Less than twenty-four hours to the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, two of the governorship aspirants, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke and Hon Wole Oke, have announced their decisions to withdraw from the primary, billed to hold today in Osogbo.
Their withdrawal came on the heels of last Tuesday’s allege assault on Adeleke by the supporters of another aspirant, Senator Iyiola Omisore and Wednesday’s ward congress, which they have all condemned.
Addressing journalists at his country home in Ede, Adeleke said he resolved to boycott the primary in order not to waste the lives of his followers because of “an aspirant desperation and determination to “maim and kill to secure the ticket at all costs.”
Adeleke, who was the first executive governor of Osun State, said Senator Iyiola Omisore was desperate to emerge as the party’s candidate.
He said the party machinery had been hijacked to favour only Omisore, saying his decision not to participate in the primary should not be seen as an act of cowardice or fear.
He said he might decide to participate in the primary whenever the party is ready to organise a transparent and fair primary in future.
Similarly, Wole Oke, former chairman, Committee on Defense in the House of Representatives, insisted that he wanted justice and fairness, alleging that the state PDP chairman, Ganiyu Olaoluwa, is working for Omisore.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has described the violence associated with the PDP primary in the state as capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in “our peaceful state.”
It will be recalled that the supporters of Omisore and Adeleke clashed last Tuesday, at a hotel in Oshogbo, where PDP aspirants assembled to meet a five-man electoral committee from Abuja to oversee the state congress and primary.
According to the report, Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, a supporter of Omisore, allegedly ordered his escorts to search Adeleke’s aides when they arrived at the hotel.
An argument between Adeleke and Omisore was said to have led to a clash, during which the former governor was allegedly beaten up.
Adeleke later told newsmen that he and his men were beaten up by the supporters of Omisore and Adesiyan.
A detachment of anti-riot police had been deployed to the PDP’s state party secretariat along Gbongan road to ensure that there was no breakdown of law during governorship primary.