By Victor Adeoti/Osogbo
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has expressed displeasure over the conduct of Saturday governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun.
Aregbesola, who was absent at his Ifofin Ward 8 in Ilesa East Local Government area, expressed his displeasure in a statement made available to newsmen in Osogbo, on Saturday.
The statement, entitled: “Hold Your Heads High” was issued by his Media Adviser, Sola Fasure, saying that he had heard how the party’s registration cards were being hawked to the supporters of Gov. Gboyega Oyetola.
Oyetola won by 309 votes against 146 votes recorded for Moshood Adeoti, the candidate supported by Aregbesola in Aregbesola’s Ward in Ilesa.
The minister said he also received reports of how accreditation was not done at all in many wards.
He also alleged that people without the party’s identification cards, participated in the primary and queued behind the governor in many polling units.
Aregbesola, however, urged his supporters to maintain their cool and calm.
According to him, you have demonstrated your loyalty to the party and democratic ideals.
“You adopted a non-violent posture, even, in the face of sore provocation. You have comported yourselves as Omoluabi in the true essence.
“We have received and continue to receive the reports of the shenanigans of the officials who conducted the sham of an election.
“We have been inundated with reports statewide of how your names were expunged from the party’s voter’s register.
“This was not made available until this morning, contrary to the convention of making the list available to the candidates before the election.
“We have heard of how party registration cards were being hawked this morning to the supporters of the state governor.
“We have received the reports from our members and independent observers of how government officials and notable supporters of the governor officiated in the election.
“We have heard of the absence of result sheets and other vital documents for recording results and vital data,” Aregbesola said.
The minister said his camp also noted the absence of INEC officials in most wards, casting serious doubt on the credibility of the election.
“We note with shame and much regret the consternation of local and international observers on what they regard as a travesty of an election. Be not downcast, be not agitated. Hold your head high.
“We are still receiving and studying all these reports and will take a definitive position on them. You are urged not to take laws into your hands.
“Please leave the rest to the Almighty God and let us explore all peaceful and legal means for addressing the matter in order to obtain justice.
“Please remain committed to peace and the rule of law. Be unflinching in your commitment to the democratic ideals.
“Democracy is for the long haul. As you all know, we never tire and we never give up on the cause we believe in,” he said.
The two other main aspirants battling for the governorship ticket of the party are: Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, a former Secretary to the State Government and Lasun Yusuf, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Aregbesola, also a former Governor in the state, had declared his support for Adeoti, as his preferred candidate to fly the party’s ticket.
Oyetola is seeking to win the party’s ticket to actualise his second term bid.