Buhari’s minister, others cry foul as APC wins all Oyo LG electionsThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has won all the chairmanship seats in the 33 local government councils and the 35 Local Council Development Areas in the state.

Opposition parties as well as a minister, who is a member of the APC, however described the elections as fraudulent.

The APC also won the councillorship seats in the 610 wards in the state in the local government election held on Saturday.

Announcing the results in Ibadan on Sunday, John Ajeigbe, the Chairman of Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), described the election as free, fair and credible.

He commended residents of the state for conducting themselves in an orderly manner and for complying with rules and regulations during the exercise.

”It is hoped that this kind of maturity exhibited before and during the conduct of the election will be sustained so that good democratic values would be further achieved at the grassroots,’’ he said.

He also lauded the security operatives for their support, saying this ensured safety of lives and property during the election period.

But Mr Sunday Igbinsola, the Secretary of Accord Party in the state, described the election “as a show of shame.’’

He said many stakeholders within even the ruling APC had distanced themselves from the exercise.

”I will simply say here that the election was a failure and the APC government will definitely return tax payers money when it is time to answer questions,” Mr Igbinsola said.

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) in the state, on its part, described the poll as “stage-managed fraud.’’

According to Kolapo Oladapo, the Chairman of SPN, the name and logo of his party, appeared on the ballot papers in spite of the candidate being denied nomination form.

”This is a monumental fraud against our party and every one that believes in open democratic process,” Mr Oladapo said.

NAN reports that the only female contender, Fatimoh Gildado (APC), won the championship seat of Orire North LCDA with 5,787 votes.

Olajuwon Alao-Akala, a son of a former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, also won the chairmanship seat of Ogbomoso Local Government Council with 9,026 votes.

In his reaction, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, described the local government elections as a charade.

Mr Shittu told journalists on Sunday in Ibadan that two legal suits against the election would soon decide if the exercise was valid.

“The council poll is a travesty of justice and a violation of the spirit of democracy. It is self-serving and aimed specifically at the gubernatorial primaries of the party,’’ he said.

He wondered why Governor Abiola Ajimobi was in a rush to conduct the poll which he never did in seven years of his administration.

The minister said the governor’s target was to have elected chairmen on ground knowing well that they would be automatic delegates.

Mr Shittu said that the two pending cases on the election were filed in Abuja and Ibadan.

“I am happy that we all are in the state and saw that the generality of our people ignored the election, despite the fact that we in the Unity Forum did not instruct people to do so.

“We will not sleep, rest on our oars, be cowed nor submit to injustice or impunity. We will not,’’ he added.

According to Mr Shittu, peace can only be achieved when there is justice in the polity.

In his reaction Governor Ajimobi congratulated winners in the local government elections, urging them to be magnanimous in victory.

This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Ibadan by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Bolaji Tunji.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the election into the 33 local governments and 35 LCDAs was held on Saturday while the APC local government congress was held on Sunday.

Mr Ajimobi said that he was thrilled by the peaceful and orderly conduct of the rescheduled local government congress of the APC which was held across the 33 council headquarters.

He called on losers in both contests to eschew violence and be gallant in defeat, adding there would always be winners and losers in an election.

The governor urged APC faithful across the state to be orderly and law-abiding in their conduct, advising those aggrieved with the outcome of the council election and APC congress to explore lawful channels to seek redress.

“We have proved skeptics and the doubting Thomas wrong with the successful and orderly conduct of the local government election, 11 years after the last one was held. This is another defining moment in the life of our administration.

“I congratulate our great party, the APC, winners in the LG election and those that emerged victorious in our party’s congresses held across the LG headquarters in the state.

“It was through the support of all the stakeholders that we were able to surmount the initial obstacles. For the winners, I urge you to be magnanimous in victory and I want the losers to be gallant in defeat.

“I want them to that the losers of today may be the winners tomorrow with tenacity and sense of purpose. Elections should not always be about winning, but about taking part,” he said.

The governor, however, urged party members to brace themselves for Saturday’s state congress, which he stated would climax the process.

“With the successful conduct of our party’s ward and LG congresses as witnessed by the congress committee and the Independent National Electoral Commission, you must all brace up,’’ he said.

Mr Ajimobi called for restraint on the part of splinter groups that had formed internal opposition against the APC.

He appealed to them to retrace their steps and partner with him in building the APC into a more formidable and virile party ahead of the 2019 general elections.

(NAN)

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