The All Progressives Congress in Ogun State has maintained that it “won fair and square” the gubernatorial elections held on Saturday, March 18, 2023.
In a press statement issued in Abeokuta Tuesday evening and signed by the APC’s State Publicity Secretatry, Tunde Oladunjoye, the party posited that “the election itself was largely peaceful and the outcome was a true reflection of the wishes of the good people of Ogun State.”
The statement reads further: Despite political thuggery, vote–buying and violence perpetrated by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ogun people stood firm and ensured their votes counted.”
“We all witnessed how these desperate politicians band their gullible followers, bent on wrestling power by force, broke all rules of civility and violated electoral guidelines with reckless abandon.
“Our party, the All Progressives Congress, not only won the election with majority votes, but also won in 12 of the 20 Local Government Areas in Ogun State. In addition, our party won 17 out of the 26 State House of Assembly constituency seats.
“In flagrant disobedience of the Electoral Act (2022) and the guidelines stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) restricting movement on the Election Day, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Oladipupo Adebutu, had a free reing, criss-crossing from one polling unit to the other and moving across local governments and senatorial districts. His long convoy had armed thugs, people in police uniform with guns, and others accompanying him. They harassed electoral officers, induced voters with cash, credit cards and transferred funds at will to sway voters against all known democratic norms.
“Again, the PDP candidate and his running mate, Abdulkadir Adekunle Akinlade were sighted around 12 midnight at the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Secretariat, which served as the Collation Centre for the LGA. Accompanied by well over 50 thugs, wielding cudgels, cutlasses, dangerous weapons and guns; they attempted to force their ways into the Collation Centre by impersonating the Returning Officer. A worse scenario later played out at the Oke Ilewo Office of the INEC where collation for Abeokuta South Local Government was taking place.
“There, the thugs fired several gunshots and used tear gas canisters on defenceless staff and party agents to disrupt proceeding.”
“Another unwholesome practice deployed by the Ladi Adebutu political machine was unbridled vote buying. Instances abound across all the 20 local government areas where they induced electorate to vote. Early that day, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested four PDP party agents with hundreds of thousands of money credits cards meant to buy votes at Ibara Housing Estate, Abeokuta. Each of these card was pre-loaded with N10,000 and meant to be activated to cash with a code.
“Another PDP agent was arrested with hundreds verve pre-paid credit cards with the name Caroline Oladunni Adebutu Memorial Endowment Scheme at Agbado in Ifo Local Government and over 300 Permanent Voters Cards were found on the suspect by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives.
“It is on record that a number of polling units and electoral materials were vandalised in some areas by these paid thugs even as security agents became helpless in those units.
“More curious is the fact that some APC chieftains were invited to Police Headquarters at Eleweran in Abeokuta 48 hours to the election for no just reason other than intimidation”.
“Despite these shenanigans from the PDP and its twin-sister, the African Democratic Congress (ADC), the people of Ogun State stood firm and chose good governance over cash-and-carry candidates. We urge our politicians to exhibit maturity by conceding defeat where and when it is obvious that they have been thoroughly trounced as was the case in the last Governorship election in our dear State.
“Finally, we advise the candidates that lost election last Saturday to accept the magnanimous olive branch offered by the winner of the election, His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun and join him in his ‘Building Our Future Together Agenda’. The Ogun State Project is everybody’s project”, the statement reads.