The Labour Party in Osun State has reacted to the outcome of the governorship election where it placed a distant third.
A statement issued Sunday, three weeks after the polls, quoted Tunde Olatunji, the State APC Chairman, as attributing the poor showing of the party to those he claimed engaged in anti-party activities occasioned by material inducements.
The statement, which was by Kayode Oladeji, media aide to the LP gubernatorial candidate, quoted Mr. Olatunji as saying: “Just because of rice and N5, 000, some of our members here mortgaged their future. If I may ask: Where is the rice, the kerosene or the money they collected?”
The LP candidate in the August 9 election, Fatai Akinbade, polled 8,898 votes to finish third, behind Senator Iyiola Omisore of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, (292,747 votes) and Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate (394,684 votes).
Mr. Olatunji, however, noted that the party would not allow the result to cause a setback for the LP.
“For us it is no retreat, no surrender. We are surely marching forward it is just a question of time”, he said.
The statement urged members of the party across the state not to be demoralized by the outcome of the election.
Speaking to party officials at his Ogbaagbaa country home in Ola-Oluwa Local Government Area of the state, Mr. Akinbade appealed to the party members not to be discouraged by the outcome of the August 9 election.
“We were never disgraced. We fought gallantly and as such, our heads remain unbowed. We are just barely seven months in this party and like you all know, we faced challenges”, the statement quoted the LP candidate as saying.
“So I will just urge us to be steadfast. Failure is never final; the battle continues”, he added.
Mr. Akinbade also used the occasion to debunk rumours that he was crossing over to the APC, saying he will remain in Labour Party, and help build it to enviable heights.
“I am not moving into APC or any other party. I am staying put in the LP to rebuild it. The party has a bright future. My rumoured and imaginary movement to any other party now is just rubbish and that is why I said we shall participate fully under the LP, in the coming election”, he said.
On the presidential candidate to be supported in the 2015 general election, Mr. Akinbade said it was the LP national secretariat that would give directive on who to support.
“On the coming presidential election, it is whoever our party in Abuja directs us to work for if we don’t have candidate”, he said.