By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
All Progressives Congress (APC) faction in Osun State, The Osun Progressives (TOP) has accused Governor Gboyega Oyetola of importing thugs into the state for tomorrow’s governorship primary election.
Chairman of the group, Rasaq Salinsile alleged that the thugs, who were escorted by police van, were conveyed into the state in 38 vehicles at the early hours of Friday.
Salinsile who spoke at a press conference addressed by the governorship aspirant of the group, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti in Osogbo, also said that the group heard of a robust rumour that some of their members would be attacked and arrested so that they would not partake in tomorrow’s primary.
While addressing the journalists, Adeoti said the primary election has already been schemed in favour of Oyetola because of his membership of the National Caretaker and Extra Ordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party.
He said the date of the primary election which had earlier been slated for March 5, was reversed by the NCECPC to February 19, to favour Oyetola.
His words: “We have it on good authority that the NCECPC was influenced by Oyetola to reverse the date to have the primary before the National Convention coming up on February 26, 2022.
“It is believed that Oyetola is afraid of contesting a free and fair primary election to be conducted by an objective committee after the convention.
“In the spirit of fair play, objectivity and natural justice, Oyetola is not supposed to remain in the membership of the NCECPC. What we are witnessing is a case of a thief adjudicating his own case. He can never convict himself.
“Oyetola’s membership of the NCECPC is against the democratic norms.
Tomorrow’s governorship primary cannot be fair, free, and equitable if Governor Oyetola is still a member of NCECPC.
“We note that like it happened in time of the party congresses, we are reliably informed that Governor Oyetola is the one who hand-picked the chairman and members of the primary election committee. It is within human reasonability not to trust such handpicked committee by an interested party member. Such committee would never be fair to other contenders.
“There can only be point of convergence for us if Governor Oyetola could resign his membership and the process of conducting the primary begins afresh.”
Buttressing his argument on why the primary election will not be free and fair, Adeoti said the register of APC members has not been made available to him and his tendency, the Salinsile faction of the party.
“If there is no deliberate attempt to manipulate the primary process, it is important to make the membership register available, display it for claims and objections before using it for tomorrow’s primary election or any time it will come up,” he said.
Adeoti, however, said in spite of the anomalies raised, he and his supporters will not boycott the primary election.
“My supporters and I are going to participate in the primary election tomorrow. We are not going to boycott. I want to urge all APC members to go to their Collation centres in their various wards to vote for me.
“I called on the security agencies in the state to provide adequate security for our people. As said earlier, the Governor’s camp is planning violence, but we are resolute and believe that the security agents will act responsibly,”, he added.