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Group Alleges Manipulation Of Oyo APC Ward Congress Result

A group within the All Progressives Congress in Oyo state, Progressive Democrat Front (PDF), has raised an outcry over alleged manipulation of the results of July 31, 2021, Ward Congress exercise of the party held in the state.

In a statement issued at the weekend in Ibadan and signed by its acting State Coordinator, Comrade Michael Adeagbo, the group urged those masterminding the tampering of the result to desist in the interest of the party.

The group’s warning came barely a few days after a similar group, Oyo Progressive Front (OPF), raised the alarm over a plan by some forces, within and outside the state, allegedly bent on replacing the names of elected party officials in most of the 351 Wards across the state with those belonging to their camp.

The group, especially, cautioned those jostling to get the governorship ticket of the party in 2023, noting that the party members will resist any attempt by any individual or clique to hijack the party.

It alleged that the Gambo Lawan led committee tampered with the original lists in favour of some political players and their sympathisers.

The statement further saw the group chide the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Oyo APC, Chief Akin Oke, for putting too much trust on the Gambo Lawan-led Committee deployed for the Ward Congress.

The group argued that the committee ought to have been mandated to announce all the names of new ward executive committee members in Ibadan before their departure.

The statement read, in parts, “We have it good authority that the Gambo Lawan-led Committee was later compromised by a clique of undemocratic forces which made them head for Lagos instead of Abuja after the conduct of the Congress.

“It was in Lagos that most of the original lists were tampered with in favour of some desperate political players and their sympathisers.

“While we are urging Alhaji Gambo Lawan and his Committee members to have a rethink and reverse whatever form of manipulation they might have carried out on the original lists as submitted to them by electoral officers from all the 33 local government areas, we call on Chief Akin Oke to act decisively by releasing names contained in copies submitted to him should the Abuja fail to do the needful in the next 48 hours.

“We are Progressives in APC and we are using this opportunity to inform all Gubernatorial aspirants jostling for our party ticket ahead of 2023 to tread softly because the majority of Oyo APC is poised to resist any attempt by any individual or clique to hijack the party no matter how rich or powerful such individual or group of individuals are. We want everyone to play the game according to the laid down rules and without violating democratic principles and ethos.

“However, we still maintain our vote of confidence on Chief Akin Oke and we urge him to be mindful of all bad eggs who might want to mount undue pressure on him to act wrongfully as he plans to hand over the mantle of leadership of our party to another progressive, honest and courageous mind who would not destroy the good legacy he has been able to produce for himself.

“Therefore, it is highly necessary for the caretaker Chairman under Governor Mai Mala Buni not to allow the demonic clique have their way by discrediting a hitch-free exercise and thus upturn the success recorded so far in Oyo APC as anything to the contrary would be tantamount to playing with naked fire,” PDF added.

Speaking with Nigerian Tribune on the accusations, Chairman, APC Ward Congress Committee for Oyo State, Gambo Lawan said there was no tampering of the list.

He questioned whether the people behind the allegation had checked the list submitted only to the National Secretariat of the party to arrive at alleging that the list had been tampered with.

On allegations that the list was taken to Lagos, Lawan said he only went to Lagos to take a connecting flight to Abuja after signing the list of ward EXCOs for two days.

Lawan vouched for fairness, stating that the committee only compiled the names sent to it from wards, with leaders across the board all involved.

He however advised persons aggrieved to forward their petitions to the party’s Appeal Committee, set to be inaugurated.

Lawan said, “In politics or any human activity, there are accusations. Those who were not able to win their wards may begin to say many things. I had to go to Lagos before proceeding to Abuja. I set up a committee that supervised the three Senatorial Districts.

“We supervised and really recorded what was brought to us. I told them that I cannot be in each of the 351 wards. I told them to do their jobs at their wards and bring results to me. My duty is to record the results submitted to me.

“Anybody can say they like but facts are facts and truths are truths. The person who could not achieve what he wants can always complain. There is no tampering of the list.

“Did they go to the National Secretariat and check what we have submitted?

How can anybody know what we submitted?

“We have not given a copy to anybody. Let them wait and when the results come out from the National Secretariat. I have done my job and I was extremely fair to everybody. You can ask the leaders across the board, we submitted what we got.

“The National Secretariat does not allow us to drop any copy. It is very voluminous; I took two days to sign the papers. It is the National Secretariat that can pass it to the States.

“If anyone has issues to resolve, they can go to the Appeals Committee that is to be inaugurated tomorrow.”

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