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The Real Truth Behind Ondo APC Primary Election And Oyegun's Treacherous Acts. - Politics - Nairaland

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The Real Truth Behind Ondo APC Primary Election And Oyegun's Treacherous Acts. by Alphaoscar: 7:26am On Oct 05, 2016
The ONDO APC PRIMARY..... Chief Pius O. Akinyelure.
This statement is being made public for two important reasons. In my capacity as the National Vice Chairman (South West) of our great Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), it has become necessary to establish a true and correct account of the events pertaining to the 3rd September, 2016,
Ondo APC Governorship Primary and the actions taken by the party and some of its officials after that primary. Second, as a democrat with a deeply rooted conviction to fair play and transparency, it is incumbent on me to ensure as much as possible that our party conduct its internal operations in consonance with the fine principles upon which the APC was founded because it was our vow to adhere to these ideals that brought innumerable voters to the polls to vote for the party during the last general elections. I believe shall and must continue to uphold these sterling guiding principles.
It is in this spirit that I write this letter. The party issued a timetable for the Ondo State APC governorship primaries in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act, INEC guidelines, the Party Constitution and Election guidelines. Twenty-four aspirants obtained party nomination forms as a pre-condition for participation in the exercise. Due to the large number of aspirants and coupled with the burning desire of the good people of Ondo State to embrace the APC as they did during the 2015 general elections, the process generated a lot of excitement. After all, the APC was seen as the party to beat in Ondo State. As a result of this, our adversaries and those who felt the victory of APC was assured began to spoil the air with insinuations of a purported attempt to impose a candidate. As time would tell, that allegation was unfounded. In reaction to this, the party’s leadership at various levels and stages had interactive meetings with the aspirants to assure them of fair- play and that the party would favor no candidate but would act as an honest and impartial arbiter of the process. All twenty- four (24) aspirants were approved by the Screening Committee appointed by the party’s National Headquarters subsequent upon which the Election Committee and the Election Appeal Committee were appointed in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution and election guidelines. In furtherance of the assurance given by the leadership of the party to the aspirants, the list of delegates who would vote during the primary was provided to the each aspirant for scrutiny. Here is where the problems seem to begin. In a procedure unclear to me and not approved by the party, the National Organising Secretary, who has the custody of the list, instructed aspirants to come to him should any of them have observations or objections to the delegate list. The National Organising Secretary confirmed to the National Working Committee meeting of Monday 19th September 2016 that he actually received objections from some of the aspirants as to the delegates list. Then he unilaterally made the adjustments as he deemed fit. It is emphasised that the National Organising Secretary performed these adjustments without recourse or reference to the National Working Committee.

The National Working Committee was not appraised of his actions before the primary. The National Organising Secretary then issued this altered list to the Primary Election Committee for use in the conduct of the election. This altered list became available to some of the aspirants in the early hours of the Election Day (3rd September 2016) when the election process was about to commence. Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,and three other aspirants protested and raised objections as to the delegate list to the Election Committee. However, Committee members could not address as it was not within their competence to do so. They went ahead with the conduct of the election. After the declaration of the results of the election by the Election Committee, three aspirants petitioned the Election Appeal Committee alleging discrepancies and the alteration of the delegates list provided to them by the Election Committee and other irregularities.

Consequent on the above, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party received both the Election Committee and the Election Appeal Committee’s reports which were tabled at the NWC meeting of Monday 19th September 2016. The NWC considered the reports both at its plenary and executive sessions where the secretariat was excused. Almost all the members in attendance made contributions except the National Chairman and the National Organizing Secretary, Chief John Odigie Oyegun and Senator Osita Izunaso respectively. The members expressed dismay over the alteration of the delegate list and were of the view that members should be provided with copies of the two delegates list. We wanted to see the two lists so that we could authenticate the proper list for use in the conduct of a re-run primary election that will be legally acceptable to all. It was also generally observed that the opinion given by the National Legal Adviser in his Memo was wrong.

