WorldStage Newsonline– The rumble of controversy on the recent primary elections in Lagos State has forced the resignation of Commissioner for Energy and Mineral, Mr. Wale Oluwo, from office.
Oluwo not only resigned from office, he also withdrew his membership of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
His resignation was contained in a letter dated Dec.3 and submitted to the party’s secretariat today.
Oluwo explained that his decision was necessitated by the outcome of the party’s primaries held in October.
He said that the primary was characterized by disenfranchisement, undue influence, violence, and intimidation among other activities that violated the Electoral Act 2010(as amended).
“My decision to resign is not unconnected with the events of the last few weeks, which have created a heavy moral burden on me.
“I have found it rather difficult to come to terms or rationalise the party’s conduct of the October primary elections, which were largely characterised by massive voter disenfranchisement, intimidation, and non-compliance with all known principles of democracy,” he said.
According to him, the primaries have brought the state to disrepute.
It will be recalled that the state party primaries saw the incumbent governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode losing the nomination ticket for re-election to Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Oluwo also hinted that he would in few days join the People’s Democratic Congress(PDP) so as to support Mr. Jimi Agbaje, the party’s governorship candidate.
“Yes, I have quit the cabinet of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode and have even written to the APC to notify the party of my exit.
“I am quitting the APC because of the poor internal democracy in the party.The last primaries party which was characterised by imposition, violence and intimidation attested to the fact that APC does not follow democratic ideals.
“In the particular case of the gubernatorial primary,the open ballot system was used in contravention of the party guidelines which prescribes the open secret ballot.
“I can no longer remain in a party where merit, competence and passion are sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. And I think it is my right of freedom to quit to join the party of my choice.
“I will in a few days be joining the PDP to support Mr Jimi Agbaje. That is my choice and destination,” he said.
In his reaction, Assistant Publicity of APC in the state, Mr. Abiodun Salami, said the commissioner was right to quit and join the party of his choice.
Salami however said that Oluwo’s reasons were not tenable
Salami argued that Oluwo was wrong to have claimed that the use of the open ballot in the primaries was unconstitutional, saying the party guidelines provided for both open and open secret system.
“Well, we can only say it is his right to leave the party; it is his decision.
“But what we find shocking is the reason he gave for leaving. The claim that there is no internal democracy in the party and that the open ballot was used in the last primaries instead of open secret was spurious.
“I think the commissioner is ignorant of the party’s constitution. He probably did not know that the constitution of the party provides for both the open and secret system.
“That he is leaving because results did not go in the way he expected shows that he is not a democrat. I am not sure he is even a card carrying member of the party because we didn’t bring him into government
“He is going to where he truly belongs, PDP, the conservative party where things are done as they please. He should leave the APC in peace and stop the blackmail,” he said