Offa Rerun: Claiming unmerited victory is against Islam & my conscience –Hadji Jimoh Afolabi

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The councillorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last Saturday’s rerun in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Hadji Jimoh Afolabi, has rejected his declaration as the winner of election in his ward by State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC). He confessed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate won in his ward.

Hadji Jimoh, a young politician said during his emotion laden confession that he remains a loyal member of the PDP, but being a Muslim and a faithful Offa indigene, he would not claim the victory he did not win. Jimoh, contested the Shawo Southwest Offa seat, said the Electoral Commission must have declared him the winner in error. “In all the eight polling units in my ward (Shawo Southwest) the PDP lost, while the APC won convincingly in all the polling units in the rerun on August 31, 2013. I know well that the town stands for equity and justice. I know that we shall give account of all our actions on this earth one day.

On the PDP allegation that he is not a member of the PDP and not the candidate of the PDP in the rerun, he Afolabi Oluwolechallenged the Party to bring forth another candidate known to the community and to KWSIEC. He said: “I remain the authentic candidate of the PDP for Shawo Southwest Ward. I make bold to say that in all the eight polling units in my ward, the PDP lost that day.

Hadji Afolabi is described by Mr. Sunday Alagbe, a mechanic in Shawo, as an easy going Alfa. Further investigation show that Jimoh is a member of the Tebleeg Islamic Movement a normadic preaching group. Jimoh during his press conference further said “As a native of this town, I don’t wish my town a bad thing. If something like this continues to happen and we decide to cover it up for one reason or the other, if not now, in the future we will account for everything. “It is very good for us to call a spade a spade anywhere we see it. By doing this, you are helping yourself and others. In the interest of peace and justice in Offa and Kwara State, KWSIEC should release the authentic results of last Saturday’s local government poll in Offa.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party in the rerun election has urged President Goodluck Jonathan; the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, to prevail on KWSIEC to release the authentic result of the rerun.

The APC during their press conference asserted that “The people of Offa have said that they don’t want the PDP. It is clear that Offa people want the APC. The election is a test for both the APC and the PDP. It was a test for the PDP people to correct the wrongs they have been doing, which made the people to hate them. For the APC that won, it should check itself and examine what it has been doing that makes it acceptable in Offa.” Jimoh’s confession gives the lie to the election results the KWSIEC announced on the state radio.

The APC chairmanship candidate, Saheed Popoola, yesterday said the announcement of the PDP candidate as the winner was laughable, unjust and dangerous to democracy. Addressing reporters in Offa, Popoola urged well-meaning Nigerians, including President Jonathan, the IGP and Prof Jega to prevail on KWSIEC to upturn its injustice. He said the authentic results, which were obtained from the collation centres, be declared in the interest of peace, justice and progress.

Popoola said: “The people of Offa Local Government, last Saturday, unequivocally decided that I, Saheed Popoola of the APC, is their choice. This choice must be respected, and we stand before God and man to declare that we stand by this choice.

“We are going to do everything possible within the ambit of the law to retrieve this mandate and exercise it to the benefit of the people of Offa. We shall not rest or tire until the people’s choice is sworn in.” Popoola said the party had petitioned Radio Kwara for breaking the National Broadcasting Corporation’s (NBC’s) code. “Already, we have petitioned Radio Kwara for breaking NBC’s rules. The guideline is here on the conduct of the announcement of result of election. Also, we have petitioned the INEC over the conduct of the KWSIEC officials, who have turned themselves to be agents of the PDP. We could not identify the difference between KWSIEC and the PDP. We discovered that Dr Uthman Ajidagba is a card-carrying member of the PDP. We have petitioned them. Already, we are in the Court of Appeal.

“There was a case that was going on before the election and there was a ruling last Friday. We are already in the Court of Appeal. By the grace of God, we are going to send them out of that place.

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