The Saturday Local Government election in Oyo State has been generating reactions from different sections of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
A faction of the party which self-christen itself as ‘Unity Forum’, in a widely circulated statement on Saturday evening insisted that the exercise was a complete failure while a leading governorship aspirant in the party, Chief Adebayo Adelabu submitted that the electoral activities were hugely successful.
Another topshot of APC, Hon Segun Dokun Odebunmi, Chairman National Assembly Committee on Information Ethics and National Orientation also described the process as a fair and credible.
Odebunmi a Federal lawmaker representing Surulere/Ogo Oluwa Federal Constituency at the National Assembly while speaking with journalists during the election in Oko said even though the turnout was not impressive but the process was good.
The lawmaker maintained that “the election into Local Governments is an election that requires involvement of everybody at the grassroot because it is the closest to the masses.”
He blamed mischief makers and politicians on the opposition as the people responsible for misinformation of the public.
While speaking with PMParrot while on the entourage of Governor Abiola Ajimobi to his polling centre in Ibadan South West Local Government, Chief Adebayo Adelabu congratulated both the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) and the governor of the State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi for successfully holding the election despite all odds.
His words “I must commend OYSIEC and our leader and governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi for keeping the focus. There were so many sources of distraction but being a leader of leaders, our governor still went ahead to record the maximum credit available as far as the local government polls are concerned.”
On the part of the Unity Forum, a dissident group within the ruling APC in Oyo State, the forum said the elections were merely stage-managed.
The group insisted on Saturday that the local government election in the state is a wake – up call on the leadership of the party to reposition intervene in the crisis rocking the party in the state and reposition it for good outing in the 2019 general elections.
The Forum in the release by its Secretary, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, stated that the poll was a referendum on the party and the low turn- out was an indication that the party needs to be re-invigorated to stand a fair chance in next year’s elections.
He said the poor turn- out is also a confirmation that the Unity Forum is the mainstay of the APC which has the capacity to mobilise members of the public to participate in elections and vote for the party.
“We have said it for the umpteenth time that the members of the Unity Forum constitute more than 70 per cent of the membership of the APC with a history of party loyalty, discipline and proven capacity to deliver the votes.
“It was to the members of the group that the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu turned in 2015 to secure needed votes for the second term bid of Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The consent of the elders who today constitute the pillar of the Unity Forum provided the leadership for the party’s success at that poll. So is the contribution of local government chairmen who toiled day and night to ensure the victory of the party. It is gratifying that 28 of the 33 council chairmen who ensured the governor’s second term victory are members of the Unity Forum.
We therefore call on the leadership of the APC to rescue the party from the hands of undertakers whose performance in today’s local government election has confirmed will bury the party in Oyo State if left unchecked.
“As a group, we remain committed to the ideals of progressive politics and the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari. We will mobilise the necessary votes for his victory, as against the experience today where the good people of Oyo State turned their nose at the party.
Dr Olatunbosun concluded the release by calling on members of the party who are delegates to the party’s local government congress holding today to troop out and participate in the process peacefully.
“We call on our members to participate in the process without any fear. We are peaceful and shall peacefully pursue the legitimate aspiration of enthroning democratic conduct in our great party. We call on them to ignore threats and intimidation from official quarters. We assure them that those threats will not deter us from rescuing our party from anti- democracy elements in the state”.
Packaged by Alice Egbedele with additional reports from insideoyo.com