• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ondo APC guber primary: Aspirants call for replacement of Ododo as primary chair

IWD: Women play pivotal roles in development of individuals, families and society – Ododo

By Jacob Akintunde

Some aspirants in the ongoing All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Ondo state have called for the replacement of Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo of Kogi state, as the chairman of the seven-man committee to oversee the electoral process of the party over what they described as fraud, illegal and irregularities in the exercise.

Aspirants like Olugbenga Edema, Wale Akinterinwa, Olusola Oke and Dayo Faduyile said they are no longer trust the Ododo ability to conduct a free and fair election following the current controversy that is trailing Saturday’s poll.

BusinessDay reports that a total of 171,922 accredited members would vote in the ongoing exercise, scheduled to hold in 203 wards in 18 local government areas, with 16 aspirants, including the governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, contesting.

Addressing journalists at the BON Hotel, Ijapo, Akure, the venue to collect the voting materials, Edema said; “yesterday, at the stakeholders meeting held at St Thomas Event Centre, the secretary of the committee, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege said that the collection of voting materials which include the membership register, and others will be distributed to the electoral officers who’s name he announced to us in each of the 203 wards of Ondo State.

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

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

“Unfortunately, for him, the returning officers and electoral officer of my ward, Mahin Ward 2 in Ilaje local government are here and unable to collect any materials.

“So what we are asking for is a credible election. 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. We don’t want these fraud, illegal and irregularities.

Sola Ajisafe, who spoke on behalf of Akinterinwa 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 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 results 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.

While Rotimi Ogunleye, on behalf of Olusola Oke also said; “we got here around 6:30 am, 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 was 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.”