Why we’ll proceed with Oyo APC guber primary despite Akintola’s withdrawal – Party chair, Oke

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Adeniyi Akintola SAN, Sunday evening announced that he has stepped down from the ongoing gubernatorial primary election of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state.

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DAILY POST reports that the election is currently taking place at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba Ibadan, the state capital.

Our correspondent recalls that former governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala had yesterday announced his withdrawal from the race due to alleged imposition of a certain candidate by the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Another aspirant, Dr. Abdulazeez Adeduntan also announced his withdrawal from the race without giving a reason.

The trio of Engineer Joseph Tegbe, Dr. Olusola Ayandele and Dr. Owolabi Babalola later announced that they were stepping down in the interest of the party and the governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

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They argued that they were stepping down for Adelabu in order to ensure unity and harmony in the ruling party in the state.

This made the contest to be between Adelabu and Chief Adeniyi Akintola SAN, who said he was not ready to step down.

However, delegates, members of electoral committee headed by Mr. Demola Seriki, a chieftain of the party from Lagos State, journalists and observers were later surprised when Akintola announced his withdrawal midway into the election at about 6:50 Sunday evening.

His announcement was greeted with wild jubilation by delegates and party supporters.

Akintola, while speaking, also announced that he was stepping down in the interest of the party.

Inquisitive journalists were surprised when the state Chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke told them that the winner would not be declared until the completion of the exercise.

Oke said that the winner would not be announced until the exercise came to an end because of two reasons.

He maintained that one of the reasons is that Akintola announced his withdrawal midway into the election which has already started, adding that it would be difficult to stop the process abruptly.

Oke added that the number two reason is that the former governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala did not withdraw officially, adding that announcement of the winner without the completion of the exercise may spell doom for the party.

Oke, who addressed the journalists at about 7.30pm, said, “Yes, Akintola has withdrawn. But, as you can see, we have already started the process. We are already in the process and we have to complete it. If he had withdraw before the exercise started, that is another thing. But, he did not withdraw before we started.

“Secondly, you know Alao-Akala said he will not participate, but he did not withdraw officially, we have not seen his letter. So, we have to go ahead with the process that we have already started before we announce the winner. Because, we don’t want anyone to take us to court.”

The exercise is still going on at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan at about 8:17pm when our correspondent filed this report.