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Ondo APC membership depletes as Edema emerges NNPP gov’ship candidate

Ondo APC membership depletes as Edema emerges NNPP gov’ship candidate

Gbenga Edema, a former governorship aspirant in the last April 20, 2024 All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Ondo State, has been picked as the new governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) for the November 16th, 2024 governorship election in the State.

Oluwatosin Ayeni, was the governorship candidate of the party before he withdrew from the race on Wednesday, having got the party’s ticket by polling 100 votes to defeat his sole rival, Ibrahim Ajagunna, at the party’s primary on April 26.

Peter Olagookun, the NNPP State Chairman, who also confirmed the withdrawal of the candidate, said that Ayeni willingly withdrew his candidacy to give way for better candidacy of the party.

According to Olagookun, the change of the party’s candidacy would further strengthen the party for victory in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

But during the NNPP special meeting on Wednesday in Akure to substitute the names of the candidate, Edema after his emergence, commended the party leadership for sustaining internal democracy.

Edema, the former chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), said; “I offer myself as your candidate and standard bearer for the Ondo state gubernatorial election coming up on the 16th November 2024. I accept the challenge, I accept the mandate freely and willingly granted to me today, and I promise not to ever look back.

“I have carefully studied the manifesto of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) which have been skilfully put together by some great minds and I have found out that a great deal aligns with our vision as encapsulated in the Igbega Ondo manifesto which has been put together by our team for taking Ondo State out of the woods and setting it on the “consolidation and sustainability lane” for total development.

“One of the most important aspects of our democratic process is the issue of internal democracy in the affairs of the political parties. The issue of internal democracy manifests in the manner that parties conduct their election processes which must be predictable, transparent and in compliance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (1999) (as amended); the Electoral Act, 2002; the Constitution of the various parties and their rules guiding the conduct of their elections.

“It is in the public domain that the purported primary election conducted by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on 20th April, 2024 for the selection of its gubernatorial candidate for the 16th November 2024 election is lacking in these attributes and as such cannot be described as democratic.

“This act of impunity should not be supported and be allowed to continue in our polity. It is trite that you cannot give what you do not have. And as the saying goes “a house built with spittle will certainly collapse under the early morning dew”. The demise of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is just around the corner like its sister, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from which it took over the reign of power.

“It is on this note that I hereby formally announce my resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC) forthwith. I hereby pitch my tent with the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), a truly progressive and people-oriented party. This is a party for the immediate future.

“We therefore use this medium to serve a notice to quit to Governor Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa and his APC cohorts that effective from the 24th February 2025, the Government House, Alagbaka will no longer be available for their use.

“With the NNPP, we are providing a more veritable and people-oriented government to all the good people of Ondo State as captured in our manifesto which would be made available in due course.

“I would like to congratulate the National Leader of the party. His Excellency, Distinguished Senator, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso, FSNE, the Mandugu of Nigeria politics, for leading this great party through the process of conducting a seamless, rancour-free congress to elect the candidate of the party for this gubernatorial election, of which I am the chief beneficiary. This is the hallmark of good leadership.”