The National Legal Adviser, Alliance for Democracy, Mr. Kehinde Aworele, on Friday said the party’s National Executive Committee did not recognise Chief Olusola Oke as its governorship candidate in the forthcoming Ondo state election.
Oke, who claims to be AD’s gubernatorial flag bearer for the election coming up on November 26, had in 2012 contested governorship election in the state on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party and lost. He defected to All Progressives Congress where he vied for governorship ticket for the November poll but was unsuccessful. He immediately switched to AD and claimed to have picked its gubernatorial mandate for the election.
The AD National Organising Secretary, Mr. Ibrahim Abdollah, had in a communiqué on October 14 in Akure, after the party’s NEC meeting said the party was unaware of Oke’s candidature.Aworele told newsmen that there were certain decisions taken solely by the National Chairman of the party, Chief Joseph Avazi, which ought to have been done by the NEC. He maintained that the outcome of October 14 NEC meeting remained binding, saying, “we have said that Olusola Oke is not known to the party because he does not follow proper procedure of the party, so he is not even a member of AD.
“On the issue of his eligibility, I will not comment on that because it is pending before the Federal High Court, Akure. “But, I can tell you that he is not a member of our party because he has not complied with the constitutional procedure of our party by which a candidate should emerge.” He said the party had a candidate named Mr. Akin Olowookere, who purportedly stepped down for Olusola Oke, but had not formally informed the party.
He said, “It was some members of the party who went to the media that we had rescinded our earlier decision through the communique issued by the party’s NEC. “There was information that Olusola Oke met some members who later spoke against our decision but this cannot be valid. “As at today, we have passed a vote of no confidence on the national chairman, national secretary and national auditor of the party and it is the NEC of the party that can make a change of that decision.
“I don’t have anything against Oke as a person; he is a nice gentleman and a member of my profession but he should not come through the backdoor.” He said the party needed more members but that whoever wanted to join should take the proper channel in order not to jeopardise the party pedigree and integrity.
Reacting, Oke’s Campaign Manager, Mr. Bola Ilori, said that AD’s legal adviser’s position was a “distraction and entertainment’’. He was supported by the Secretary of the party in the state, Mr. Sola Agboola, who said that those against Oke’s candidature were being sponsored by the opposition. Similarly, Olowookere said that he had stepped down for Oke, adding that Aworele was “merely distracting the teeming supporters of Chief Oke’’.