By Dapo Akinrefon
A chairmanship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Iru/Victoria Island LCDA, Mr. Akinwunmi Bayode, on Sunday, petitioned the State Appeal Committee on Local Government Election over alleged fraudulent manipulations in the just concluded direct primaries held across the state.
In the petition, Bayode alleged electoral malpractices, intimidation and oppression of his loyalists, evidence abound that he defeated Rasheeda Adu, the incumbent chairman of Iru/Victoria Island LCDA in the controversial primary.
He said: “I write to formally inform the election appeal committee of the non adherence to the laid down election guidelines to which I have subscribed to as aspirant in the May 29 2021 primary election for the position of chairman in Iru Victoria Island and the eventual attempt made to subvert the truth, intimidation and oppression witnessed on same day leading to the crisis in almost all the wards in our LCDA.
“It is on the basis of this facts and evidences to be tendered that I request the total cancellation of this exercise to be held at a date to be decided by the party.
“It is on record that only two aspirants finally vied for chairmanship at the finally stage which involved incumbent Rasheeda Adu and my humble self, Akinwumi Bayode, the events that led to this attempted manipulations started three days into nomination, few members came to conclude that Rasheeda Adu has been given the nod by the party hierarchy to return as a consensus candidate without considering her incompetence maladministration, high handedness, and lack of transparency, coupled with very weak leadership, even without consultations with members and stakeholder alike, we raised alarm that this is unfair, unjust undemocratic and recklessness on their part, particularly when one them Abayomi Daramola had earlier been appointed by the state APC chairman as election organizing committee member.
“We challenged this anomaly as contrary to his oath and standard that should have been set as an unbiased umpire that should demonstrate neutrality. Abayomi Daramola still went ahead to head Rasheeda Adu’s Campaign in Iru Victoria-Island calling clandestine meetings, on a daily basis as a run up to the primary election of May 29 2021, in his house, party secretariat, and the local Government Secretariat as well, haven raised Rasheeda Adu’s hands as the preferred consensus candidate for the position of chairman, we had several press interviews against this act and that he should be called to order but to no avail. Their plans were later to be hatched on the day of primaries.
“My complaint goes thus: There was no returning officer who reported for election in my local government on the 29/05/21 of the primaries through the period designated for election to hold.
“To my chagrin and consternation on election day when I called to report that after almost two and half hours when accreditation was supposed to commence no officer or any materials was sighted in all wards, he replied that I was “speaking with the wrong person” where then or who is the real returning officer designated for Iru V/I why has he or she not showed up throughout the exercise, of course we later learnt he was lodged in one of the hotel in Victoria-Island where he compromised and did their biddings.
“We later realized that election materials were diverted to somewhere else where it was written and later dumped into ballot boxes when they came. So if they are so popular why are they running away from their shadows, is it same party faithful they denied access to choose their candidates during primaries that will come on general election day? We are waiting to see how it all plays out.
“This articulated political fraud must be denounced in its entirety in order not to throw a very calm environment like Iru Victoria-Island into turmoil and anarchy.”
Besides, The aggrieved aspirant said it was wrong for the APC leadership in the state to release the name of alleged winners when the Appeal Committee is yet to submit its report.
“Up till now, results we published are either jaundiced, falsified or manipulated. We have spent so much to get to where we are. The appeal committee have not come up with any report when names were suddenly published.
“They must realise that APC is not a limited liability company where their decision is final. We shall use every available legal means to upturn this illegalities. The world is watching and waiting. Despite overwhelming evidence, we shall test the might of our extant laws in this regard. They must have the law to contend with.”