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Oyetola floors Aregbesola in own ward, as faction alleges manipulation

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Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has floored his estranged godfather Rauf Aregbesola at his ward 8, Ifofin, Ilesha East in the ongoing primary election of All Progressives Congress (APC).

Aregbesola was not even present to vote at the ward during the exercise.

Arrowhead of the minister’s loyalists of Aregbesola at Ward 8, Ifofin, Ilesha East, Saheed Adegoke, confirmed that the Minister was not around to vote.

At the end of the exercise, the anointed aspirant of Aregbesola, Moshood Adeoti, score 146 votes against Governor Oyetola’s 309votes.

Meanwhile, Oyetola had expressed the optimism of carrying the day in the ongoing governorship primary when he spoke with newsmen shortly after voting at Ward 1 Boripe in Osun State.

The Governor commended the conduct of party members and the massive turnout despite intimidation from some quarters.

His words, “Let me say that the turnout has been meaningful and I thank God that we were able to do it peacefully.

“All the members of the party have the opportunity to decide who will carry the flag of the party… I happened to be one of the aspirants as well and I don’t expect anything less.

“I want to appeal to all our people all over the state to please maintain peace. This election process should not be a battlefield. It’s should not be a do-or-die affair.”

Speaking about the absence of agents of other aspirants in some voting centres, he said: “It is their choice not to be at the ward. We had the stakeholders meeting yesterday, we are all expected to have our agents around here, perhaps for whatever reason to decide not to be part of it, so I’m not bothered at all.

“I’ll win by the grace of God. I want to appeal to all of us to see this issue as a family affair. It’s APC all through.

“We should brace up for the challenge ahead. We are going to face another party in this campaign we don’t know yet.”

However, the faction loyal to Aregbesola has condemned the governorship primary.

In a statement by its spokesman, Abiodun Agboola, the faction alleged widespread irregularities in the exercise conducted by the Osun APC Primary Election Committee led by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara State.

“The Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq led Osun APC Primary Election Committee should know that the primary lacks credibility and fairness,” it said.

“It is necessary and important to inform the general public and Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq led Osun APC Primary Election Committee of the ongoing irregularities in the conduct of the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State of Osun.

“We strongly condemned the conduct of the primary election because it is nothing but a sham with a fraudulent process to favour Governor Adegboyega Oyetola. Verified information from the agents of Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, our governorship aspirant, has it that there are no record and result sheets in any of the 332 wards of the state.”

The APC conducted the primary election across the 332 wards in the state using the direct mode which allows party members to choose the candidate of their choice.

Oyetola, who is seeking re-election for a second term, fell out recently with his predecessor and political godfather, Aregbesola, who now supports a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Moshood Adeoti.

A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yussuff, is also a contender in Saturday’s exercise.

According to the Aregbesola faction, there was no proper accreditation in a majority of the ward collation centres where voting took place and the accreditation done in some places were skewed in favour of Governor Oyetola as his supporters were allowed to pass through the process without much ado.

It claimed that the names of many members of the APC who wanted to vote for Adeoti were missing in the register of the party, adding that they had envisaged such by calling for the display of the party register before the conduct of the primary.

The faction also alleged that appointees of the governor were used as collation officers, which made the purported rigging plan of Oyetola an easy task.

“Loyalists and supporters of Adeoti are being chased and some were brutally attacked in wards where they have a strong presence,” it said. “Oriade, Olorunda, Osogbo, Odo-Otin, Boripe, and Ile-Ife are the worst of this act of intimidation and disenfranchisement.

“Where results of the election were announced (not recorded), the figure declared for Oyetola was highly inflated in the affected wards. INEC officials were noticeably absent in most of the wards to monitor the election.

“This is unacceptable. It is a shame that a sitting governor could resort to malpractices in his desperate bid to secure a second term ticket.” (Based on reports by The Nation and Channels TV)

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Discordant tunes as Obi/LP clash over purported endorsement of Abure

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***Obi says he did not endorse any leadership, as LP counters him

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party(LP) in the 2023 General election Peter Obi may be embarking on a collision course with the party over his motif for the visit to the secretariat of the party on Tuesday along with his supporters.

Apparently piqued by how his visit was portrayed to be an endorsement of the Julius Abure-led leadership, Obi on Wednesday morning clarified that his visit to the Party’s secretariat on Tuesday was not to endorse the leadership but to engender reconciliation.
A statement by Peter Obi Media Relations (POMR) spokesperson Dr Yunusa Tanko indicated that the visit was more of reconciliation not an endorsement of any leadership as it was being portrayed.
In a swift reaction, the LP national publicity Secretary Obiorah Ifoh in a counter statement described Obi’s new statement as a twist of the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate to the leadership of the party.
He said Obi and Abure are on the same page over reconciliation in LP as he warned against any attempt to twist well intentioned visit.
Obi’s spokesperson statement reads,
“Obi’s visit to Labour Party yesterday was not to endorse anybody, but occassioned by his reconcilliatory move. Julius Abure in his speech stated clearly how Obi came to the office, and Obi in his speech clarified same, while preaching peace, and his mantra ‘pursuit of better Nigeria for the poor’

“Leadership of NLC/TUC Political Arm Commorades Titus Amba and Chris Uyot who were informed of Obi travelling out today, hence will honour thier invitation, also met with him, and extensively discussed same peace move with them.

