Ondo APC Primary: How I was smuggled out, trekked for hours to escape death — Speaker
The crisis over the All Progressive Congress primary election deepened Monday as the state House of Assembly Speaker, Rt Hon Bamidele Oloyelogun narrated how he escaped death by whiskers during the exercise last weekend.
Oloyelogun contested for the Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency primary held at lgbara Oke last week Friday.
The election was however later declared inconclusive by the returning officer, Festus Aregbesola following the violence that characterized the exercise.
Rt Hon Oloyelogun while narrating his ordeal to newsmen in Akure, said that ” The primary is inconclusive up till now. My opponent at the primary, Tajudeen Adefisoye, brought in lots of armed men both military and paramilitary in about 11 buses, 18-seater buses. In another three vehicles, some men who were in suits with pistols occupied them.
“But at the gate of the venue of the primary in Igbara-Oke, the Area Commander refused to allow them to come in. The situation was not resolved for about an hour before my agent and I could even get inside.
“Later the armed men also gained entrance in the hotel and they positioned themselves in each of the rooms as well as the bar.
“With the situation, I quickly alerted the returning officer, Festus Aregebsola, the Divisional Police Officer, and the Area Commander that I’m not safe.
“I also told him that the people that came into the venue are not delegates. To the extent that they hid inside the toilets, meaning that they already have a motive.
“After they were sent out, accreditation started. Later voting started and when the voting got to 35th person, my agent, Festus Adebobola, noticed that the delegate was about doing things that was not part of the process. My agent was about correcting the female delegate, the agent of my opponent pounced on my agent and beat him up, to the extent that he slumped.
“We tried to rush him to the hospital in order for us to save his life but due to the heavy presence of thugs and armed men, we could not go through the gate.
“So we had to start fanning him and poured water on him. Most of the delegates who were supporting me cannot read and write, so they depend on my agent to assist them.
“Despite the condition of my agent, they continued with the voting process without my presence or my agent.
“Is that a free and fair primary? When I was informed about the situation, I ran into the hall and shouted that the process must be stopped, and at a stage, they discontinued the process.
“Immediately, the process was stopped, thugs and the armed men surrounded the venue expecting me to come down When I sensed that my life is already in danger, I called Mr Governor, Deputy Governor, and Commissioner of Police that I’m no more safe. For four hours I could not come down, looking for how to escape.
“At the venue, a man who identified himself as Akeju claimed that he was sent as an electoral commissioner from Abuja who we later got to know that he is a commissioner from Osun State. He later started counting the votes. After counting, he then put the ballot papers inside his pocket.
“Meanwhile, he lacks the capacity to even touch the ballot box or the ballot papers because it is the duty of the Returning Officer to do that. I told him that he was doing rubbish. Later, he told me that what he counted was inconclusive.