Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo State, Barrister Oladele Bankole Balogun, former Federal Commissioner PCC, House of Representatives candidate 2015 and 2019, has petitioned the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), Abuja, protesting hijack and of the ward congress in Akoko-Edo LG and the associated violence and irregularities that marred transparent, free and fair electoral process in the election of ward leaders in the local government. Balogun expressed confidence on the members of the PDP NWC who he said had designed transparent electoral process for the ward before it was hijacked by some party stakeholders.
Balogun in his petition, decried: “Regrettably, a process that was designed to be transparent by the NWC was hijacked by few elements that are desperately seeking to convert Edo PDP into a personal property.”
he maintained: “Evidence of irregularities and violence against innocent party men and women are obvious in my Local Government Area -Akoko Edo LGA.
“You do not expect that a party of civilised people in the 21st century would conduct such a sham ward congress.”
Balogun declared that democratic elections were not conducted across the 10 Wards of Akoko-Edo LGA.
“Those that were courageous to demand compliance with the party/INEC guidelines were brutalized and others were arrested and dumped at the police station at Igarra,” he added.
He said that the scope of irregularities was enough for hum to quit PDP but expect the NWC will restore justice.
He narrated: “a band of merry men and jobbers who claimed to be acting the script from above turned what should have been a demonstration/ celebration of our strong democracy into a show of shame and utter desperation.”
Balogun, therefore, protested: “The gross abuse of the process is a sufficient ground for me to exit the party.
“In the meantime , I hope the Appeal process will be transparent and deal with all the issues raised in Akoko-Edo.”
He affirmed his complete confidence in the ability of the NWC to investigate, take appropriate action and remedy the already bad situation.
Balogun, thereafter, threatened: “In the absence of the right thing not being done , we would look at all honourable options.”
Barrister Balogun refuted reports that he is one of the candidates for PDP State Chairman in Edo. He said he is not contesting for state chairman at the Congress.
“This is far from the truth. I have not purchased a form, nor consulted with any group or leaders or persons in the party .
“It is, however, an honour that I am being seen and considered by some as a credible person to handle the affairs of the party as Chairman in a democratic , transparent and progressive way which has eluded the party in recent times.
“I must commend the efforts of the National Chairman and members of the PDP National Working Committee, (NWC), in their determination for a free and fair Congresses in Edo State,” Balogun said.
The Akoko-Edo PDP leader assured of his commitment to ensuring quality leadership in the party, adding that he remains loyal to the party.
He declared: “My desire for a responsible PDP leadership at all levels in Edo State is unquestionable…
“I remain a loyal member of this party and the leader of the party in Akoko -Edo .
“It appears to me that we must break away from the cycle of hypocrisy, deceit and undemocratic values.
“We must instill discipline in all our democratic processes .
“This is what will endear us to the general public and ultimately begin to win us elections again, not political rascality and gerrymandering all aimed at a stronghold on the throat of the party for egotistical and selfish reasons.”
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