Supporters of Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun and that of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, have expressed mixed feelings on the conduct of the Saturday governorship primary of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.
While Oyetola’s supporters described the exercise as peaceful and impressive, Aregbesola’s faction said the exercise was full of irregularities.
Commenting, the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Benedict Alabi, described the exercise as peaceful, while the turnout was impressive.
Alabi, at his Ward 006 in Ikire, Irewole Isokan Local Government area, said the party members were orderly and that there were no reported cases of violence.
“I am happy we have a peaceful, free and fair primary.
“The fact is that there is only one candidate that is contesting the primary in Osun and that is the incumbent governor.
“We have the other faction with two aspirants, but they are not visible here,” the deputy governor said.
Also, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji, commended the impressive turnout as well the peaceful conduct of the primary.
Oyebamiji, who spoke at his Ward 009 in Ikire, lauded the efforts of security operatives for ensuring a peaceful atmosphere for the primary.
The commissioner said he was confident that Oyetola would emerge as the winner of the primary.
Meanwhile, the factional Chairman of the party, loyal to Aregbesola, Razak Sanisile, said the primary was “full of anomalies” .
Salinsile told newsmen at his Ward 004, Isale-Oba in Iwo Local Government Area of the state, that the party’s register was not made available to them.
“Up till today, we have not seen the register of the party, which is against the rule of the game.
“At least, each of the aspirant is expected to have a copy of the register of members, but none of them has it.
“We raised it at the stakeholders’ meeting at the party secretariat.
“Many of our supporters cannot find their names on the register.
“All these anomalies will tell on the outcome of the election.
“I see it as a mere exercise, a waste of time and resources,” he said.
Also, the Chairman of Ward 008, Ilesa East Local Government, Adegoke Saheed, a loyalist of Aregbesola, said the process was full of irregularities.
Saheed alleged that the party’s register used for the primary was different from the one used during the registration, pointing out that names of their members were missing on the register.
He said the absence of Aregbesola, whom he claimed was on an official assignment by President Muhammadu Buhari, did not allow his complaint to receive attention.
“It was in the morning we learnt that Rauf Aregbesola has gone for an official assignment given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“That is why he was not around to monitor or participate in the process.
“If the minister has been around, they will listen to him with all my complaints. They wouldn’t have used the power of incumbency they used,” Saheed said.
However, the Chairman of the Primary Committee, Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazak, commended the peaceful conduct of the exercise.
AbdulRazak, who spoke to newsmen while monitoring the exercise in Iragbiji, lauded the party members for their impressive turnout and peaceful conduct.
He said that peaceful conduct contradicted the expectations of many over the exercise.
“Let me congratulate the people of Osun State and members of APC.
“What is happening here shows that the party is alive and strong. You can see that from the huge turnout.
“If you open the pages of newspapers today, what was painted was a picture of war in Osun.
“But, the primary election has been peaceful. I congratulate the people of Osun and all the aspirants. They have all done well,” he said.
In his reactions, the Chairman, Elders Council for APC in Ife Central, Prince Felix Awofisayo, said: “Everything went on smoothly at my centre.
“There is no rancour, no fighting and no acrimony, both the accreditation and election went on peacefully and it was a free and fair election.”
He urged the people of Osun to vote for the candidate of APC during the forthcoming governorship election coming up on July 16.
Awofisayo made the plea while casting his vote at Ife Girls High School, Iremo Ward 11, Eleyele in Ile-Ife.
He thanked the party members for their support, saying that they all behaved well during the election.
Awofisayo said, “Let’s try to maintain the peace and orderliness of today on July 16, 2022, during the governorship election when we will make our final decision.”
Also, an APC stalwart, Benjamin Adereti, said that since all the contestants are from APC, they have no choice but to jointly work together.
Adereti said the accreditation and election were peaceful, the voters were for the growth and progress of Ile-Ife, Osun and Nigeria at large.
He commended all those that participated in the election, including journalists and security agencies for their meaningful contributions to the success of the primary.
Also, Mr Wole Omotosho, who spoke on behalf of a faction of APC, said that the election has come and gone and thanked God for allowing peace to reign.
Omotosho commended the citizenry for maintaining peace during and after the election, saying that if things should continue this way, democracy would stand forever across the country.
He called on party supporters to behave well in an orderly manner on July 16, so as to have the best man elected as the governor of the state.