By Chinelo Obogo
The candidate backed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee for Ogun State governorship election, Oladipupo Adebutu, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of trying to destabilise the party.
Reacting to the recent decision of INEC to recognise Buruji Kashamu as the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun State, Adebutu said at press conference held in Lagos yesterday, that he remains the legitimate candidate of the party and would back down but seek redress in court.
“Why has INEC chosen to selective in obeying court orders such that the PDP is put at a disadvantage? Why do we have an INEC that has deliberately put the PDP in Ogun in a precarious situation? Despite two court orders including a recent Appeal Court judgment, INEC still chose to recognise someone who was expelled by the national leadership of the party. There were conflicting court orders but INEC decided to chose the one to obey.
“The Electoral law clearly states that it’s only the National Working Committee of a party that can organise a primary and submit the name of a governorship candidate to INEC. Kashamu never bought the form from the PDP NWC and neither did the NWC submit his name to INEC. So why should INEC decide to recognise the Court order that favours Kashamu?
“Few days ago, INEC told us that they do not have the Appeal Court judgement in their possession. How did the judgment mysteriously disappear from INEC’s file?
“What INEC did by recognising Kashamu opens a big window for creating crisis and we believe that the APC has deliberately influenced the running of INEC to destabilise our party. The APC has been making overtures to me to defect and join them but I have resisted them and that is why they are trying to create crisis. Unlike what happened in the past where some PDP members left the party as a result of the crisis, we would not leave this time around.
“For reasons beat known to him Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is desperate to win Ogun State and that is why the APC is causing division among us. He has always voted in Lagos but now he has moved his voting records to Ogun State. If there are two orders directing INEC to recognise two different people, they should have either published both our names with a caveat stating that it is subject to court judgement or they should not have published any names at all pending the determination of the case in court. INEC is deliberately creating confusion but we are determined not to get distracted.”
To our view, because there is a desperate attempt to destabilise the PDP, INEC is now interfering in our activities.
“I remain the candidate of the party, the NWC has graciously given me the party’s flag and they not only sold the forms to me but they submitted my name to INEC according to stipulations in the Electoral Act. We will not back down. It is not over; we will continue in court till this case is resolved,’ Adebutu said.