Members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Oyo State on Sunday elected former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Adebayo Adelabu as the gubernatorial candidate of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Adelabu emerged as the gubernatorial candidate of the party at its primary election held at Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, the state capital.
The former CBN boss was announced as winner of the election in the early hours of Monday by the Chairman of the electoral committee and a chieftain of the party from Lagos state, Chief Demola Seriki, in the presence of party members, security agents, INEC officials and journalists who kept vigil to witness the exercise that started Sunday morning.
Adelabu scored 4,889 to defeat his rivals among whom were former governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala who got 65 votes, former commissioner of Health, Dr. Abdulazeez Adeduntan who got 07 votes.
Seriki announced the total number of void votes as 205 adding that 5, 203 delegates were accredited during the primary election.
Recalls that former governor of the state; Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala had yesterday announced his withdrawal from the race due to alleged imposition of a certain candidate by the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
Another aspirant, Dr. Abdulazeez Adeduntan also announced his withdrawal from the race without giving a reason.
The choice of Adelabu became evident when the trio of Engineer Joseph Tegbe, Dr. Olusola Ayandele and Dr. Owolabi Babalola said that they were stepping down in the interest of the party and the governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
They argued that they were stepping down for Adelabu in order to ensure unity and harmony in the ruling party in the state.
This made the contest to be between Adelabu and Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), who said he was not ready to step down.
However, delegates, members of electoral committee headed by Mr. Demola Seriki, a chieftain of the party from Lagos state, journalists and observers were later surprised when Akintola announced his withdrawal midway into the election at about 6.50 p.m. Sunday evening.
His announcement was greeted by wild jubilation by delegates and party supporters.
Akintola, while speaking also announced that he was stepping down in the interest of the party.
This development made journalists who have been monitoring the exercise since Sunday morning to ask what was going on why the party was yet to announce Adelabu as the winner of the election.
Chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, who addressed the journalists at about 7.30 p.m. on Sunday said, “Yes, Akintola has withdrawn. But, as you can see, we have already started the process. We are already in the process and we have to complete it. If he had withdrawn before the exercise started, that is another thing. But, he did not withdraw before we started.
“Secondly, you know Alao-Akala said he will not participate, but he did not withdraw officially, we have not seen his letter. So, we have to go ahead with the process that we have already started before we announce the winner. Because, we don’t want anyone to take us to court”.
The exercise was brought to an end in the early hours of Monday when Seriki in company of other members and party loyalists of the party in the state finally announced Adelabu as the winner of the two-day exercise.