This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Akala Wins Oyo Primary

Ibadan — Hard talking Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala on Saturday won the governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State to be the party flag- bearer for the 2007 polls.

He polled 7, 874 votes to beat three other aspirants to the party ticket. Only two of the aspirants showed up and addressed the 8, 427 delegates accredited for the congress.

The three other aspirants, Alhaji Yekeen Adeojo polled 395 votes, Elder Wole Oyelese, late General Sani Abacha's Minister for Special Duties polled 105 while Alhaji Musa Adegboyega Hamzat polled 33votes.

The chairman of the state Screening Committee, Alhaji Wada Waziri has announced the result of the primary to the few ecstatic crowd who stayed back while others left the venue immediately they cast their votes.

Adeojo walked out in protest before the start of campaign and votes due to the refusal of the screening committee to accredit his delegates.

The result of the congress has formally put Akala in good stead to return to the office he would be vacating from today for his boss, Senator Rashidi Ladoja if he wins the general election. Adeojo had arrived the venue of the congress ahead of the three other aspirants and had his car stopped at the gate by a detachment of the police deployed to the venue to maintain peace.

His protest to the leader of the police team for his Jeep to enter was not entertained and was told to leave his vehicle by the gate of the entrance.

The aspirant who had stormed the venue in a carnival like manner, received more surprises as his delegates who he had hoped to use for the congress were also denied entrance on the excuse that they were holding wrong accreditation cards.

Adeojo who sat at the stand provided for aspirants made efforts to have his delegates accredited by the Alhaji Wada Waziri led committee but the committee stood its ground, insisting that the accreditation card of his delegates were not the one approved by the national secretariat and hence could not be allowed entry.

Following the inability of the committee to reconcile the delegates, the aspirant walked out in protest and

told THISDAY on telephone that the primary was a sham

and demanded its cancellation if the party was to make

any headway in the general election in 2007.

Oyelese and Hamzat initially thought to boycott the

primary along with Adeojo showed up later and went to

pay obeisance to the strongman of Ibadan politics,

Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and Akala who sat together with

his deputy, Hazeem Gbolarunmi.

Hamzat in his manifesto before the delegates promised

to elevate the fortyunes of politicians beyond the

level of mere contracts seekers if elected while also

promising jobs to all.

Oyelese said that his coming to the congress was his

belief in a politics of live and let live and his

desire to promote peace, harmony and progress in the

party.

Akala on his own promised to consolidate on the gains

of his eleven months administration and sued for the

cooperation and support of all party members for the

party to excel at the polls.

Akala had arrived the stadium with the full

complements of his official car and aides which

included security, dornig a South-South cap with a

swagger stick to complete his dressing.

His arrival doused growing fear that he might not

showed up due to media reports of the pruning down o

his security and his reversion to the office of the

deputy governor which he was before January 12

impeachment of Ladoja.

His arrival with the full complements of his security

threw the whole venue into wild jubilation as some of

the delegates especially those on the high table

rushed to shake hands with hin while he waved to many

others that could not reach him.

His deputy, Gbolarunmi billed for a holy pilgrimage

was also at the congress with the full complement of

security and aides.

Akala after the results has been announced called on

the other aspirants to join hands with him to win the

general polls promising not to disappoint them in the

in coming government.

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