A former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has alleged irregularities in the recently conducted South-West Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party held in Osun State, describing the exercise as a scam.
On Monday, the major opposition party held its zonal congress, where Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, a 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 of ex-Governor Fayose, who had 330.
Reacting to the exercise during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, Fayose said he has conceded and accepted the outcome.
According to him, this is 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 in the South-West.
This is despite the fact that the PDP is only holding the grip of Oyo State with Governor Makinde at the helm of affairs, as other South-West states like Ekiti, Ondo, Lagos, Ondo and Osun are under the control of the APC.
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.”
When asked if the election was rigged, Fayose replied in the affirmative saying: “Very clearly.”
The ex-Ekiti State governor revealed that he approached the court to obtain an order to prevent the PDP from conducting the congress in Oyo State over fear of violence.
He alleged that the violence came from Oyo to Osun with 200 buses bearing the number plates of Oyo, adding that they blocked the venue of the exercise.
Fayose added, “They came with cutlasses and guns all night, it was in the public knowledge.”
Speaking further, he accused the collation officer, Chris Anyanwu from Imo State of discrepancies while counting the votes cast.
Despite his reservations for the zonal congress, Fayose insisted 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.