HomeNewsProtests Rock Ondo As Aiyedatiwa Clinches APC Ticket

Protests Rock Ondo As Aiyedatiwa Clinches APC Ticket

Amid protests by party members and fellow contestants, Ondo State’s Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa has been declared winner of the governorship primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) held Saturday and Sunday.

Aiyedatiwa amassed majority of 48,569 votes in the primaries across the 18 council areas of Ondo State.

His closest contender, Mayowa Akinfolarin, trailed behind with 15,343 votes.

Chief Olusola Oke secured the third position with 14,865 votes.

However, on Sunday, scores of members of the APC in the state took to the streets of Akure, the state capital to protest against the conduct of the primary.

The protesters alleged that the primary election committee led by Governor Ododo did not follow the party’s guidelines.

The protesters, who also stormed the state secretariat of the APC in Akure, expressed displeasure over the conduct of the governorship primary in the state. They were said to be supporters of some governorship aspirants who participated in the primary and lost out.

They were armed with placards with various inscriptions such as “No election in Ondo”; “APC primary electoral officers failed to show up in all wards in Ondo State,’ ‘We demand fairness and justice in APC primary election in Ondo’’; ‘No mandate for Aiyedatiwa, We’re calling for fresh primary election”;  ‘NWC of APC No Mandate for Aiyedatiwa”; “Saturday ‘s APC primary in Ondo was a sham”, among others.

The announcement of Aiyedatiwa, Chairman of the Governorship Primary Election Committee and Kogi State’s Governor Ahmed Ododo said the results reflected the competitive nature of the primaries and highlighted the rigorous contest that characterized the electoral process.

Contestants include Senator Jimoh Ibrahim;  Olusola Oke SAN,  former President of Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Francis Faduyile, a mechanical engineer, Dr Funmilayo Waheed-Adekojo and the National Vice Chairman of the APC (South West), Isaac Kekemeke.

Others are Dr Soji Ehinlanwo, Akinfolarin Samuel, Okunjimi Odimayo, Adewale Akinterinwa, Olugbenga Edema and Brig. Gen. Ohunyeye Olamide (retd), Morayo Lebi, Oladiran Iyatan and Engnr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele.

Speaking for the protesters, the Director General of Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation, Ondo Central Senatorial District, Mr Adeniran Oyebade, said the people of the state would not allow their mandate to be stolen

Oyebade said, “We are protesting against our mandate that was stolen. It was a daylight robbery, a monumental disaster. The APC delegated some people to Ondo State to conduct the primary, apparently, that was never done. They remained in Akure and started writing results.”

They called for the disbandment of the Primary Election Committee of the APC

Also, three other aspirants in the election, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, and one of the two female aspirants, Mrs. Folakemi Omogoroye, condemned the process of the election on Sunday, demanding the cancellation of the whole exercise.

The Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Organisation’s spokesman, Mr Segun Ajiboye, described the exercise as a show of shame, saying the Ododo-led committee did not do well in the conduct of the shadow poll.

He said, “Without any fear of contradiction, we state here that no election was held in any part of Ondo State on Saturday to elect the candidate of the APC. It is on record with incontrovertible evidence that nothing in the semblance of a primary election was held in all the 203 wards in Ondo State. At best, what can be said to have happened was that the committee chairman, Governor Ododo, arrived in the state at about 8 am on Saturday to write the result of an election that was never conducted.

“Saturday’s election presented our dear party with a rare opportunity to endear itself to the people of the state. All that was needed was for us to organise an election that would be hailed by all, even the opposition. But we bungled the opportunity with the sham organised by the electoral committee.

“The people have eyes and they can see. But on Saturday, they did not see any part of the state where electoral committee members counted the votes as expected. Rather, what they witnessed was a crowd of our enthusiastic supporters who stood in the sun for several hours waiting for the elusive electoral officers to turn up. But we dashed their hopes and expectations of a robust democratic engagement.”

In the same vein, the Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Ojo Oyewamide, on Sunday, said the primary was a mockery of democracy: “We insist that what happened in Ondo State yesterday (Saturday ) was a disheartening mockery of democracy. As a result, our party has become a butt of jokes in the hands of the opposition parties and the people of the state.

“We would like to categorically state that the Kogi Governor cannot impose a candidate on our party members, through a shambolic exercise. It is unacceptable to us.”


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