The Unity Forum wing of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State has said that Saturday’s loss of Ibarapa East State Constituency by-election to the Peoples Democratic Party is a sign that the state chapter of the party is weakened by an internal crisis.
They, therefore, called on the national headquarters of the APC to reflect on the loss ahead of 2019.
In the Saturday’s by-election held to fill the position left vacant by the death of a former Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Michael Adeyemo, the party’s candidate, Kunle Adeyemo, 36, who is the late Speaker’s brother, scored 4,619 votes while PDP’s Adebo Ogundoyin, 31, had 6,277 votes to emerge as a member of the state House of Assembly.
The spokesperson for the Unity Forum of the APC in the state, Wasiu Olatunbosun, said the loss was questionable especially since it came after the party claimed to have won the council poll in the area by a landslide two weeks before.
He said, “Our party lost all the four wards in Eruwa in the election. We also lost two of the six wards in Lanlate. What are the chairmen of the parties in these wards doing? If the party claimed victory in the last council poll conducted in these areas with almost 10,000 votes, why scoring 4,619 two weeks later? Where are the council poll votes? We refused to be part of the election because of the injustice we suffered in the party; this is the result of the problem in the APC.”
Asked if it was true that the forum supported the Accord Party in the election, Olatunbosun said that if the assertion was true, Accord Party candidate would have won.
“Millions of money was spent to mobilise votes for the APC candidate while the Accord Party’s candidate spent no money. Even though he had no sponsor, he still polled 2,855. He would have won with our support. There is a reign of impunity in the party and it must stop if the party must succeed in 2019,” he added.
When contacted, the factional chairman of the party in the state, Akin Oke, said the election was lost in Adeyemo’s hometown, Lanlate, because a candidate was sponsored from the town to play the spoiler.
He said, “The plan was for Adeyemo to complete his brother’s term so that in 2019, Eruwa can have a fresh chance. But they decided to vote for the PDP, which is not a problem. The problem was that a candidate from Lanlate was sponsored to contest in another party to spoil APC’s chance in the town. It is good this has happened so we will address the problem.”