That memo stated that the party should ignore the pending litigation before the Court of Appeal regarding the delegates from Owo. The effect of said Memo by the National Legal Adviser was to discreetly inject additional disputed delegates into the altered list. This is because the 31 August Memo was in response to a letter to the National Organizing Secretary from the trio of Mrs.Olajumoke Anifowose, Chief Jamiu Ekungba and Mr. Akin Akinsehinwa Awodeyi which was only copied to him but delivered to the National Chairman on 6th September 2016.This time sequence reveals that aid Memo was made in order to lend the color of legal rationale to what was already a fait accompli.
I must emphasis here that for the avoidance of doubt, delegates that constitute the Electoral College for the purpose of governorship primaries are elected officials of the party in each of the local government through a valid congress.

Therefore only those validly elected at those congresses can be delegates. Even the NWC cannot unilaterally alter the delegate list talk less of subjecting the list to the discretion of any single officer of the party without the knowledge of any other organ of the party. Thus the memo conveying the opinion of the National Legal Adviser to the National Chairman was not only an aberration but it was in noncompliance with the due process which the constitution of our party envisages for a decision to be taken by any organ of the party. Party decisions are taken through a democratic process or consensus building by an appropriate organ of the party. The Constitution of our party does not contemplate or approve a situation where any officer can delegate to himself powers that are vested in organs of the party to take decisions through a vote or majority consensus. Such an arrogation is foreign and improper to the constitution of the party and to any ordinary and proper understanding of how a collective body that is founded on the principles of democratic practice should conduct its most important affairs.
At the end of the NWC meeting of Monday 19th September, the majority of NWC members had voiced the opinion that the name of an interim substitute candidate should be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. This keep the party within compliance with INEC guidelines whilst the NWC would assemble the next day to look at the different delegate lists for the purpose of authenticating the correct list for usage in the re-run primary. It was also agreed that further discussion be conducted with the aspirants to keep them abreast of the situation with a view to re-assuring them of fairplay so that the outcome of the re-run election would be acceptable and credible to all.
When the NWC reconvened on Tuesday 20th September, three(3) delegates lists (i.e. the first list given to aspirants; the altered list by the National Organizing Secretary and a harmonized list by the Ondo State Party Chairman) were circulated to members for their scrutiny in order to determine which list would be used as the authentic list consonant with the earlier decision that the delegates list compiled for the party Congress of 2014 be used for the re-run Ondo governorship primary. In view of the sheer volume of the lists, the NWC agreed that whilst members were scrutinizing the lists, the National Chairman and the National Secretary be mandated to consult some party leaders and stakeholders with a view to finding a political solution to the issue and report back to the NWC on Thursday 22nd September.
At the NWC’s reconvened meeting of Thursday 22nd September, members affirmed their position that the party should send the name of an interim substitute candidate to INEC while we determine the correct list for the rerun. We believed this was a prudent approach in that we had a clear three weeks within which the Party could remove the interim candidate with the winner of the rerun primary according to INEC guidelines. The Chairman disagreed but rather called for a vote. Six out of eleven members already raised their hands in favour of submitting the interim substitute (popularly called a dummy), while other members raised objection as to open voting.
In defiance of the majority opinion as reflected in the vote of 6 against 5 in favour of submission of an interim candidate in clear contemplation of a rerun primary,the National Chairman, the National Secretary and the National Organising Secretary had secretly prepared nomination documents even before the votes we had taken. Ignoring the vote, they submitted these documents to INEC. In doing so, they violated the spirit and the letter of our party’s controlling rules and regulations as well the democratic ideals upon which the party is founded. They also showed great disregard for the NWC by using our meetings as a false show of democratic practice that would cover the arbitrary and unilateral acts which their offices did not give them the power to take.
This statement enjoys the acquiescence of the supportive NWC members. These members are the six NWC members who were against the stance taken by Oyegun on the Ondo primaries.
CHIEF PIUS O. AKINYELURE National Vice Chairman (SW) All Progressives Congress
Re: The Real Truth Behind Ondo APC Primary Election And Oyegun's Treacherous Acts. by Mynd44: 7:30am On Oct 05, 2016

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