Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, has opened up on the loss of his preferred candidate in the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election in Osun State.
The minister had earlier rallied his support to Moshood Adeoti, former Secretary to the Osun State Government, who lost the contest to incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola. Aregbesola, who did not vote, had bragged that Adeoti would win against Oyetola.
As contained in a statement which Sola Fasure, his media aide, issued on his behalf, the minister sued for calm.
The minister, noting alleged irregularities, appealed to his supporters to leave the rest for God, even as he stated that he was considering legal action.
“On behalf of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, I will like to thank you most sincerely for heeding the call earlier this morning to participate in our party’s governorship primary and conduct yourselves most peacefully. You adopted a non-violent posture, even in the face of sore provocation.
“You have demonstrated your loyalty to the party and democratic ideals. You have comported yourselves as Omoluabi in the true essence.
“We have received and continue to receive the reports of the shenanigans of the officials who conducted the sham of an election. We have been inundated with reports state-wide of how your names were expunged from the party’s voters register, which was not made available until this morning, contrary to the convention of making the list available to the candidates before the election.
“We have heard of how party registration cards were being hawked this morning to the supporters of the state governor. We have also received reports of how accreditation was not done at all in many wards and how people without party identification just participated and queued behind the governor in many polling units.
“We have received the report from our members and independent observers, how government officials and notable supporters of the governor officiated in the election, how votes were farcically counted in favour of the governor and how the votes recorded for him were more than the number of voters accredited ab initio in many units.
“We note with shame and much regret the consternation of local and international observers on what they regard as a travesty of an election.
“I will urge you to maintain your cool and calm. Be not downcast, be not agitated. Hold your head high. We are still receiving and studying all these reports and will take a definitive position on them.
“You are urged not to take laws into your hands. Please leave the rest to the Almighty God and let us explore all peaceful and legal means for addressing the matter in order to obtain justice.
“Please remain committed to peace and the rule of law. Be unflinching in your commitment to the democratic ideals. Democracy is for the long haul. As you all know, we never tire and we never give up on the cause we believe in. Be rest assured that victory is ours,” the statement read.