By Segun Ojo
There were indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC) might hold fresh primary for its governorship aspirants in Ondo State, following the recommendation of the APC Appeal Committee set up on the September 3 election.
The recommendation of the appeal committee has infused fears in the camp Mr Rotimi Akeredolu who won the last contested primary.
Among the recommendations of the committee is the cancellation of the September 3 primary and a fresh primary to produce a candidate for the forthcoming governorship election.
Three aspirants that participated in the primary had petitioned the committee, alleging that the delegates list was manipulated for the election.
The aggrieved aspirants are: Chief Olusola Oke, Dr. Olusegun Abraham and Prof. Ajayi Boroffice.
Besides, the Chairman of Ondo Central APC, Adegboyega Adedipe; his Ondo East counterpart, Akintunde Temitope; and a delegate, Toyin Ajinde had also petitioned the appeal committee on the same ground.
Headed by Hellen Bendega, the committee held that there were ‘serious and weighty, identified irregularities’ in the September 3 primary.
CityMirrorNews learnt that the national leadership of the APC has received the report of the committee, and it has started reviewing it for possible implementation.
According to the committee, a rerun primary should be held immediately to beat the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Committee for the submission of the names of candidates for the election.
The panel also suggested that the party’s national leadership should revert to the earlier delegates’ list, which was distributed to aspirants in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, shortly before the primary.
According to the committee, a final and properly harmonised list acceptable to all contenders should be compiled.
It said the delegates’ list should not be released on the eve of the primary, but much earlier to give sufficient time for the take-off of the election and avoid being used in favour of any aspirant.
The panel pointed out that although there was substantial compliance with rules during the primary, “that consideration may not be sufficient reason to ignore such serious and weighty, identified irregularities”.
It added: “In view of the change mantra of this administration, it is pertinent that the party blazes the trail by refusing to condone a less than perfect exercise. We, therefore, formally submit our recommendations for the National Working Committee to use its discretionary powers in line with the APC constitution and the Electoral Act to arrive at a final decision.”
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