By Michael Adesanya/ Abeokuta
Local government Councillors elected on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) on Monday said the National Working Committee (NWC) decision to recognise Dapo Abiodun as governorship candidate of the party was a daylight robbery.
The councillors who spoke one after the other, at the meeting which took place at Obas Conference Hall, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital declared their support for Adekunle Akinlade, the preferred candidate of Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
However, their denial comes as Ogun State Youth Forum on Monday joined the list of protesters demanding recognition of Akinlade, who is the anointed candidate of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, as the official candidate of the party.
Speaking at the meeting, the House Leader of Remo North Local Government Area Legislative Council, Jide Opafola demanded pictorial evidence of 276 councillors who reportedly declared support for Abiodun.
“We know ourselves. Let them provide pictorial evidence of the 276 councillors. Failure to do so means they are living in the fools’ paradise,” Opafola who presided over the meeting, said.
While pledging their ‘unalloyed support’ for Akinlade, Opafola vowed that the councillors would not allow their mandate give to Amosun’s be stolen “through the back door.”
In his contribution, another councillor, Adedayo Babajuwon, who represents Ijebu-Mushin Ward II, Ijebu East Central LCDA, said the the only “visible and tenable” governorship primary held in the state was the one which produced Akinlade as candidate.
“Contrary to the rumours going on in some quarters, we are not coerced to do this. We are not paid and we are not under pressure to do this. But he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.
“I want to say unequivocally that all of us seated here, we are demanding that the mandate given to Akinlade should be returned to him or else hell will be let loose.
“I want to say on behalf of my colleagues that what the NWC has done is nothing but a daylight robbery and we are saying no until they return it.”
However, while the councillors were concluding their meeting, hundreds of youths under the aegis of Ogun State Youth Forum gathered at Arcade Ground, a stone’s throw from Obas Hall, equally demanding that the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC recognise Akinlade as official of APC.
Speaking on their behalf, the Ogun Central Coordinator of Forum, Lukman Abatan said “Ogun Youth Forum, in one voice, we are saying that our mandate which was stolen by Adams Oshiomhole should be returned.”
Abatan vowed to continue the protest until Akinlade, who according to him, is one of them is recognised as candidate.
Addressing the protesters, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jide Ojuko said the youth must resist intimidation and match on until the mandate is restored.
“I want to urge you not to be waried. You must match against this impunity until the mandate is restored. And I am sure by the grace of God, come May 2019, Adekunle Akinlade will be our governor,” Ojuko said.