Farida Suleiman, who presided over the State and National Assembly Election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has said that she conducted a free and fair election in the state.
In a statement personally signed by her, Mrs Suleiman, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the open letter by the Coalition of Concerned Members Of APC Edo State which asked the President to call Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman to order.
According to Mrs Suleiman, the allegation by the Coalition of Concerned Members Of APC Edo State is not only baseless and unfounded but a figment of the imagination of the group, whose hatchet job for the embattled State Governor is visible to the discerning.
The statement reads in part; “When the Primaries Committee members and I arrived Edo State, an obviously concocted primaries had been conducted a day before and attempts were made by Gov. Obaseki and his aides to persuade us to adopt the results of the jaundiced primaries. We stood our ground that due process must be followed and that the guidelines for the primaries as directed by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) will be carried out to the latter.
“This, I restarted at a press conference that was aired on major TV stations in Edo State. At the conclusion of our assignment, the results were also announced via a press conference in Benin city and not in Abuja as fabricated by the discredited coalition. It is therefore pertinent to state that I followed my conscience and performed the assignment to the best of my ability. Indeed, I stood my ground and turned down overtures made to us by the Governor and his emissaries to manipulate the process in favour of his anointed candidates.
“Under my watch as Chairperson of the APC primaries committee in Edo State, I make bold to say that all candidates emerged through a free, fair and transparent process. The said the younger brother of the National Chairman, Seid Oshoimhole which the authors alleged was imposed on the people of Etsako West 1 for House of Assembly was unanimously elected by APC members in that constituency. There were no manipulations, whatsoever, in his favour. Those crying wolf are sore losers who are disconnected from the people at the grassroots.
“No wonder they lost their zones and Senatorial districts to the opposition while their object of slander, the Comrade Chairman swept his own Edo North Senatorial zone for your great party.
“Prior to my deployment for the party assignment in Edo, I have never met with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Indeed, my nomination to serve was facilitated by a reputable party leader from the North. The attempt to impute personal relationship with Oshiomhole as the motive for alleged malfeasance in the conduct of the primaries is a ploy to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
“I consider the publication with respect to myself, malicious and a veiled defamation of character. I ask that the so-called “Coalition of Concerned Members of APC Edo State” retract the mention of my name in its open letter and tender an unreserved public apology within 7 days. Failure of which, I will be left with no option than to seek legal redress.
“The campaign of calumny against the party chairman orchestrated by sponsored groups will fail as our reformist leader will not be distracted in his mission to assert party supremacy and restore internal democracy whilst also ensuring that only performers get the party ticket at all levels.