“Obi had repeatedly maintained that his interest was to carry everybody along into one strong family, and not to support one against the other.

“In all his meetings with with all stakeholders, he has always maintained peace, and urge not to lose purpose which is to free Nigeria suffering and pain.

“The LP standards bearer plans to continue meeting with critical stakeholders, and groups to achieve all-inclusive political family with a common dream of rescuing Nigeria.

Ifoh statement reads,

“The attention of the leadership of the Labour Party has been called to a statement issued by the spokesperson to our National Leader, Peter Obi titled, ‘Obi visits to LP, Reconciliatory, not endorsement…’ Dr. Tanko Yinusa wherein he tried to twist the well intentioned visit of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate on the leadership of the party.

“As a party we are pleased that our leader has chosen to reconcile all aggrieved members and stakeholders of the party. “This noble step taken by Mr. Obi is in line with the call made by the Labour Party’s National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure during his maiden press conference last week titled ‘Triumphant Resumption of Abure led NWC’ wherein he pleaded with all the warring parties including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to sheath their swords and join in the rebuilding process in the party.

“Peter Obi’s visit and speech on Tuesday during the FCT solidarity rally has been variedly described in some quarters as an endorsement on the Abure leadership being his very first visit after the successful National Convention of the party held in March. But to us as a party we cherish this visit on whatever nomenclature as a positive wind blowing on the party.
“We believe that very soon, the reconciliatory efforts will be consummated and metamorphose into a political force that will usher in a government that will liberate Nigerians from the shackles of maladministration we are presently facing in the country.

“Finally, we urge the NLC and its Political Commission to understand that we are not the foe, and to see us as an ally in the battle to rescue Nigeria.
“They should emulate the Trade Union Congress, (TUC) which has shown greater understanding and willingness to partner with the Labour Party in our efforts to make a new Nigeria possible.”

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Okonkwo accuses Abure-led LP of being equally yoked by corruption as APC

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***Says he is suspending his association with the party

Nollywood actor turned politician, Kenneth Okonkwo, has alleged that the national convention organized by Julius Abure which returned him as Labour Party (LP) national chairman is nothing but criminality and corruption.

He stated this when he announced he was suspending his relationship with the Julius Abure-led National Working Committee of the LP.

According him, a new Nigeria is the priority, adding that he prefers to lose doing the right thing than win doing the wrong thing.

Okonkwo, who was the spokesperson for the Labour Party Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council in the 2023 election, in a post via his verified X account on Tuesday, said the current Abure-led National Working Committee of the Labour Party is another incompetent and corrupt association, just like the All Progressives Congress (APC) he left before.

The post reads: “I am suspending my relationship in all ramifications with the purported Abure-led National Working Committee of Labour Party.

For me, it’s either a new Nigeria or nothing. I prefer to lose doing the right thing than winning doing the wrong thing.

Nothing can wash out the criminality, corruption, and incompetence with which the purported National Convention was purportedly organised by Abure.

I did not leave the comfort of a ruling party APC because I believe that they are incompetent and dishonest only to come and join another incompetent and corrupt association, which is the current Abure led National Working Committee of Labour Party.”

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Obi, Otti, LP Lawmakers to storm Akure for Ondo guber election campaigns

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***Party Receives Boost From Aggrieved Aspirants from APC and PDP

The Chairman of Labour Party (LP) Governorship Primaries in Ondo State, Mr Olusola Ayodele has declared the resolve of Party to take back Ondo State in the forthcoming coming Governorship elections of the state billed for November 2024 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC)
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, quoted Olusola Ayodele to have made the declaration when he Addressed the Southwest Leadership of the Party on Friday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Ayodele who conducted the Ondo State Governorship Primaries of the LP in Akure a fortnight earlier stated that all preparations by the Leadership of the party to win the Ondo Governorship elections have been concluded with the formation of a proposed Southwest Task Force on the Ondo Governorship elections .

According to him, the Task Force being put together comprises key leaders of the party in the Southwest, who have been charged to mobilise a high-powered National Campaign Team of the Party for the Governorship elections to reenact the LP – Mimiko victory and 8 years good governance of Ondo State

He said, “To lead the Ondo National campaign committee is Mr Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party and Mr Alex Oti, Governor of Abia State. They are to be supported by all LP Senators, Reps Members, State Lawmakers and other key leaders of the Party in the country with formidable solidarity from key members of the Obidient Movement in diaspora.”

While clarifying the rumour about the possibility of the party conducting a substitution primaries for the Governorship candidacy of the party, Ayodele said “this would only happen, if the current governorship candidate of the party decides to withdraw from the race during the substitution window created by INEC and if the National Working Committee, NWC of the Party also finds governorship aspirants who have the required competence and capacity as possible replacement to fly the governorship ticket of a mega party like the Labour Party, especially, a party which has ruled Ondo State for 8 years before”

Ayodele said although some aggrieved frontline governorship aspirants, especially from the APC and PDP are already discussing the possibility of crossing to Labour Party with the Committee, it is only the National Working Committee of the Party that can sanction such discussion before the close of the substitution window of INEC. He however applauded the youths, students and the masses of the people in Ondo State for remaining steadfast with the Party.

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