The Vice-Chairman (South-South), of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), Mr Eta Halierd, has dismissed the allegation that the Ondo State governorship election primary was manipulated in favour of Mr Olurotimi Akeredolu, the declared winner.
Halierd said this while briefing newsmen at the APC national secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, Mr Pius Akinyelure, the APC Vice-Chairman, (South- West), misled the public that the primaries in Ondo State was skewed in favour of the eventual winner.
Akinyelure had earlier accused the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, National Secretary Mai Mala Buni and the National Organising Secretary, Osita Izunaso, of doctoring the delegates’ list.
He had further alleged that the three national officers usurped powers of the National Working Committee (NWC).
Halierd said contrary to Akinyelure’s claim, he also voted that the report of the Ondo Appeal Committee, which recommended a cancellation of the poll be rejected.
“Before we met on the last day for the submission of name to INEC, we had met three days earlier.
“In that meeting, there were two reports before the NWC and that of the appeal committee was voted on. That very day, we were 14 in number, not 11 as we have it in the media.
“About 13 of us voted for the appeal committee’s report to be thrown out, only one person voted for the retention of the report and that person was the National Vice-Chairman (North-Central) Alhaji Zakari Idde.
“Pius Akinyelure also voted that the report should be thrown out,” he explained.
Halierd said the group urged the National Chairman and Secretary to consult widely before a ‘political solution’ could be taken.
“When they returned, they told us of their efforts to reach many people for political solution but it was very clear to us that we were not going to have that political solution.
“We had to go through the procedure as we have it in our constitution, which is that, when you send a team to conduct an election and there is a petition on their report, it is the NWC, as the appellant institution that has the power to consider the merits of the election committee report and that of the appeal committee report.
“If the appeal committee’s report is thrown out, the only report that is left is the election committee report.
“The Chairman had almost made a procedural error at asking us to vote but the National Organising Secretary, Osita Izunaso called his attention to the procedural error.
“So, all of us returned to the proper procedure which is the election report by Gov. Badaru that was still standing. That’s what transpired,” he said.
He criticised the action of Akinyelure after his preferred candidate didn’t win the primaries.
“He shouldn’t be finding faults in the NWC, he should go back to Ondo with his team and the candidate that he prefers.
“It is very vexatious, it is very annoying that a man who also voted that the report of the Appeal Committee should be thrown out is now crying foul.” he said. (NAN)