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Ondo APC Primary…Governor Aiyedatiwa Coasting To Victory Amid Protest



As the collation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary results commences in Ondo State, the state governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, seems to be coasting to victory.

Aiyedatiwa who contested Saturday’s governorship primary election alongside 15 other aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is in on early lead as results continued to trickle in from polling units across the state.

Although, the seven-man primary electoral committee of the party led by Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi State was yet to announce the winner of the exercise at the time of this report, LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that the committee may eventually announce the governor as a winner based on the reality on ground.

To retain his seat, the incumbent is seeking the ticket of the party alongside 15 other aspirants, among who are; Olusoji Ehinlanwo, Jimi Odimayo, Jimoh Ibrahim, and APC National Vice Chairman (South West) Isaacs Kekemeke.


Others are Wale Akinterinwa, Olugbenga Edema, Chief Olusola Oke (SAN), Olamide Ohunyeye, Morayo Lebi, Oladiran Iyantan, Prof. Francis Faduyile, Mayowa Akinfolarin, and Ifeoluwa Oyedele, as well as two female aspirants, Funmilayo Adekojo and Funke Omogoroye.

LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that a total of 171,922 accredited members of the party are expected to vote in the direct primary election exercise, scheduled to hold in 203 wards of 18 local government areas.
However, the governorship primaries held on Saturday were met with violence and discrepancies, as some aspirants alleged that voting did not take place in most of the 203 wards.

Addressing journalists at BON Hotel in Akure, the state capital on Saturday, the aggrieved aspirants called for the cancellation of the governorship primary election of the party over alleged fraud perpetrated by the Electoral Committee led by Governor Ododo of Kogi State.

The aspirants, who also asked the national leadership of the party to, as a matter of urgency, remove the chairman of the Electoral Committee, noted that they no longer trust in his ability to conduct a free and fair election following the current controversy trailing the exercise.

Led by Barrister Gbenga Edema, they faulted the exercise and warned that the development, if not well-handled, might affect the outcome of the shadow election and the November governorship election.
Edema said, “At the stakeholders meeting held at St. Thomas Event Centre, the secretary of that committee, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege said the collection of voting materials which include the membership register, and others will be distributed to the electoral officers whose names he announced to us in each of the 203 wards of Ondo State.


“That they should come to BON Hotel to collect the materials and that accreditation will start by 10 am, to be completed by 1p.m while voting proper will start by 1pm and end by 2pm, then the announcement of the results.

“As I am talking to you now, this is, we’ve been here since 6am, believing that our people will collect the materials but unfortunately, at about 9:30am, His Excellency Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, came out to tell us that materials had been distributed. At what time? In what places? We don’t know!

“Unfortunately, for him, the returning officers and electoral officers of my ward, Mahin Ward II in Ilaje local government are here and unable to collect any material.

“What we are asking for is a credible election. So, we are asking the leadership of the party to look into this. If they’re not ready for this election, they should postpone it and the right thing should be done.”

Also, Sola Ajisafe, who spoke on behalf of another aspirant, Akinterinwa, said; “for APC to bring Ododo to Ondo State is a low to our party and state, and our position is that no primary election has taken place, no election material has left here, and we are saying that the leadership of the party should do the needful by sending another neutral person, just like they did in Edo State to come and conduct another primary election where the good people of Ondo State will freely exercise their franchise to pick their candidate.


“If the leadership of the party failed to do the needful, then there is a way we will react and we are going to react accordingly. If any result is announced, we are telling the leadership of the party, including President Bola Tinubu that no election took place in Ondo State, and no materials were distributed for us to pick our preferred candidate.”

Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, while also speaking on behalf of another aspirant, Olusola Oke, said; “we got here around 6:30am, we don’t know when and where the election materials were sent out from this place to Ondo South and North senatorial districts. The truth of the matter is that there were no materials sent out.

“Why can’t they follow the due process? The national leadership of the party should call Ododo to order, they should follow the guidelines they released.”
Reacting , the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi State, commended stakeholders and members of the party in Ondo state for their orderly conduct and massive turnout during the direct primary election in the state.

Governor Ododo gave the commendation while receiving reports from members of the APC Governorship Primary Election committee, security agencies and other stakeholders who monitored the conduct of the election in different parts of the 18 local government areas in the state.
According to Governor Ododo, “I have received reports from our committee members and security agencies as well as NGOs monitoring the election including video footage and I can say that the process has been transparent and we are going to produce a candidate that will unify the APC ahead of the November, 2024 governorship election in the state.”

Responding to questions over delay in arrival of materials in some wards and local government areas, Governor Ododo said he was certain that the delay has no adverse effect on the conduct of the primary election.


The Kogi State Governor also expressed confidence that concerns noticed in the revalidated membership list would not have any major impact on the outcome of the primary election, stressing that the committee is well guided by the APC guidelines for the nomination of candidates for general elections and relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Governor Ododo called on the aspirants and their supporters to see the primary election as a contest among brothers and sisters in one family seeking to make the family better as a candidate of the party in the November, 2024 Governorship election in Ondo State.

Meanwhile, violence erupted between supporters of rival aspirants contesting the Ondo State governorship primary election on Saturday.
LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that violence broke out at Ward 1, Stella Maris College in Okitipupa local government area and Ward 8, Ward 10, and Ward 11 in Akure, the state capital.
It was gathered that supporters of one of the aspirants stormed the wards and disrupted the process.

Source link: Leadership

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