Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
A political group called the “Ibi Giga Ambassadors”, who are championing the second term bid of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, raised an alarm on Monday over alleged illegal membership registration in the party ahead of the governorship primary election holding next month.
The leader of the group, Prof Lanre Olu-Adeyemi, addressing a press conference in Akure, alleged that some governorship aspirants in the party are behind the illegal registration.
He said the group had written an open letter to the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, to register its displeasure on the alleged illegal exercise.
The letter reads in part:
‘We wish to formally inform you of the need to urgently stop the nefarious activities of some desperate aspirants within our party who have embarked on the process of sabotaging the genuine efforts of the national leadership of our party to conduct a primary election where every of our member would be convinced that the candidate who eventually emerges is a product of a free, fair and transparent process which to us would make the governorship election come October 2020 a less cumbersome task.
‘The said desperate aspirants and their collaborators in an attempt to have their way if the national leadership of the party adopts direct primary as the mode of electing the party’s candidate in the forthcoming primary election of our party in Ondo State on 20th July 2020 have gone to Osun State and collated party membership slips which are in thousands and have been injecting these fictitious names on these Slips into a concocted party membership register which they intend to use in Ondo State towns bordering Osun State as these towns are mostly populated by Osun indigenes living here in Ondo State and doing their legitimate businesses for several years now.
‘According to our source, the aspirants have perfected plans to ‘smuggle’ into Ondo State, people from Osun State who would appear as eligible voters in “their various polling units on the day of the Primary election if the primary election is the direct mode. The other aspirant has also gone as far as to Lagos State to collate thousands of party membership slips to be used by his supposed supporters thereby designing a new party Membership Registration Forms which have been distributed secretly across the various Wards in Ondo State.
‘We are concerned that this unscrupulous action, if not quickly addressed, portends grave dangers to the fortunes of our great party as we prepare for the party primaries in July 2020 and the gubernatorial election in October 2020.
“We want to put on record that the party membership registration that was done in 2014 formed the existing APC Party register in Ondo State and it is the only known party membership register that is in existence in Ondo State as at today. The national secretariat is yet to give a directive for the update of Party Membership Registration in Ondo State.
‘Thus any illegal injection of names as it is currently being done by some desperate elements is inimical to the good image of our party and will no doubt create an avoidable and unnecessary crisis in our dear State.
‘It is pertinent to emphasise here that our alarm is not borne out of cowardice but to guide jealously and safeguard the peace and tranquillity that is prevalent in our party in particular and generally in Ondo State at the moment because Ondo State people are very sophisticated and enlightened and would not condone any attempt by anyone who would for selfish reason overtly or covertly overreach a process thereby putting the innocent indigenes of the state into a sorry state,’ it added