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Allegations, wild claims with no iota of truth – APC chief

Allegations, wild claims with no iota of truth – APC chief

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The Chairman, All Progressives Congress Reconciliation Committee in charge of Kogi West senatorial district, Duro Meseko, tells GBENGA ODOGUN that the APC won the House of Representatives bye-election with a clear margin

The APC candidate was declared winner of the bye-election held penultimate Saturday in the state. Do you think that your party actually defeated the PDP in the poll?

We, in the APC, are perfectly in agreement with the conduct of the election. In fact, kudos to INEC for the way it handled the election with confirmed international best practices. Those crying foul are only crying wolf where there is none. They found it difficult to come to terms with their defeat and the sooner they did that, the better for our democracy.

What does the victory portends for the APC?

The victory means that the people have rightly affirmed the choice of the APC as the ruling party in the state. It also means that the party will now work harder than before to justify the confidence the people have in the party.

The opposition, particularly the PDP, has rejected the outcome of the election. What is your party’s reaction?

I sincerely hope our democracy will grow to a point where the loser will gladly say, ‘Congratulations to the winner. I lost this time. There will always be another time.’ I ran for the governorship in 2007. I lost, I knew that the election was not free and fair, but I accepted the verdict because I knew that there would be another time. I think that is what should happen instead of trying to rubbish an election by levying spurious allegations: ‘They spent money. They did this. They did that.’

Is it also true that you imported thugs from Ekiti, Ondo, Nasarawa and other states?

It is not true. They are wild claims with no iota of truth. There was nothing like that. There was even an allegation that the chief of staff to the governor was moving round with thugs to hijack election materials. I was also alleged to have become an onion distributor on Election Day when I was just in my house. I did not move around. They even did a photoshop depicting somebody with a deep wound allegedly inflicted by thugs moving with the Speaker of the House of Assembly at the Osokoso area, until somebody called from Lagos and identified the victim as his personal assistant. All these are part of propaganda aimed at rubbishing the election instead of accepting defeat with magnanimity. I am a journalist. I know what I am saying. It is not true. Nothing like that happened.

Now that your party has won the election, is the APC ready to extend a hand of fellowship to other parties in order to move the state forward?

Oh yes, immediately after the election, the governor called party members to reach out to other parties and solicit their cooperation and that’s exactly what we have done. Our doors are wide open. We are open to constructive criticisms, but not destructive ones.

The state government recently set up a committee to reconcile all aggrieved party members. Has the committee recorded any success?

As the chairman of the committee in charge of Kogi West Senatorial District, I am glad to say that the exercise has recorded tremendous success. By the grace of God, very soon, we are going to organise a rally to welcome those reconciled and who recently defected to our party. I am happy to report that several aggrieved party members have been contacted and have agreed to return to the party.

Some elements within the party who for one reason or the other have remained passive have become active and even some bigwigs within the party, we have been able to talk to them. In a political party, there are bound to be disagreements and we have been able to bring them all together. It has been an amazing experience, especially across the five local government areas where we covered. I don’t want to mention names now, but several APC members who had been passive have been brought together and have vowed to work for the electoral success of the party. So, I can assure you that 2019 is ours to take.

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