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PDP'LL NOT LOSE GRIP ON S'WEST –ISIAKA

By NBF News
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Chairman, Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Isiaka Adeleke, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would not lose grip on the South-west region of the country irrespective of court verdicts that had overturned its election victories.

The senator, who was reacting to last Friday's verdict of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division on the 2007 governorship election in Ekiti State , however, warned against electoral violence in the forthcoming general elections, saying two years jail term awaits any sponsor or agents of election violence.

In a chat with Daily Sun during the maiden edition of Agbale Hall of Fame organized by the Federal Council of Ede Descendants Union, at the weekend, Adeleke assured that his party, the PDP, would not suffer the same fate in Osun State as it did in Ekiti State.

The governorship election petition instituted by the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2007 election, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola against the state governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola is still pending at Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division.

'The judgment has been given at the appellate jurisdiction. If it were to be at the lower division, I would have said that maybe it would be overturned at the appellate jurisdiction. But they have spoken and they have spoken well; there is nothing we can do about it. 'But God forbid, it would not happen here (Osun) because I was involved in the election here. The election here, to a large extent, was free. Where we feel that the election is not free enough, if we take those places out, it is not even enough to nullify the election', he stated.

On the dwindling fortune of the PDP in the South-West region after the loss of Ondo and Ekiti States to the opposition parties, Adeleke, who was the first civilian governor of Osun State now a senator representing Osun West senatorial district in the National Assembly, stated that the party was still in control of South-west. According to him, the party has not lost its grip on the south-West zone but rather 'lost to the court and not to the votes of the people'.

Speaking earlier on behalf of the awardees, Adeleke, popularly called Serubawon in political circles, urged his people to fully participate in the voters registration exercise, which he said would commence in January. He said the 2011 general elections would put an end to electoral violence, malpractices and hooliganism as two years jail term awaits electoral offenders and their sponsor without an option of fine.

Thirteen eminent indigenes of Ede were admitted into the town's Hall of Fame at the weekend, among whom were former Deputy Vice-Chancellor University of Lagos, Professor Olayide Abass; renowned Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Ibadan, Professor Abiola Odejide; Senator Isiaka Adeleke; Parakoyi Adinni of Lagos State, Alhaji S.O. Babalola; wife of late General Abdul-Kareem Adisa, Alhaja Adisa Ramota. Others are retired Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) Adeoye Adedayo Sheu; Dr. Deji Adeleke; Deacon Amosa Samuel Abimbola; Alhaji Ayofe Wahab; retired Colonel Laoye Bankole; Dr. Layonu Abiodun Ismail (SAN); Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Mr. Bello Adejare and highlife sensation, Pa Olagunju Fatai (Rolling Dollar)