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OUR CANDIDATES DULY CLEARED BY INEC, AKALA, OYO PDP INSIST

By NBF News
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Oyo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday allayed fears of anxious party supporters over the purported rejection of the nomination of Governor Adebayo Alao Akala and other PDP candidates for the April elections in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

News reports in the dailies yesterday had generated confusion and panic among party members in the state over the fate of the candidates, who emerged in a series of controversial congresses, which INEC had reportedly refused to recognise.

But, the state secretary of the party, Alhaji Bashiru Akanbi, yesterday dispelled the reports, saying the commission had accepted the list of all the PDP candidates from the state.

However, a Federal High Court in Ibadan added another dimension to the unfolding political drama yesterday as it restrained the PDP from presenting the state governor, as candidate of the party to INEC based on the result of the contentious congress. Alhaji Akanbi, in a reaction yesterday, said the names of Governor Akala and those of other candidates had been cleared by the INEC at its national secretariat early yesterday.

'I am in Abuja and I can tell you authoritatively that INEC has accepted the names of all our candidates in Oyo state. The matter has been resolved, there is nothing like rejection of Oyo PDP candidates any longer,' he told newsmen on phone.

Also, Governor's mesia aide, Prince Dotun Oyelade, said the publications were part of the ploy by his political opponents to misinform the people of the state for selfish advantage in the forthcoming general elections.

He stressed that the fact of the matter was that 'the national headquarters of the PDP successfully submitted the list of PDP candidates in Oyo State, including our governorship candidate to INEC and there is no problem whatsoever with the list. As a matter of fact, INEC has issued acknowledgement receipt to all our candidates whose names were submitted by the national headquarters of the PDP.'

But ruling on a motion ex-parte brought by three governorship aspirants of the party, Hazeem Gbalorumi, Elder Wole Oyelese and Yekeen Adeojo and 34 others, including Senator Lekan Balogun, Justice Johnson Shakarho of an  Ibadan Federal High Court embargoed the presentation of the results of the congress of the party held between December 29 and 31, 2010 to INEC, pending the hearing and determination of  a motion on notice before the court.

The congress, which was ordered by the National Working Committee of the PDP produced the state executive officers and delegates that elected candidates for the governorship, state House of Assembly and National Assembly elections.

The judge, however,  struck out the relief sought by the plaintiffs  to restrain INEC from receiving, accepting or in any way acting upon any nomination of any person or persons for any election purportedly elected at the congress, saying it had being overtaken by event.

He adjourned hearing on the substantive matter till February 10.

However, one of the factional leaders, Elder Wole Oyelese, has reacted to the rejection of the party's candidates by INEC.

'We are vindicated. The situation the PDP has found herself is uncalled for. A decision that should have been taken in the last two years by the party is now getting the party in trouble.

'I am fighting for the masses and protecting their interest in all this. The party has been told what to do and that is to tell Akala to step aside and be given a soft landing.

'The party needs to be made inclusive and Akala is incapable of that. It is all unfortunate as Akala may now have to remain a good party man or go into another party.

'So, what has he gained by his desperation. I am indeed vindicated because the truth is now triumphing.'