Abraham Asks Court To Withdraw Akeredolu’s Candidacy For APC

A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, Olusegun Abraham, has challenged the emergence of Rotimi Akeredolu as the winner of the party’s primaries in court.

Mr. Abraham who came second in the party’s primaries has asked an Abuja division of the Federal High Court to prevent the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from presenting Mr. Akeredolu as the party’s flagbearer in the November 26 governorship election in the state.

Mr. Abraham, in the application, claimed he and not Mr. Akeredolu won the primaries, and asked the court to prevent an ‘irreparable damage’ that may result from fronting his opponent as the APC flagbearer.

He made the application before the court presided over by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who fixed October 28 to consider arguments from the respondents and to take a stand on the matter.

Mr. Akeredolu was declared winner of the primary, defeating Mr. Abraham and over half a dozen other aspirants, including Olusola Oke and Ajayi Borrofice. Mr. Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has tried unsuccessfully to placate his fellow aspirants to support his candidacy.

Already, Mr. Oke has left the party, citing the irregularities in the primaries, and is now the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy.

#OndoDecides: Don’t Vote Oke, Abraham Tells Supporters

The runner-up in the just concluded governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Mr. Segun Abraham yesterday warned his supporters not to vote the gubernatorial candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the forthcoming November 26, election.

Abraham, who addressed a mammoth crowd of supporters at his hometown, Ikare-Akoko, told them that Oke was the reason Akoko failed to get APC governorship ticket.

He added that such people, who were even new in the APC at the time, could not be trusted to represent the interest of the people as it was clear they are only interested in fulfilling their own political ambitions.

He assured his supporters that he would still reclaim his mandate.

He noted that he had approached a court to seek a redress on the outcome of the primary election.

He vowed that he and the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu would not leave the party.

His words, “It is unfortunate that some people within the APC, the people we all now know, employed fraudulent means to rob us of our right by colluding with elements outside our state.

“But, I can assure you that by the grace of God, we will get back our mandate. Don’t listen to the naysayers and liars. I am not leaving this party. Our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is not leaving the party.

“We are already in court to seek redress, and more so, we are still in talks within the party ranks to get back our stolen mandate.

“Fact and figures don’t lie. A fraud was committed. Some people connived to pad our delegates lists, disenfranchised close to 200 delegates and substituted them with fake ones.

“That’s a fact that was established by the Electoral Appeal committee, but wrongfully vetoed by Oyegun.

“But be rest assured, victory is coming and our mandate will be reclaimed.”

Ondo APC Crisis: Abraham Blasts Oke, Vows To Reclaim Mandate From Akeredolu

The runner-up in the All Progressives Congress’ governorship primary in Ondo State, Olusegun Abraham, has vowed to continue the struggle to upturn the decision which produced Rotimi Akeredolu as the candidate of the party in the coming governorship election.

Mr. Abraham who spoke through his media aide, Sayo Aluko, on Sunday also denied collapsing his political structure in support of the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Olusola Oke.

He claimed that he was the authentic winner of the September 3 primary, given the number of valid votes credited to him and the fact that the election was fraught with malpractice.

He also vowed not to defect to any other party, but would remain within the APC to reclaim his mandate.

The party had been embroiled in a crisis since Mr. Akeredolu was announced as the winner of the September 3 governorship primary in the face of a recommendation of the appeal committee nullifying the election.

Mr. Abraham who had the endorsement of APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, for the governorship ticket, had his supporters stage a protest march last Tuesday to press for the nullification of the candidacy of Mr. Akeredolu.

The protest however resulted to a violent clash between his supporters and Mr. Akeredolu’s as each group tried to gain control of the party secretariat.

“I use this opportunity to reassure my teeming and esteemed supporters that our mandate is alive, and as long as we keep calling for justice to be done, we shall reclaim this mandate and bring practical governance to the benefit of the Ondo people and the pride of our great party,” Mr. Abraham said.

There were reports that Messrs. Abraham and Ajayi Boroffice had collapsed their political structures to support Mr. Oke.

According to Mr. Abraham, the rumour is “blatantly false” and “lacks commonsense and credibility.”

“Contrary to what Olusola Oke is saying all over Ondo at the moment, I have not collapsed my structure for anybody, talk less someone who is no longer a member of my party and someone who I am far popular than,” he said.

“In as much as I am not surprised at this usual level of desperation from the Oke people, I am disappointed at the extent of falsehood being peddled.

“If he is indeed popular, why get so desperate to use my name under a false pretence to deceive the people and gain popularity?”

“Even, anybody with a politically sound mind will know that such move has no iota of truth in it.

“My candidacy enjoys greater popularity and acceptance compared to Olusola Oke’s and all the other aspirants, both by valid delegates’ votes and by the show of massive public goodwill recently typified by the overwhelming solidarity rally staged by the people of Ondo for my candidacy on Tuesday, the 4th of October, 2016.

“So, how can I then undermine this much faith put in me, both politically and publicly, by collapsing my structure for a less popular individual? It doesn’t fit commonsense and surely lacks credibility.”

He called on his supporters in the party and the state to disregard the rumour, while urging them to remain resilient and focused on the quest to save the party from destruction.

Akeredolu, Abraham Supporters Clash In Akure

The Ondo State capital, yesterday witnessed a bloody clash between supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and the runner-up in the party’s “disputed primary”, Segun Abraham.

The rival hoodlums, who brandished offensive weapons, fought in front of the APC Secretariat on Oyemekun Road, Akure, causing panic to passers-by and motorists.

Many supporters of the two APC stalwarts were injured in the melee, which led to temporary closure of the popular road.

Properties worth millions of naira were destroyed during the clash.

It took the intervention of soldiers and armed police officers, who shot sporadically into the air, before the warring supporters could be dispersed.

Trouble started when loyalists of Abraham from the 18 local governments met at the party’s secretariat and embarked on peaceful protest.

They were demanding the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for overruling the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC), which called for fresh shadow election.

The protesters urged Akeredolu to step down for Abraham, stressing that his election was fraudulent.

Abraham’s supporters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, described the last governorship primary as a scam. They urged the APC leadership to redress the alleged anomaly.

But sources said people suspected to be Akeredolu’s loyalists attacked the protesters “while they rounding off the protest at the party’s secretariat”.
Weapons, including cutlasses, axes and charms, were used during the clash.

It was gathered that both Abraham and Akeredolu were later invited by the Commissioner of Police Mrs. Hilda Harrison.

Addressing his supporters at his residence in Akure after the parley with the police chief, Abraham said he would do everything within the law to reclaim his mandate, which, he said, was stolen.

He insisted that he won the last primary party, “having polled the highest number of lawful votes in the election”.

The aspirant added that the party’s leadership should declare him the governorship standard-bearer.
Abraham said over 10,000 of his supporters drawn from the 18 local government areas mobilised themselves to defend their votes through the protest.

He insisted that the only thing that could bring peace back to the party was for his mandate to be restored.

The APC chieftain said he might be forced to take a legal action, if the party failed to restore his mandate.

Abraham said there was no need for his group to join the Alliance for Democracy (AD), where Chief Olusola Oke is the party’s governorship candidate.

He maintained that his mandate should be returned to him, stressing: “No retreat, no surrender”.