FULL TEXT OF OLUSEGUN ABRAHAM’s ADDRESS AT A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD TODAY, 25TH OF SEPTEMBER, 2016, AT THE NUJ PRESS CENTRE, AKURE.
Appeal to the Conscience, [Religion, Justice and Humanity] of the present APC Leaders – RECLAIMING MY MANDATE
I offer warm greetings to the Party leaders, members and the party executive of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria and particularly in Ondo state. I greet you most cordially, all my delegates and supporters who have traversed the length and breadth of Ondo State in order to actualise our goal – the revival of Ondo state both economically and democratically.
We had believed that for the first time in our party’s history, we had come together to fully renounce corrupt practices, to unequivocally renounce primaries with pre-determined outcomes. Our collective hope had been raised that true power would be in the hands of the people – the party faithfuls.
What we have witnessed instead in the last couple of weeks, has been quite disappointing. We have witnessed the deepening of the act of perpetuating fraud through the disenfranchisement of the people of their basic right of choice and freewill.
It is important we look at our history for reference. What ruined NPN of the 80s were the corrupt practices during the elections, which as we witnessed led to the further embedment of corruption in our political socio-economy and the decline of democracy in that era of Nigeria’s history. Until today, our democracy and politics is fraught with flaws borne from a past era of political injustice.
There can be no authentic and stable democratic government without justice. There is now a growing awareness that the APC government has the capacity to indulge in corrupt and unjust systems and practices. Resolving the quagmire in Ondo State is a golden opportunity for the APC to showcase to the world and give Nigerians real confidence that we are a just and honest party.
“I am simply a representative of our voters/party delegates, and if I at any moment fail to represent their interest and fight to claim their mandate, then I am a let-down, fortunately I [am] not born a let-down. My votes are legitimate and unchallenged.
All top 3 [runner ups] challenged the results of the alleged [winner]. Our petition noted that 157 fake delegates were injected into the delegates’ list in 12 out of the 18 local governments areas (LGAs). This includes 54 delegates loyal to our mandate in at least three LGAs of Akoko North West (13), Akoko North East (26) and Idanre (15), who were disenfranchised and substituted with fake delegates. We have sought that these disenfranchised votes should be added to my poll (635), after the fake and substituted ones have been removed from votes polled by the acclaimed beneficiary.
Winston Churchill once said, “the truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack, ignorance may deride, but in the end, there it is”.
As the people have placed their full confidence in me, through both their votes and their continuous clamour for my mandate, I have resolved to employ carefully weighed constitutional means within our party and explore all other levels of our party’s internal mechanism, to seek redress with full determination to get our mandate back. I will stay in our party, the APC, and we will right the wrongs as soon as possible!”
Silence is one of the great acts of conversation. I have made my representation that I won this election to the [Appeal Committee] and remained silent to allow the relevant parties enough time to do the right thing. In the interest of the people who have refused to let injustice and the oppression of their voices prevail, as well as for my own conscience, I stand together with them unequivocally against corruption and injustice, and reject the decision to allow fraud stand or masquerade as truth.
Victory and success can never be, so long as injustice and manipulation controls the internal structure of the party. The party would only produce leaders that will control and manipulate people and nurture corruption, of which such has been the fate of Nigerians in the hands of PDP in the last 16 years when Nigeria became the known as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
We, the political class, are models to our massive populace that watch and mimic our every move. Look that our young people, especially in the less urban States where the use of their talents and skills for economy activities is at best low and at worst inexistent. “Politics” is a job title in these parts. When you engage them to ascertain what they actually do, the reality is quite sad. Their minds and abilities are being used by the few powerful to perpetuate manipulation, prejudice and violence. Thuggery has become more lucrative than farming in areas blessed with vast, fertile farmlands.
We may deride them for their actions but their actions are derived directly and modelled after those in leadership positions in their political party, state and nation. Positions which in actual fact was wrought by the invisible hand of Providence. While we may be far removed from the decay that exist in society, we are the direct source and give life to the continuation of this decay from the “insignificant” day-to-day decisions in the corridors of power to the significant public decisions to manipulate outcomes.
It is in line with these above, that I appeal to the conscience of our party to embrace my protest against this injustice, as I urge them to consider the re-enfranchising and rightful allotting of my eligible delegates’ votes, which will essentially make me reclaim my mandate as the flag bearer of our party in the forthcoming general election in Ondo state.
The APC, as the opposition party in Ondo state, has the unique chance to conquer any party in the State, but this can only be achieved when there is justice, Fairplay and sincerity of purpose. As Winston Churchill once said, Kites rise the highest against the wind, not with the wind – We must fly high against corruption and reject the pressure to coast low with injustice.
God bless us all.
Dr. Michael Olusegun Abraham.