Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The crisis of confidence rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership as a result of the conduct of the governorship primary in Ondo state, has pitted the National Vice Chairman of the party for South-south, Chief Hillard Ettah against his South-west counterpart Pius Akinyelure.
As a result, Ettah accused Akinyelure of lying over the position taken by the National Working Committee (NWC) with regard to the outcome of the primary election.
Speaking to journalists at the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja, against the background of an allegation made by Akinyelure to the effect that the NWC voted to upheld the cancelation of the primary election result for Ondo state, Ettah said nothing of such transpired at the meeting.
He said: “It was a very clear cut matter, we had read various newspaper report, But I can tell you that no no vote was taken. Before we met on the last day for the submission of name to INEC, we had met three earlier, in that meeting, there were two reports before the NWC, that of the appeal committee was voted on.”
He accused Akinyelure of lying about the true state of things, adding that he was only making a u- turn in order to please his master.
“That very day, we were fourteen in number, not eleven as we have it in the media. Thirteen of us voted for the appeal committee report to be thrown out, only one person voted for us to retain the report and that person was the National Vice Chairman, North Central, Alhaji Zakari Indeh. Pius Akinyelure voted that the report should be thrown out.
“After that, we mandated our National Chairman and Secretary to go out and do wider consultation so that we can have a political solution to the heated environment the situation has caused the party. When they returned, they told us of their efforts to reach many people for political solution but it was very clear to us that we are not going to have that political solutions.
“We had to go the procedure as we have it in our constitution. When you send a team to conduct an election and their is a petition to their report, it is the NWC, as the appellant institution that has the power to consider the merits of the election committee report and that of the appeal committee report.
“If the appeal committee’s report is thrown out, the only report that is left is the election committee report. The chairman had almost made a procedural error at asking us to vote but the National Organizing Secretary, Osita Izunaso called his attention to the procedural error so all of us returned to the proper procedure which is the election report by Governor Badaru that was still standing. That’s what transpired.
“For Pius Akinyelure to start a fight that his preferred candidate didn’t win election is uncalled for. He shouldn’t be finding faults in NWC, he should go back to Ondo with himself, his team and the candidate that he prefers.
“It is very vexatious, it is very annoying that a man who also voted that the report of the Appeal Committee should be thrown out is now crying foul because he has no story to tell his master” he said.