Ayodele Fayose, a former governor of Ekiti State, has alleged that the recently conducted South-West Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was rigged.
Fayose made the claim in an interview on Wednesday.
The PDP held its zonal congress on 12 April in Osun State, where Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, the candidate backed by the camp of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, emerged as the party’s new South-West Zonal Chairman.
Arapaja polled 343 votes to defeat Dr Eddy Olafeso, a loyalist to ex-governor Fayose, who scored 330.
But Fayose claimed that the election was not transparent, insisting that it was a sham.
According to the former governor, a former Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mulikat Adeola-Akande, identified those that were dead and sick on the accreditation list.
He also claimed that members of the transport union in Oyo State came to the venue of the congress in Osun State with 200 buses bearing the number plates of Oyo, adding that they blocked the venue of the exercise.
“The leader of the transport union in Oyo State came to the venue publicly looking for my head. It was public knowledge,” Fayose said on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“We compelled them to announce publicly how many people were accredited. They resisted that and said they will announce state-by-state. The norm is for you to announce accreditation and tell us how many people came and how many votes are expected.
“By the accreditation, they initially said Oyo state had 115 people list, 104 accredited. Out of 104, 82 people voted. At the end of the exercise, the accreditation was 675, publicly announced.
“Ekiti voted first, followed by Ogun, Lagos, Osun then they purposely allowed Oyo to vote last.
“When you look at the alphabet, you will realise that a game was obviously going on.
“In Oyo, they told us 177 were listed. Hon Mulikat protested and said, ‘this man is dead, this man is dead, this man is dead, this man is sick, this one is abroad, this one is aged’. They came back and told us 165. This is the game going on in the entire process.”
When asked if the election was rigged, Fayose replied in the affirmative saying: “Very clearly.”
He, however, explained that he conceded and accepted the election’s outcome not because the process was transparent, but because the PDP must not lose its quest to take over power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-West region.
He said: “I have conceded, I conceded not because they won. I conceded because the PDP is a bigger picture. I want to say that conceding does not amount to defeat, it is sheer exhibiting leadership.
“Take a look at the result and the characters behind the result before I will tell you the issue. I am on one side alone; I have on the side of Governor Makinde, two former governors – Segun Oni and Olagunsoye Oyinlola. They have on their side seven deputy governors and two speakers and serving senators.
“The results in quotes, Arapaja scored 343. My candidate Eddy Olafeso scored 330, a difference of 13 votes. I’m glad because that is a show of strength. Whether the result is right or wrong, the world can see in the one-man army that has faced them all and without rigging, they lost.”
Fayose stated that he would not be a party to those who will say the PDP will not move forward.
“For me, as to that election, it was a scam but I must agree as a leader of the PDP. I have been working for this party. I am one of the voices that cannot be forgotten in the PDP.
“And I will not sit down here and say because of 13 votes, because of manipulation the party must not move forward,” he added.
The PDP is currently holding power in Oyo State, while other states South-West region: Ekiti, Ondo, Lagos, Ondo and Osun, are being controlled by the APC.