By James Sowole in Akure
Contrary to last Friday’s action of some persons, the national leadership of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) said those who held a meeting where the candidature of Chief Olusola Oke was discussed do not have the mandate to do so.
The National Vice Chairman, North-east, of the party, Alhaji Magaji Kwairanga, who stated this in Akure, Ondo State, at a news conference, affirmed that Oke is the authentic candidate of the party for the November 26 poll.
The conference was also attended by the National Vice Chairman, North-west, Alhaji Sulaiman Aliyu; the Deputy National Treasurer, Sagir Ahmed Ali; the National Organising Secretary, Abdulahi Ibrahim; a National Ex Officio member, Saadatu Bello, seven states chairmen and other national officers.
At the news conference, all the national officers, who were led by the National Organising Secretary, Abdulahi, to reject Oke’s candidature and pass a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman, Chief Joseph Avazi, and other party chieftains, reneged their decisions.
Kwairanga dispelled last Friday communique issued by some allegedly aggrieved leaders of the party after an emergency meeting in Akure to discredit Oke.
He cautioned that misunderstanding among some persons within the party should not be stretched to destroy the chances of the party, especially in the forthcoming election in the state.
“We believe the former national chairman, if he has any issue to settle with his South-west people, should not use AD as a platform. The party, AD, a national party, is now led by a national chairman, a northerner.
“Alliance for Democracy is a national party, therefore, we will not allow any leader of the party to use the party to settle any disagreement he or she has with the any of the leaders in the southwest,” he said.
Kwairange said the meeting earlier, “though not at the instance of the national chairman and the national secretary, was a purported NEC meeting. It lacks all constitutional right and that all Northerners were misled,” he said.
They said Oke and his running mate, Alhaji Gani Daudu, have fulfilled all criteria as spelt out by their party’s constitution and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) guidelines.
“It is a known fact that Dr. Akin Olowokere handed over the gubernatorial ticket of AD voluntarily to Oke. It is also a truism that the state chapter of AD, our great party, was involved and also consented to the candidature of Oke.
“Therefore, the national chairman and secretary of the party are constitutionally empowered to forward the name of Oke to INEC considering the constraint of time.
“Let us also state that the NEC has no issue and if there are issues relating to NEC meeting, which is internal affairs of the party, the issues will be handled internally. As we speak here, Oke’s name has been duly submitted to INEC as the candidate of our party,” they said.
The leader expressed optimism that Oke would win the forthcoming election in Ondo State.