ACN Governorship candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu
By James Sowole
Relying on the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010, which allows political parties to substitute the names of their candidates within 14 days after the closure of the submission date, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has named Dr. Paul Akintelure as its deputy governorship candidate for the October 20 election in Ondo State.
With the naming of Akintelure, who was the Ondo South senatorial candidate of the party in the April 9, 2011 National Assembly elections, the party has dropped the secretary of the party, Mr. Olutope Adedipe, who was first named as the running mate of its candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu.
It was gathered that Akintelure was nominated by Akeredolu, who also sought the approval of the party national leadership last week.
It was also gathered that Akintelure had submitted his nomination forms to the Ondo State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure on Monday.
An executive of the party in the state, who pleaded anonymity, told journalists that the party’s national leaders broke the news of Akintelure’s choice at a meeting in Ila-Orangun Tuesday.
With the latest development, the form of the state secretary of the party, Mr. Olutope Adedipe, which was earlier submitted as the deputy governorship candidate, had been withdrawn.
When contacted, the Director of Publicity and Media Relations of the Akeredolu Campaign Organisation, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, neither confirmed nor denied the development but said Akintelure was qualified for the position.
“Akintelure is qualified to be the deputy governor of Ondo State. He is a successful medical practitioner who had paid his dues as a committed member of the ACN in the state.
“He contested the Ondo South senatorial election last year on the platform of the party and he is well respected by the people of Ikale where he holds the chieftaincy title of Otunba of Ikale land”, he said.
In a telephone interview, INEC’s Head of Public Affairs in the state, Mrs. Celina Beckley, said she was yet to be informed of the development.