The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the party did not offer Senator Omisore any financial inducement to gain his support during the rerun election conducted on Thursday, adding that the former deputy governor never made any such demand.
He reacted to the criticisms trailing the rerun governorship poll conducted in Osun by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Oshiomhole said going by the narrow margin with which the winner emerged, it was clear that the exercise was credible.
The APC national chairman said the party worked hard to seal a deal with the candidate of SDP, Senator Iyiola Omisore, while the PDP was busy protesting against the supplementary election.
“That we agreed that we are going to give him opportunity to contest for a senate seat, that is correct. Not just the Senate but House of Representatives and House of Assembly seats. Going forward, we discussed how to work together,” he said.
ALSO READ: Osun Rerun: APC’s Oyetola Wins
He said that Omisore was a deputy governor to the founding national chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, in 1999 when he was governor, adding that Omisore is not a fake progressive but has had an early working relationship with the progressives.
Oshiomhole also disagreed that APC used intimidation against the opposition parties, saying that it was not in the interest of the ruling party to engage in such act.
He said those who were castigating the commission, including Senate President Bukola Saraki, had no basis to do so.
On the Minister of Communication, he said: “He admitted that he did not do the mandatory NYSC as provided for under the law, and in his own judgment, his being a member of the House of Assembly in the state and now as a minister of the federal republic were enough sacrifices.
“But for us as a party, we know that NYSC is a mandatory scheme. It is not something you may elect to do or abstain from doing, and my understanding of the NYSC Act is that no employer of labour is permitted to employ anyone who graduated under 30 years and who did not obtain an exemption for reasons as provided for in the NYSC Act.
“So, for us, not participating in the NYSC raises very serious moral issue as well as legal issue. After interviewing him, we were convinced that….for our party, there are clear lessons we need to learn from our recent past when people… anyway, we were convinced that if he did not do NYSC, that for us was enough to disqualify him and we had to find the courage to do so.”
ALSO READ: Edo monarch sues Oshiomole over suspension
While commending the people of Osun State for keeping faith with the party, Oshiomhole said: “We have seen over the period that the opposition party has always, whenever it is not winning election, raise issues of rigging. But I do understand PDP is quick to suggest rigging in any election in which it is not favoured by the electorate.
“The Osun election was substantially free and fair. The fact that some votes were cancelled suggest that some things went wrong the first day. But that those cancellations were effected by INEC also showed the independent of INEC to make decisions on the spot, based on evidence on ground.