TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY SENATOR ADEMOLA ADELEKE CAMPAIGN ORGANISATION.
It is with high sense of gratitude to Almighty God that we address you today after the emergence of Senator Ademola Adeleke as the governorship candidate of our great party, the PDP, for the September 22 governorship election.
The primary election was keenly contested, and we must repeat here our commendation and appreciation to all aspirants and the party leadership for the successful outcome of the event.
Electoral contests within a political party are governed by rules. The party as an organization has internal mechanisms for resolving disputes arising from party primaries. Aggrieved aspirants are entitled to raise issues but within the bounds of party rules and processes.
Appeal can be lodged, and the party will decide. In the case of Osun state, the aggrieved aspirant appealed against the result of the primary election. The party’s appeal panel after due considerations and examination of the appeal, upheld the election of Senator Ademola Adeleke as the flagbearer of the party and subsequently forwarded his name officially as the party’s flag bearer to INEC.
As loyal party men and women, the best expectation is for all affected to abide by the final decision of the party. This is more so as all aspirants had initially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state leadership of the party that they will all abide by the outcome of the primary election.
The MOU was explicit enough on the need for unity and common front after the primaries. Like all other aspirants, Senator Adeleke signed the MOU and his challenger also did the same.
While accepting the rights of any aggrieved aspirant to seek redress, the recent developments raise discomforting questions about the real motive of the challenging camp. The situation is taking a new dimension bordering on destructive anti-party activities. A grand design appears to be under execution to discredit and weaken the party and denigrate the candidate. The actions and conduct of the challenging camp now border on deliberate plot to pull down the party as evidenced by court action launched even before the appeal panel of the party could sit as well as the barrage of media attacks.
It is open to the public that the Osun PDP primaries election was one of the most transparent in recent political history. The entire electoral activity was televised live and the counting was done in the open. The challenger requested for recount and this was done twice. No process can be more open than what the Governor Seriake Dickson Election Committee did in Osun last Saturday. It is thus very disheartening that the said aspirant relied on spurious allegations to smear the party, her officials and the CHOSEN candidate. The allegations are baseless and unfounded, and we will address them as follows:
VOTE MANIPULATION: As noted above, allegations of vote manipulation are false and unfounded. A process that was televised live could not have been manipulated. The counting and vote recounting were all done openly in the presence of agents of all contesting aspirants and televised live. Nothing can justify the baseless accusation of doctored results or manipulated process by Governor Seriake Dickson and his team. The party appeal panel has so decided in their wisdom in line with what most Nigerians saw and watched on television last Saturday that the election process was free and fair.
On the second issue of school certificate, Section 177 [c] of the Nigerian Constitution and Section 317 for interpretation on educational requirements for the office of the Governor are very clear and unambiguous, Senator Adeleke is eminently eligible and qualified to seek the office of a governor. The school, Ede Muslim High School (formerly Ede Muslim Grammar school) he attended is still existing in Ede, his hometown. We challenge those asking questions to go to the school and find out if he attended and finished at the school or not between 1976 and 1981.
We do not want to suspect that some people are planted to destroy the party; we are worried that fifth columnists may have infiltrated the party and may be playing out the destructive script of their paymaster. We cannot and should not be distracted from the real issues;
Our people are suffering;
Civil servants are unpaid for over 18 months,
Our pensioners are being starved to death with non payment of pensions and gratuity,
Our hospitals have become death centres,
Our roads have become death traps,
The finances of the state have been plundered on white elephant and mostly abandoned projects.
We must rescue our state.
We want to use this opportunity to once again appeal to all those who are aggrieved by the outcome of the primary election to put the interest of the good people of Osun and the party above all personal interests. The ultimate goal is to rescue our state from oppression and repression.
Director, Media & Publicity,
Senator Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation (Team IMOLE)