Thursday, 19 June 2014

Ekiti 2014: Obanikoro’s presence in Akure should be probed – Oyegun urges FG

There are plans to rig Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged yesterday. APC Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan, saying the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wants to win at all cost. Odigie-Oyegun said the President should ask the Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro why he was at the Akure Airport on Tuesday when two planes with undisclosed cargo landed. He also fingered the Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, as leading the PDP “war” troops in Ekiti State in alleged breach of their oath of office. Oyegun raised the alarm in a letter to the President which he read openly at the inauguration of the new 48-man National Executive Committee of the APC in Sheraton Hotel in Abuja. The chairman said: “My first message today is to President Goodluck Jonathan regarding a series of occurrences that point to the fact that the PDP is bent on rigging the elections and writing the results of the Saturday elections in Ekiti even before the polls open. “If this dangerous trend is not arrested, the consequences will be dire for democracy and our country. “The All Progressives Congress, APC will not accept the outcome of the election in Ekiti unless the authorities provide convincing explanations to the series of questionable developments in recent times. “Less than 72 hours to the governorship election in Ekiti, there are ominous signs that the PDP-led government is bent on influencing the outcome of the election come Saturday June 21. These series of developments and events are undeniable pointers to a desperate plot to rig the elections at all cost.” He gave the details of some developments in the state which have pointed to a rigging plot by the PDP. Odigie-Oyegun said: “In the last few days, many developments have occurred that have exposed the covert and criminal effort to subvert the rights of the citizens of Ekiti and the country’s electoral law. “Barely two Sundays ago, our supporters during a peaceful procession in Ekiti were tear-gassed and in fact one was killed. The elected governor of the state, Dr. Fayemi, was also tear- gassed and barely escaped being shot. “Yet, instead of quickly prosecuting the police officers involved in this crisis, the police authorities simply went ahead in the most bizarre turn of events and charged a Commissioner and 11 others from Ekiti State with acts of terrorism a few days to the election. Meanwhile, the policeman that shot the APC member walks the street free. “Again, only last week, a truck was intercepted with over 200 boxes of electoral materials by the security agents. INEC quickly claimed it was wasted materials, whereas the story of the driver contradicted that of INEC. To date, Nigerians are yet to be provided with full information about the culprits behind these suspicious materials.” The APC National Chairman, who relocated to Ekiti State yesterday, insisted that the roles of Obanikoro and Adesiyan pointed to official collusion. He added: “On Tuesday, June 17, 2014, two loaded aircraft landed at the Akure Airport with undisclosed content. The presence of the Minister of State, Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro who was on ground to ensure the safe delivery of the cargoes suggests official collusion and knowledge. “The contents were immediately loaded into a bullion van under the watchful eyes of the Minister of State, Defence, Obanikoro. “Again on Wednesday, June 18, a pro-Fayose and PDP gang was busted in a resort owned by Fayose’s campaign manager thumb printing ballot papers ahead of the Saturday elections. The 22 young men who were arrested were also caught preparing INEC Form EC8. “Mr. President, there is clear intent and deliberate ploy to subvert the elections. The APC at this point has little or no faith in the often-touted promises and commitment of this administration to a free and fear election in Ekiti. “Having earlier declared the Ekiti election as “WAR”, the PDP is now living true to that promise with the Ministers of State, Defence and Police Affairs leading the troops. “Pray, what business does the Minister of State, Defence, Obanikoro have supervising the offloading of mysterious cargo in Akure while the Northeast is still being ravaged by Boko Haram and over 200 girls remain missing and unaccounted for?” Odigie-Oyegun asked the President to be aware of the danger of rigging election in the past republics. He said: “We warn Mr. President, that election rigging in a particular part of the country in the past has always had serious consequences for the government in power and the country as a whole. “As it happened in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Republics. The APC will not fold its arms and watch the electoral process being brazenly subverted. “Our party will not accept any result from Ekiti that does not flow from a transparent election. We are not asking for any favours. We only demand a free and fair election. “For our friends in the international community, there is no better time to speak up against these tendencies and ominous signs. “They need no further pointers to know that some people are desperate. The greatest danger is that we do not know how many other places the thumb printing of ballot papers are taking place in and around Ekiti. “The APC commends our security agencies for their alertness in this instance and urge them to be always professional and thorough.” Earlier in his address, Odigie-Oyegun pledged to make APC the fastest growing party not only in Nigeria but in the world. He added: “First, I want to give you reassurance on behalf of the new NEC that we are going to work, toil night and day to fulfill the promise of APC as the most acceptable party in Nigeria. We are going to make it the fastest growing party in Nigeria and in the world. “I have always been associated with being first. I was the first Executive Governor of Edo State, I have now also become the first National Chairman of APC and we are going to be the first party to throw out a government in Nigeria. It is not going to be business-as-usual “For the other party, achieving power is their ultimate objective, but for APC the welfare and the happiness of the people is our ultimate objective. It is for this reason we are seeking power. “You have a party that is thinking, aggressive and that is going to make up for the people of this country who have been shortchanged. Let the people know that we mean business. I want to plead with you that people must know us today by our action; we must be different. “In February 2015, by God’s grace, we will take over the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is not going to be business- as-usual. “We are going to aggressively attack corruption by government. We are going to empower. This is the message we are taking to the people: We are going to aggressively attack corruption. It is at the bottom of all the ills in the nation. It is the reason our children don’t have jobs; it is the reason our factories are folding up; it is the reason basically that this country has not been able to make progress because the people have become so consumed by the need to grow from millionaire to billionaire, and the need to grow from billionaire to multi-billionaire. They are not even talking of Naira they now count in dollars. That’s money of the people of this country. This money can be used to change and better the cause of their lives. “The government that APC will empower, that the people of this country will vote in will meaningfully address the issue of power. Without power there is no economy. We are wasting time. The office of the National Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Finance announced wounded figures. “We have even been upgraded to the largest economy in Africa. They stopped at Africa they didn’t say the rest of the world. But how does that translate into bringing hope to the lives of the people.” Odigie-Oyegun promised an open door policy in running the affairs of the party, saying repeatedly. “I am going to be a 24- hour National Chairman. If there is any internal problem, my ears are for you 24 hours.” He urged APC members to explore internal party mechanism to resolve issues instead of rushing to the press and the court He said: “We must let people start believing us; we will do our best to address issues within the party. So, instead of rushing to the press or the court on any issue, allow the party to sort things out. “The National Convention was a very big plus; let us not allow things to degenerate. We are redeemers; we are people who Nigerians can depend on to save and salvage the situation.”

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