Femi Ogbonnikan In Abeokuta
The Muhammad Ndabawa-led eight-man electoral committee assigned to Ogun State by the National Working Committee(NWC) of the All Progressives Congress(APC), yesterday declared Prince Dapo Abiodun, winner of the direct governorship primary election held yesterday, preparatory to the 2019 gubernatorial election.
While declaring the oil magnate winner of the governorship primary election conducted throughout the 236 wards across the 20 Local Governments Area of Ogun State, the Chairman of the committee, Muhammad Ndabawa, said Abiodun polled 102, 305 votes to defeat five other contestants and thus, emerged the winner.
Ndabawa added that the five other contestants -Jimi Lawal scored 51, 153 votes while Abimbola Ashiru polled 29, 764 votes.
Also, Senator Gbenga Kaka got 17,771 votes and Abayomi Hunye 9,110 votes while Adekunle Akinlade scored 23, 443 votes.
The electoral chairman for the state, however, noted that the declaration of Abiodun winner of the primary and governorship candidate of APC in Ogun state for 2019 governorship election, is “subject to ratification by the National Working Committee” of the party.
Fielding questions from reporters regarding the primary earlier conducted by Committees set up by the Ogun State APC and subsequent declaration of Abdukabir Adekunle Akinlade winner and gubernatorial candidate by the state Chairman, Chief Derin Adebiyi, Ndabawa said he was “not aware of such a primary.”
He added that the committee he led, was the “authentic body constituted by the NWC” of the party to conduct and supervise the governorship primary in the state in line with the party’s guidelines and constitution.
Adebiyi said: “the Committee was here and they were emphatic, after cancelling the exercise twice, the election would hold yesterday, this is after we’ve submitted names of local committee and venues in obedience to the guideline.
“Yesterday morning, they still agreed that the primary would hold and we mobilised to our different wards but we waited endlessly as the phone numbers of committee members were switched off and electoral materials not available.
“Up till now, we don’t know the whereabouts of the committee members and we’ve not seen them at the party’s Secretariat. They’ve been heavily and highly compromised.”
“The guideline is straight and unambiguous, its open secret ballot which is option A4 but they said they brought ballot papers from Abuja, in a direct primary? To do what?”
The party chairman noted that the Election Committee from the National headquarters of the party in Abuja directed that the governorship primaries should be held on October 2, 2018 which prompted the closure of all primary and secondary schools by the state government for the exercise.
According to him, “the governorship primaries were conducted and monitored by the relevant agencies.”