The main opponent of Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi at the just concluded National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in Abuja, Lanre Issa-Onilu has reacted to why he has not congratulated his kinsman.
Onilu who is also from Kwara emerged the main challenger against Abdullahi for the post of the National Publicity Secretary of the party that was zoned to the North Central.
He however came last in the race with 56 votes to trail Abdullahi who polled 2002 votes to emerge the winner.
Although he was reportedly sponsored by Gbemisola Saraki who was appointed a member of the venue committee for the convention, the factional members allegedly declared support for him against the candidature of Abdullahi.
Since the victory, congratulatory messages have poured in for Abdullahi from fellow party stalwarts and leaders of the party, including the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Speaker Ali Ahmad among others.
But speaking with Pilot Politics last night on the issue, Onilu in a telephone conversation with our reporter queried why he needs to congratulate Abdullahi in the first place.
According to him, the question of whether he congratulated Abdullahi or not was not professional enough adding that he refused to step down for the party’s publicity secretary because he was exercising his constitutional right.
“Why would you query the reason I refused to step down (despite not having any support from Kwara delegates) for Bolaji Abdullahi?
“It is my constitutional right to contest and I exercise that privilege. And for those that alleged that I didn’t get any vote from Kwara delegates, where did they get that from. It was not an open ballot system where you will know and can count those that voted for a particular candidate.
“What kind of congratulatory message do you expect and what platform should that be”, he noted.
But when told to explore any of the several avenues that those who had congratulated Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi used, he said “look, I don’t have comment, I don’t have comment”.
It was learnt that Onilu insisted on contesting the race with Bolaji Abdullahi and shun overtures reportedly from some delegates from the state to toe the line of some contestants from outside Kwara who reportedly stepped down from the race.
He had reacted to the issue through his facebook page after the defeat that “The story of his defeat may never be known”