- Urges all aspirants, party faithful to close ranks
- Delegates’ list for primary election out
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Gboyega Akinsanmi in Lagosy
Forty-eight hours to the governorship primary election in Ondo State, the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, wednesday urged all aspirants not to allow the opposition sow discord in their ranks, noting that the APC would not win the main poll through bickering.
Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State, also urged the aspirants to we close ranks in order to achieve victory in the governorship election scheduled to hold on November 26, saying the people of the state “have a chance to break the shackles of misgovernance and suppression.
He gave the advice in a statement he personally signed wednesday, reminding the aspirants and party faithful that the mission of the APC “is too important and too humane to allow ourselves to be divided or sidetracked. We must remember what is truly at stake.”
The national leader, who has been widely criticised for endorsing one of the aspirants, Mr. Olusegun Abraham, noted that Ondo “will either renew the way of progress or continue to be oppressed.”
He added that the APC “is the way of progress. Thus, let us make this progress hand in hand, united in our belief that we can make Ondo better. The APC must win the coming election and restore democracy and the virtues of public service to the seat of governance in the state.
“This is what the people desire and deserve. They have waited patiently. Now is the time to answer their call. This is our duty as a party and as people who care about their fellow man. The APC must go into the governorship, united in focus and purpose. All else is secondary to this objective.
“The journey to reestablishing governance for the people and for posterity begins with the primaries this Saturday. The process leading up to the primaries has been robust and energetic. We have the good fortune of having numerous renown and able party members seek the nomination.
“This has led to keen competition. During a such tight competition, tensions always mount and often, harsh things are spoken. But this back and forth, this committed dialogue, is an integral part of the democratic process. And it is this process that we have enshrined and shall cherish in this party.”
Tinubu, who expressed grave concern about the deepening crisis in the rank of the party aspirants and leadership in the state, thus said the APC “cannot accomplish this great deed through petty bickering or by allowing our very opponents to sow discord among us.”
He therefore, urged all the aspirants “to close ranks to achieve victory. The future of the state and of the party in the state should never be held to ransom due to insignificant personal animosities and perceived slights.”
He also urged the party leadership “to focus on what is more precious than our personal ambitions and more durable than our individual wishes. We must dedicate ourselves to uplifting this state and the very lives of the people of this state and nation.
“All is minor and a distraction in comparison to this sound goal. Victory is within your grasp. Don’t let it fall away because you were deceived into reaching for something less valuable…. The key to the victory resides in how well you conduct yourselves after the primary.
“Joined in unified and fraternal purpose, there is no gathering or alignment of forces in the state that can best you. You must choose the history you seek. This cannot and will not be done in Abuja or anywhere else for that matter.
“Your walk toward destiny takes a momentous step with a successful primary. After that, all of the party, including its leaders will join the campaign trail in full support and commitment to the candidate you select that we may achieve victory over a spent and undesirable PDP.”
Meanwhile, ahead of the primary election, the party has made copies of the delegate list for the election in available to all the 24 aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket.
The ‘hard copy’ which contains the authentic names of all delegates, was given out to the aspirants at a brief ceremony at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
The decision to release the delegates list, as reliably gathered, was made by the national leadership of the party to ensure transparency in the conduct of the primaries.
“The hard copies of the list have been given out to all the aspirants, this is part of the moves we have outlined to ensure smooth and transparent primary in Ondo State. A source at the party’s national secretariat informed.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal had on Monday absolved the presidency or the leadership of the APC of anointing any of the aspirants as being insinuated.
The Chairman of the party in the state, Isaac Kekemeke, was also alleged to have doctored the list of delegates for the party’s governor- ship primary election scheduled for September 3.
The crisis rocking the state chapter of the APC started when one of the aspirants, Olusegun Abraham was reported to have been endorsed by Tinubu.
This development prompted the war of words between APC leader and one of the aspirants in the state, Tunji Abayomi.