By Henry Umoru, Abuja
Ahead of Saturday, October 10, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has dismissed reports that its candidate, Prince Martin Kunle Olateru-Olagbegi has stepped down for the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede.
Addressing Journalists yesterday in Abuja, ADP National Chairman, Engineer Yabagi Yusuf Sani who described the report in certain national dailies as malicious, alleged that the PDP was the mastermind of the misinformation said Prince Olateru-Olagbegi remained the candidate to beat in the race for the Oduduwa House.
Sani also said that the ADP has concluded plans to challenge governor Godwin Obaseki’s victory at the election petition tribunal.
Sani said, “Gentlemen of the press, I welcome you to this briefing today, the 6th of October, 2020, to inform members of the public, especially the great people of Ondo State on the Action Democratic Party’s preparation to participate and win the gubernatorial election in Ondo.
“Please, permit me to remind you of our party’s outstanding performance during the last governorship election in Edo state, where the ADP recorded the third position. Let me use this opportunity to most sincerely express our gratitude to God for the violent free polls in Edo state. I wish to commend our candidate in Edo state, comrade Iboyi Emmanuel for fighting a good fight without compromising his commitment to the ADP despite intimidation political intrigues.
“We also wish to commend the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies for superintending and supervising an election that is generally perceived as free of rancour and violence, against the old order. I will not fail to congratulate our party members in Edo state, our teeming supporters and the peace-loving people of Edo for standing by the ADP candidate and voted overwhelmingly for our party to emerge the number three position. This is indeed a demonstration of the faith that the people have in the ADP having tasted the bitter pills provided by both the APC and PDP.
“We wish to place on record that our legal team have since commenced consultations with relevant stakeholders, with a view to exploring possible litigation over the brazen violation of the electoral process by both the PDP and APC during the concluded election.
“Let me also remind you that our party, the ADP have a pending pre-election matter against the ruling PDP in Edo state. I want to assure you that we are ready to prosecute this matter to a logical conclusion until justice is done to the great people of Edo state.
“I wish to draw your attention to a malicious statement sponsored by some self-seeking political jobbers in an online publication, the Daily Post of 5th October 2020 who purportedly reported that the ADP alongside 9 other participating political parties have withdrawn from the governorship race in Ondo state to support the PDP candidate.
“The ADP considers this statement as a ploy, malicious, and untrue. We condemn this falsehood in its strongest term and warn these visionless hungry politicians and their sponsors to issue a rebuttal or face litigation. This is not their first attempt as it has become a common trend in their futile exercise to deceive members of the public in order to market their unpopular candidate. And of course, we know those behind these unfortunate plots. The PDP is behind this toxic idea because the statement emanated from their state secretariat in Akure.
“Let me state for the records that we have never contemplated, neither have we discussed with anyone that we intend to go into alliance with any political party. We wish to inform the great people of Ondo state that ADP HAVE NOT WITHDRAWN, AND SHALL NOT WITHDRAW from the Ondo state governorship race.
“Our candidate, Prince Martin Kunle Olateru-Olagbegi, a loyal party member, patriotic Nigerian and an international figure, is still very much in the race to occupy the Oduduwa House, come 10th October 2020 by the grace of God. We shall not take this falsehood with a pint of salt and we urge our party men, women, supporters, and the good people of Ondo state to remain unshaken and vote for the ADP.
“The ADP campaign machinery in Ondo state have been properly oiled and is waxing very strong, permeating every nook and cranny of the state to engage with the people. Little wonder, some other political parties have become jittery and will stop at nothing other than engaging in deception and rhetoric. We, therefore, urge our members not to panic but remain committed and resolute in order to tame this monster of callousness.
“Finally, while we commend INEC for performing its statutory role in conducting a rancor-free poll in Edo state, we wish to call on the Commission to continue to plat the role of an unbiased umpire by ensuring that all the participating political parties are guaranteed a level playing field to test their popularity. We also call on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the security agencies to abide by the rules of engagement and remain civil in their dealings during the election so as not to molest or intimidate innocent voters, thereby disenfranchising the people.”
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