Six Christian groups based in Osun State have expressed disapproval over the last Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in the state, describing it as a display of fraudulent exercise.
The groups in a joint statement issued in Osogbo on Monday, July 30, 2018 declared that except justice is done, it may be difficult for the party to excel in the forthcoming election.
Leaders of the group that signed the statement were Nigeria Prays, Osun State Chapter, Rev. Michael Adebomi, Nehemiah Initiative for Nation Building, Rev Tunji Ayorinde, Christian Initiative for Nation Building, Bro. Olawole Oladapo, Christian Leadership Mobilisation Initiative International, Rev. Theophilus Ayodeji, Movement for Positive Change, Rev Walter Aworanti and Gospel Pushers Association, Pastor Olatunde Babalola.
The statement reads in full: “We are coalition of Christian Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) with deep interest in our country’s economic, religion, social and political life.
“At this point, our attention is shifted to Osun State and in particular the preparation towards the forthcoming September 22nd, 2018 governorship election.
“As major stakeholders in good governance, we need to bring to the notice of all that we conscientiously monitored all the primaries of all the political parties in Osun State. Reports were received from our field officers and we ensured we kept same for posterity sake.
“While commending all the political parties for painstakingly conducting their primaries, we observed that the process that led to the emergence of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate was flawed, openly manipulated and was rigged in favour of a particular person.
“We wish to express our disappointment with the way the Governor Seriake Dickson led PDP electoral committee organized the said primary which was characterized by violence, brazen disregard to fair play and the rule of law. This committee left no one in doubt that it was in Osun State to stage-manage the party’s primary in favour of Senator Ademola Adeleke.
“Apart from reports that fake delegates were allowed to vote during the primary and other anti-democratic practices which characterized the exercise which took place at GMT Hotel in Osogbo, one major item we wish to point out was Governor Dickson’s blatant refusal to allow recount of Senator Adeleke’s vote whereas when the votes of two other contestants were recounted, errors were detected and corrected.
“We observed that in spite of vehement protest by the agents of another leading aspirant in person of Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi asking for recount of Senator Adeleke’s votes, this complaint was rebuffed by Governor Dickson.
“Our initial thought was that PDP has learnt from its past mistakes, but with the Osun State scenario, it was clear that corruption may have been deep-rooted in the party and we sincerely hope that the National Working Committee of PDP will ensure that such is erased from the minds of ordinary Nigerians by doing justice to this matter.
“We also firmly believe that whoever emerges through such manipulative exercise cannot be entrusted with the destiny of over five million people. We wish to state emphatically affirm that it will be difficult to support a person that is characteristically defective to be the next governor of Osun State”