Aspirants protest Ondo APC governorship primary, demand cancellation

Some All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirants in Ondo State have passed a vote of no confidence in the primary election committee chairman, Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the APC primary election in the 203 wards in the state is to elect the party’s flag bearer for the Nov. 16 governorship election.

Addressing newsmen on Saturday in Akure, even as the election was ongoing, the aspirants said that Gov. Ododo did not follow the due process laid down by the national leadership of the party.

Mr Gbenga Edema, one of the aspirants, frowned at the delay in the release of electoral materials meant for the primary.

According to Edema, as at 10: 00 a.m., electoral materials had not been released contrary to the resolution made during a stakeholders’ meeting on Friday.

“As I’m speaking to you at past 10:00 am, no electoral materials have been distributed.

“We have been here with others before 7;00 a.m. because the secretary of the committee, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, told us during the stakeholders’ meeting that the materials would be distributed to the electoral officers at the BON Hotel, Akure.

“He told us that the accreditation would start between 10:00:am and 1:00 pm and that voting would commence by 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

“But what we are hearing now is that the election has been concluded and the result announced.

“We asked the chairman, but he had no answer to our questions.

“We are not people that could be manipulated by godfathers. So, we are asking our national leadership that if they are not ready, they should postpone it until the right thing is done,” he said.

Similarly, Mr Sola Ajisafe, who represented Mr Wale Akinterinwa, one of the aspirants, said that there was no election held in the state.

“My people have been calling me that no single material has been distributed in their wards.

“What is playing out here is connivance and agreement by Gov. Ododo to short-change the people of the state and reduce our capacity to choose our leader.

“We are saying that they should reschedule another election because this election did not even hold.

“This is another form of failure. Ododo has not performed his responsibility concerning this election. This is anti democratic process,” he said.

Also, Mr Rotimi Ogunleye, who represented Mr Olusola Oke, an aspirant, asked the committee to follow due process, adding that a lot had been spent to build the party.

Ogunleye, who said he had a right to protest, called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene.

“I want to inform President Bola Tinubu, because he is our leader, that the men sent to conduct this election are not following the guidelines,” he said.

Also, Mr Paul Oniyemofe, who represented Prof. Dayo Faduyile, another aspirant, described the election as a day light robbery and asked for a rescheduled primary.

However, in a swift reaction, Ododo said that electoral materials had been distributed to Ondo North and Ondo South Senatorial Districts.

He added that materials had also been delivered at Ondo Central District, promising that all grievances would be looked into.

The correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN), who visited Ward 10 in Akure South Local Government Area, observed that the election had been concluded there.

Speaking to NAN, Mr Ifedayo Aanuoluwapo, said that it was peaceful and orderly.

Aanuoluwapo, who is a youth leader of the party in the ward, however, said that the voters did not follow the timeline of accreditation.

Similarly, Mr Ademola Salami, a voter, said that there was a premonition that there could be violence in the ward, hence the early accreditation and voting.

However, at Obanla /Ijomu Ward 4, Akure South Local Government Area, accreditation was yet to be done.

Speaking to newsmen, Mr Yinka Akosile, an electorate, said that the the people were still awaiting electoral materials as at noon.

Meanwhile, Ondo State deputy governor, Dr Olayide Adelami, has said that his principal, Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa would win the governorship election primary election by a landslide.

Adelami said this after voting at his Igboroko 2 Ward 3 in Owo.

He expressed gratitude to members of the party in Owo for coming out en masse to vote for his principal.

According to him “When I came here this morning, I did not see anyone behind other aspirants.

“Although I expected nothing less because our people in Owo have, for a long time, demonstrated their commitment to the Aiyedatiwa project.

“You can see the crowd of people behind Aiyedatiwa’s stand. It shows Owo people are one hundred per cent behind him and this is the same positive news across the state” the deputy governor remarked.

Adelami commended officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies as well as party faithful for the peaceful conduct of the APC primary election in the wards visited.