• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Ondo APC guber primary election is a sham — Oke

Ondo APC guber primary election is a sham — Oke

By Jacob Akintunde

The ongoing All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Ondo State has been described as a sham, which defies all descriptions of decency and democratic conduct.

Olusola Oke, one of the aspirants, contesting in the poll, said the seven-man committee led by Kogi State Governor, Ahmed Usman Ododo to conduct the primary, merely simulated active functionality by taking a late “stroll” out of their hotel rooms, where they were dining and wining.

According to him, the primary election materials were not distributed to the 203 wards across the state, as expected and assured by the election committee.

Oke, in a statement made available to journalists in Akure by his campaign spokesperson, Ojo Oyewamide said; “the Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation will like to make its observations known before the whole world is deceived that gubernatorial primary election was conducted today in Ondo state by the All Progressives Congress (APC), as expected.

“The truth is that no primary election was conducted. What happened in all the 203 wards in Ondo state can be described as a sham. It defies all descriptions of decency and democratic conduct.

“It is our observation that members of the Ododo-led primary election committee, constituted to conduct the nomination exercise, merely simulated active functionality by taking a late “stroll” out of their hotel rooms, where they were dining and wining. The primary election materials were not distributed to the 203 wards across the State, as expected and assured by the election committee.

“Members of APC, who are eligible to vote for their preferred aspirants, did not have the opportunity to do so. Many of them queued in the sun till 3:00 pm, waiting for the conduct of the shadow poll.

“At another instance, regrettably enough, the election officers that were to conduct the exercise in the wards are known supporters of one of the aspirants. These people were kept in one hotel where they were to perpetrate all sorts of evil, to compromise the process of choosing the candidate of our party.

“Virtually all the guidelines put in place to ensure the integrity and smooth conduct of the nomination exercise, reinforced by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who stood in for HE Usman Ododo at the stakeholders’ engagement held on Friday 19th April, 2024, were violated by the election committee.

“In a return to the dark days of thuggery in Ondo State, our supporters, and supporters of other aspirants, were beaten, intimidated and chased away from most of the designated voting centres by known political thugs and secret cult members hired by one of the aspirants. This level of violence has turned hospitals to the abode of our supporters and other members of our party.

“The ignominious attack of a senior correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Tayo Ikujuni, by a cabinet member in Ondo State, Saka Yusuf Ogunleye, was symptomatic of the climate of fear and terror visited on innocent but supportive members of APC across the state.

“It is instructive that Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council, has directed Media Houses and professionals in Ondo State to halt the coverage of the activities of the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye.

“Therefore, we like to state, very categorically, that no primary election was conducted by the APC in Ondo state today, Saturday, 20, 2024. Rather, what happened was shameful, and it constituted a serious dent on the image of our dear party.

“We expected that a decent nomination exercise, characterised by peace, freedom of our members to make their choices and fairness, would be conducted. We waited patiently for it, however, what we got was heart-rendering.

“We, therefore, appeal to all our supporters across the eighteen local government areas of the state to remain peaceful and calm as we wait further briefing from our members across the state and our principal.”