. The faction claimed that the exercise was fraught with irregularities.
Adeoti, a former chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria before it merged with the APC, is the anointed candidate of Aregbesola for the party’s governorship ticket.
Oyetola, was the chief of staff to Aregbesola when the latter served as governor of the state for eight years.
Also in the race is a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf.
In Aregbesola’s Ifofin Ward 8, Ilesa East Local Government, Adeoti got 146 votes while Oyetola polled 309 votes. Lasun Yusuf also lost in his Ward 5, Ilobu getting 10 votes, as Oyetola polled 323 while Adeoti got 62 votes.
Also, in his Iragbaji Ward 1, Saint Peters Primary School, Iragbiji, Oyetola got 1,612 votes, while Adeoti and Yusuf got no vote.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sunday PUNCH, the Publicity Secretary of Aregbesola’s faction, Abiodun Agboola, noted that the concerns raised by the group at the stakeholders’ meeting held with the party’s Electoral Committee on Friday in Osogbo, the state capital, were not addressed.
Agboola said names of Adeoti’s supporters were removed from the membership register used for the exercise.
He further claimed that hoodlums were used to chase away Adeoti’s supporters, adding that result sheets were not provided for the compilation of the outcome of the poll.
He further alleged, “Verified information from the agents of Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, our governorship aspirant, has it that there is no record and there are no result sheets in any of the 332 wards of the state.
“Also, there was no proper accreditation in the majority of the ward collation centres where voting was taking place. The accreditation done in some places were skewed in favour of Governor Gboyega Oyetola as members of the group were allowed to pass through the accreditation process without much ado.
“Names of a sizeable number of the members of the APC who wanted to vote for Adeoti were missing in the register of the party. This we had envisaged by calling for the display of party register before the conduct of the primary.
“State government-appointed officers were used as returning officers. We are rejecting the result because it was not a true reflection of what happened today.
“Votes were allocated in all the wards in Osun State. There were no result sheets for the results to be entered. What they did today was simply to allocate results. They came to voting centers with thugs.
“We are rejecting any results that may be announced by the committee.”
Unexpectedly, Aregbesola, who has urged his followers to troop out in large numbers and vote for Adeoti, did not participate in the exercise.
Rather, the chairman of his faction in Ifofin ward 8, Adegoke Saheed, while speaking with our correspondent alleged that the exercise was manipulated.
He also confirmed that Aregbesola did not take part in the exercise.
He said, “We have concluded (voting) but it is unfortunate that the process did not go smoothly. They brought a party register that was not the original. I supervised the registration and I told those that brought the register that it was not the original.
“We could not find the names of our supporters in the register. I told them the list had been doctored but they did not listen to me. When they wanted to count, they said 309 voted for Oyetola and when they counted those that voted for us (Adeoti) and they got to 146, they disrupted the exercise and said they should not count again.
“They didn’t bring the result sheet. They just pack their papers and ran away. This is the ward of the Minister, Rauf Aregbesola. I was told when I asked about his whereabouts that Ogbeni went on an official assignment. He was not around.”