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2024: Protests Rock APC Primary In Ondo



2024: Protests Rock APC Primary In Ondo

Governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have protested the conduct of the primary election to elect a candidate for the November 16 governorship election in Ondo State.

The aspirants including Chief Olusola Oke SAN, Hon Olugbenga Edema, Hon Wale Akinterinwa, and Prof Dayo Faduyile asked the leadership of the party to disband Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo-led electoral committee because it has been compromised.

Speaking at the distribution centre, the aspirants said there was no voting material seen in any of the political wards in the state fueling the speculation that the result generated from the election would not be credible.

The Director of Programme of the Wale Akinterinwa Campaign organisation, Sola Ajisafe said it was obvious that the election committee was out for a dubious exercise as there was no voting or election material in any part of the state.

He said, “For APC to bring Ododo to Ondo state is a low to our party and state, and position is that no primary election has taken place, no election materials have 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 results are 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.”

Speaking on behalf of Olusola Oke, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye said the party had assured them of a level playing field when they met with the election committee at the stakeholders meeting on Friday night.

However, Ogunleye said “On Friday, we were called to a meeting, though hurriedly, but because of our love for the party, our principal attended the stakeholders meeting. At that meeting, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege told us that this morning they were going to send election materials to all the 203 wards in Ondo State.

“We got to this place by 6:00 a.m. We don’t know when and where election materials were sent out to the Ondo South and Ondo North senatorial districts. We are not aware when those election materials were sent out of this place.

“The truth of the matter is that there was no material sent out. Yesterday, we asked for the whereabouts of His Excellency, Governor Usman Ododo, and we were told that he would be coming in this morning. He came somewhere around 9:00 a.m., and shortly after that, he came out and addressed us and informed us that election materials were sent out early this morning to Ondo South and Ondo North.”

Edema who was the only aspirant at the venue said there said “At the stakeholders meeting held at St Thomas event center, the secretary of that committee, Senator Ovie Omo-age said the collection of voting materials which include the membership register, and others will be distributed to the electoral officers whose name 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 1 PM while voting proper will start by 1 PM and end by 2 PM, then announcement of the result.

“As I am talking to you now, this is 10:40 am. We have been here since 6 am, believing that our people will collect the materials but unfortunately, at about 9:30 am, His Excellency, Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo came out to tell us that materials have been distributed. At what time? In what places? We don’t know!

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

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

Mr. Paul Oniyemofe who spoke on behalf of Prof Faduyile said there was no electoral material since he arrived at the venue. He said it would be an injustice if the party threatened its members in a dishonourable manner.