The Oasis Reporters
July 27, 2018
Senator Ademola Adeleke has received the first baptism of fire most primary election winners often contend with. Managing a win in an internal election is as difficult as winning the real election.
The losers always become embittered and either head to court, or seek for a technicality to disqualify the winner.
Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi who scored 1, 562 in last Saturday’s governorship primary election in Oshogbo, the Osun State capital emerged the runner-up with just a seven vote difference. Despite further recounts which proved the same result, he went to court to challenge the winner, Senator Ademola Adeleke, questioning the veracity of his school certificate as presented by him to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Senator Adeleke who polled a total of 1,569 votes, seven more than the runner-up has had to explain further on the raging controversy
He told journalists in Abuja on Thursday that he is eminently qualified educationally for the office of the governor, describing his emergence as a product of a credible process devoid of fraud and manipulation.
Ogunbiyi had shortly after the exercise filed a suit before an Osogbo High Court challenging Adeleke’s eligibility for the poll, stressing that a document allegedly submitted by the lawmaker as evidence of his educational qualification up to school certificate level does not meet the basic qualification stipulated by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act.
But while addressing a press conference at the PDP secretariat Thursday, Director, Media and Public Affairs of the Senator Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation, Olawale Rasheed described the primary election as a keenly contested one and called on those who felt short-changed in the process to get behind Adeleke for the common good of Osun State and the PDP.
On the controversy raised about the lawmaker’s qualification for the exalted office of the governor,
According to Olawale, those not satisfied with the explanation regarding Senator Ademola’s academic qualifications for the office of the governor should feel free
to visit the Secondary School attended by Adeleke for verification.
He said, “On the issue of school certificate, Section 177(c) of the Nigerian Constitution and Section 317 for interpretation on educational requirements for the office of the Governor are very clear and unambiguous. Senator Adeleke is eminently eligible and qualified to seek the office of a governor. The school, Ede Muslim High School (Formerly Ede Muslim Grammar school) he attended still exists in Ede, his hometown. We challenge those asking questions to go to the school and find out if he attended and finished at the school or not between 1976 and 1981.”
Olawale further noted that Ogunbiyi having exhausted the PDP’s internal conflict resolution mechanisms ought to have given peace a chance, stressing that the Governor Seriake Dickson Election Committee recounted the votes cast following request by Ogunbiyi, only for him to head to court after the committee pronounced Adeleke as winner of the poll.
“It is open to the public that the Osun PDP primary election was one of the most transparent in recent political history. The entire electoral activity was televised live and the counting was done in the open. The challenger requested for recount and this was done twice. No process can be more open than what the Governor Dickson election committee did in Osun State last Saturday. It is thus very disheartening that the said aspirant relied on spurious allegations to smear the party, her officials and the chosen candidate.
“Electoral contests within a political party are governed by rules. The party as an organization has internal mechanisms for resolving disputes arising from party primaries. Aggrieved aspirants are entitled to raise issues but within the bounds of party rules and processes. Appeal can be lodged, and the party will decide. In the case of Osun state, the aggrieved aspirant appealed against the result of the primary election.
“The party’s appeal panel after due consideration and examination of the appeal, upheld the election of Senator Adeleke as the flag bearer of the party and subsequently forwarded his name officially as the party/s flag bearer to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,” he added.
Ademola called on party members especially those who participated in last Saturday’s governorship primaries to put the past behind them and forge a common front as a family to confront the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September electoral contest.