By Prince Adeniran Fagbemi
It has come to our notice that “the sit tight Chairman” Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo in his own characteristic manner has written a letter to the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led national care taker committee of the People’s Democratic Party PDP appealing not to nullify the flawed election of the Kwara state PDP chairman held between the 13th and 14th of November 2017 which was recommended for nullification by the appeal panel.
In response to the letter, here are six points i find extremely expedient to shed light on why the said flawed Congress must be nullified.
1. LOPSIDEDNESS OF PARTY POSITIONS IN THE STATE
Some local governments areas were unduly favored with more positions to the exclusion of others. For example, in Kwara North Senatorial District, Moro local government has four state positions namely: Treasurer, Vice Chairman North Senatorial District, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Organizing Secretary while Edu local government area in the same Senatorial District has no single member in the State Executive Committee.
In Kwara Central Senatorial District, Asa local government has State Secretary and State Auditor both from the same ward and polling unit 007 in Alapa District while Ilorin East local government has nothing.
Ilorin west local government has State Woman Leader and State Vice Chairman, Central Senatorial District while Ilorin South local government has no positions in the State Executive Committee at all and yet we intend to win election there.
It could therefore be observed from above that what we had on 13/14th November 2017 was nothing but a lawless and indiscipline Congress that deliberately excluded some local government areas from having participatory interest in the State Executive Committee.
2. OCCURRENCE OF OVER VOTING
A clear case of over voting has been established during the said State Congress. For example,
(A) the total accredited voters were 467 while the total number cast for the position of Chairman was 477. Breakdown is as follows:
1. Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo 220
2. Prince Sunday A Fagbemi 217
3. Eng Jide Usman 5
4. Hon. Babatunde Mohammed. 4
5. Total voided votes 31
Totaling 477 as contained in the official result signed and declared by the electoral panel Chairman, H.E Alh. Ibrahim Idiris Former Governor of Kogi State and the Secretary of panel Barr John Ola Mafo.
(B) That the Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo led group also contested the election results on the basis of over voting by writing a petition in respect of offices of State Woman Leader, State Youth Leader and State Treasurer. The group petition was presented by legal practitioner in the person of Barr O J Adeseko to the State Congress Appeal Panel.
3. ADOPTION OF DOUBLE STANDARD RULES BY THE ELECTORAL PANEL
The Congress electoral panel applied two rules for the same election; while in respect of votes for the elected 6 ex-officio members were sorted at the counting stage and declared for the rightful owners irrespective of the boxes in which the ballot papers were found. However, the electoral panel refuse and/or neglected to sort out the votes for other contestants and declared them as void instead of sorting them out and counting them as votes for the rightful owners.
4. CONFLICTING DELEGATES LIST FOR THE STATE CONGRESS
On the eve of the State Congress, the Chairman of electoral panel H.E Alh. Ibrahim Idris at a pre-Congress meeting with stakeholders of the Party at Kwara Hotel on the 12th November, 2017 gave a copy each of the approved list of delegates to the Congress, from the National Headquarter of our great Party (PDP) to the four Chairmanships candidates. However contrary to the said signed and approved list from National Secretariat, a new list of delegates already manipulated and doctored emerged and used for the accreditation of delegates and subsequent voting at the Congress.
5. REPORT OF APPEAL PANELS
It may interest you to know that, our group Appeal of the State Congress is not new in the conduct of Congresses at all levels from the ward, local government and State Congresses where at the ward level, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo group Appeal the Congress of some wards which was upheld by Alh. Adamu Maina Waziri appeal panel without inviting our group to defend Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo’s petition, yet we did not complain. This ward appeal panel report culminated into stepping down of many wards in the State and this stepping down of these wards resulted in disenfranchisement of five local government areas in the State; namely, Ekiti, Isin, Oyun, Offa and Ilorin South from participating in the local government Congress and subsequently in the State Congress. Therefore, the question would arise as to why the report of the State appeal panel should now be seen as a bad omen for the Party by Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo. It should also be noted that Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo prematurely inaugurated himself with his own faction of exco while the process of appeal is yet to be concluded.
6. In line with the provisions of the constitution of our Party and electoral guidelines which provides for dissatisfied to appeal unsatisfactory election procedures and results, our group appealed against the conduct and the result of the State Congress of November 13/14th 2017 and the appeal panel report has been submitted to your good office for final decision.
Therefore, it is obvious from the above, that no reasonable and serious minded Party will allow this impunity and the fraud as exhibited in the said Kwara State Congress to stand.