By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
The newly elected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives candidate for Ijebu North/Ijebu East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency, Hon. Kehinde Bello has asked the party’s National Working Committee to uphold the democratic ethos and respect the will of party members towards brightening the chances of the opposition party in 2023 polls.
He stated this in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State while speaking against the backdrop of controversies trailing the conduct of PDP primary elections in some parts of the state.
Bello had on Monday defeated the House of Representatives Deputy Minority Whip, Hon. Adesegun Adekoya aka Attacker, in the contest for the party’s ticket for the federal constituency.
In the official results of the primary election seen by our correspondent, Bello polled 58 votes to defeat four other aspirants in the contest.
The results also showed that Tele Ogunjobi polled 38 votes to emerge second; Sunday Adegbesan got 02 votes; Adesegun Adekoya had 01 votes while Adeyemi Duduyemi did not record any vote.
Our correspondent gathered that the primary election was scheduled for Sunday, May 22, but due to logistics challenges, late arrival of election materials and disagreements over authentic list of delegates, the exercise was rescheduled to Monday, May 23.
But curiously on Tuesday, Adekoya, who is seeking a third term as federal lawmaker, declared that he was the clear winner of the primary election based on the results collated.
He described as “fake” the results already released and widely circulated, stressing that he was only waiting to receive his certificate of return upon his victory.
However, Bello faulted the claim of victory by the Deputy Minority Whip, urging him to accept his loss in good faith rather than resort to flogging a dead horse.
The PDP candidate said the lawmaker’s claims smacked on desperation to subvert the wishes of party delegates and will of the constituents.
He alleged that prior to the primary election, the defeated aspirant had boasted that he would clinch the PDP ticket irrespective of opposition from party members.
Bello, therefore, called on the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, and the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) not to be swayed by Adekoya’s antics but respect the popular verdict of the constituents.
He said, “My attention was drawn to Hon. Adesegun Adekoya’s claims this afternoon and I can’t but submit that his comments were most unfortunate, saying he won the primary election in our Federal Constituency is the height of deceit and desperation to mislead members of the public.
“I won the primary election fair and square. There is no controversy over that except the one being orchestrated by Hon. Attacker who clearly lost having been rejected by the majority of party members. Can you imagine the person who lost an election describing the authentic results as fake? I wonder why he failed to produce the results that returned him as the winner.
“There are video evidence of the primary election which was witnessed by INEC officials, security agents, party members and even pressmen. Candidates have similarly emerged in other federal constituencies and their results have been published. Let Attacker show us the votes he polled in the primaries, he should desist from feigning unmerited victory.
“The primary election was scheduled for Sunday. But because it was already late in the night and the venue was unsafe due to the threats posed by thugs brought to the place, all the aspirants, agents and other stakeholders agreed that the exercise should be rescheduled to hold on Monday.
“As agreed, the primary election was conducted in the full glare of everyone on Monday; other aspirants and their agents, except Hon. Attacker, were present. The Electoral and Returning Officers of the party were there. At the end of the day, I was announced as the winner and the results were duly signed by agents of those who even lost the election. So, why is it difficult for Hon. Adesegun Adekoya to concede defeat?”
Meanwhile, one of the aspirants who lost the primary election, Telle Ogunjobi, has urged his supporters to accept the outcome of the election as the will of God.
In a statement released by his media team on Tuesday, Ogunjobi appealed to his supporters and associates “to remain resolute,” adding that they would be updated as soon as possible on the next line of action.
The statement partly read, “The long-awaited primary election has been conducted and the winner has emerged according to the will of God.
“Irrespective of the outcome of the election, we still found it deserving and worthy of note to appreciate all the Tele Ogunjobi associates and supporters across the board for your steadfastness, painstaking patience and support even in the face of repression and suppression.
“The election may not be in our favour as God wishes but we take solace in the word of God that says, ‘To everything on earth, there’s time and purpose.’ Let’s have that strong belief and faith that there will always be light at every end of the tunnel. Hence, our joy is on the way. Though, it may tarry but it we surely come at an appointed time.”