Obviously not amused by the way and manner the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) conducted its gubernatorial primary in Lagos State in which the incumbent, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode was denied a second term ticket, the state Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olawale Oluwo on Wednesday resigned his appointment and decamped to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Oluwo also resigned his party membership in a letter he wrote the state chairman of APC, Alhaji Babatunde Balogun, while in another message made available to newsmen, the commissioner announced his defection to the leading opposition party, the PDP vowing to work for victory of its gubernatorial candidate, Mr Jimi Agbaje, who he described as his friend.
According to the commissioner, he had earlier in the day submitted his resignation letter with the state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, criticising the party concerning the way and manner it handled the last October primary exercise, which he said was in violation of the party’s guidelines.
Oluwo said, “Continued use an arm of government by a powerful group within the party to intimidate critical institutions of democracy in the state, undermines the doctrine of separation of powers, creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and impairs government’s ability to implement policies and programmes that will benefit the majority of the people.
“A few hours ago, I submitted to His Excellency, the governor of Lagos State, a letter of resignation of my appointment as the Honourable Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources. Consequently, as a registered member of All Progressives Congress. I have deemed it necessary to notify you of my intention to reconsider my membership status.
“My decision to resign is not unconnected with the event of the last few weeks, which have created heavy moral burden for me. I have found it rather difficult to come to terms or rationalize the party’s conduct of the October 2018 primary elections, which were largely characterised by massive voter disenfranchisement, intimidation, violence, undue influence and non- compliance with all known principle of democracy.
‘’ In the particular case of the gubernatorial primary which was conducted using the ‘open ballot’ option in violation of the guidelines of the APC that specified the ‘open secret ballot’ option, it is clear to me that the core principles of merit, competence, justice and fairness have been sacrificed by the APC on the alter of political expediency.’’
“The integrity sufficient nature of the primary has significantly diminished the hard earned reputation of our state as a reference point for free and fair democratic practice.’’