Rotimi Rahmon contested to represent Ado-Odo/Ota Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He claims he won the primary election held on October 7, 2018, but his name was allegedly substituted and another person’s name, forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He speaks on all that transpired.
Can you let us into what brought about the political imbroglio in the APC in Ogun State?
The political impasse in the APC in Ogun State basically was caused by some members of the party who would not want the wishes of the people prevail especially, the national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Initially, he instructed that the national and state assembly primary elections should be conducted on the 7th of October, 2018, the elections were held across all the 236 wards in Ogun State, in which Ado-Odo/Ota Federal constituency participated and I happened to be one of the four contestants for the ticket. Others are: Nurudeen Akinpelu, Kassim Aina and Sesan Fagbayi. The primary election held in all the 16 wards of Ado-Odo/ Ota Federal constituency. At the end of the day, the representatives of the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Colonel Ciroma A.A, and assisted by Alexander B.
as the secretary, declared me as the winner of the primary election with a total score of 16,410 votes representing 80.17percent of the total votes cast, Mr. Sesan Fagbayi followed with 3,713 votes and, Mr. Kassim Aina scored 195 votes while Nurudeen Akinpelu scored 150 votes.
Surprisingly, the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole refuse to forward my name as the winner of the direct primary election to INEC, rather, he forwarded the name of one, Jimoh Olusola Ojugbele to INEC as the candidate, the same man who contested on the same date for a seat in the senate alongside chief Tolu Odebiyi, who won the contest, and Ojugbele lost.
The question I am putting to Comrade Oshiomhole is this: did Jimoh Ojugbele contest for a seat in the senate and a seat in the House of Representatives on the same date, 7th October, 2018? It is absurd for a person who did not obtain nomination form for the House of Representatives, to have his name submitted to INEC, as candidate.
Can a man stand in two places at the same time in the same constituency on the platform of the same party on the same day?This is the absurdity Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is playing out to everyone of us in Ado-Odo/Ota Federal constituency, thereby taking everyone of us for a ride.
It is obvious that Comrade Oshiomhole has been playing on our intelligence from the outset. His actions have shown us that he already had a script that he is now acting because if this wasn’t so, why did
the party ask each prospective candidate to pay a whopping sum of N3, 850,000 for the nomination and expression of interest forms?, Did screening for us for two nights and three days in Abuja and now upturn the results of the primary election which was conducted according to its instructions, set guidelines and under the close supervision of its representatives.
Up till today, no reason has been put forward for the unconstitutional substitution of my name with that of someone who contested for a different position. Yet, they say the party is supreme. Does this supremacy of the party condone illegality and injustice?
Why did it take you this long to open up?
I did not want to say anything before now because I have been waiting to see if the party would rescind its decision and do the right thing. However, what infuriated me was the interview Comrade Oshiomhole granted the press on Wednesday 31st October, 2018 as he was coming out of the presidential villa, which was aired on several TV stations, where he said that he had been fair to all and he has been acting according to his conscience but some governors have misconstrued his good intentions. This amuses me. Where is his conscience and fair play in the case of Ado-Odo/ Ota Federal constituency primary election? He even said that it is only in Nigeria that nine people will contest for an election and one person will be declared the winner and the other eight contestants will be crying foul. I put it to our Comrade Chairman that it is only in Nigeria under his watch that a winner will emerge in a fair and just election and the person who did not even contest at all will be declared as the winner. Can he see the contradiction in his own words and actions? Of course, this will never happen in a saner clime. If this is done in a developed democracy, it wouldn’t have been funny. By now, the perpetrators would have landed themselves in trouble waters.
Did this substitution of names happen in other local governments/ Federal constituencies?
Yes, it happened in other three Federal constituencies. Namely: Ifo/Ewekoro, Imeko Afon/Yewa North and Abeokuta North/Obafemi Owode/Odeda Federal constituencies.
How do you think this crisis can be resolved?
Oh! That is simple. The lingering crisis can only be better resolved if the national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole respects the wishes of the people who voted for us unreservedly on the 2nd and 7th of October, 2018 respectively, as the candidates to vie for different offices in the state.