Ondo APC Primary: Akeredolu’s Rival, Abraham Concedes Defeat

  •   National leadership summons aspirants to Abuja

James Sowole in Akure and Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti

The first runner’s up in the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State held at the weekend Olusegun Abraham, sunday conceded defeat to his rival, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).

Akeredolu scored 669 votes to defeat Abraham, who polled 635 while the second runner’s up, Chief Olusola Oke, scored 583 votes in a keenly contested election.

Congratulating Akeredolu for winning the primary election, Abraham commended the election committee headed by the Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, and his team for the display of transparency during the exercise.

Abraham while speaking with journalists in his house at Ijapo, Akure commended his supporters for their efforts and sacrifice during the campaign for the election.

He commended the APC leadership and members for their activities in ensuring that the exercise was hitch-free.

Abraham promised to continue to be loyal to the party saying, “I will not turn my back against the party.”

The aspirant promised to continue to support the party so that the APC can defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in order to move Ondo State on right track and rescue the state from sinking further.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his fight against corruption and resolve to put Nigeria on a good pedestal.

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the party has summoned all the aspirants who contested the governorship primary election of the party to Abuja.

The summon of the aspirants was disclosed by a source who did not want to be mentioned.

THISDAY learnt that the meeting was necessitated by the need to appeal to the aspirants on the need to take the results of the contest with the spirit of sportsmanship.
The source said the aspirants had been directed to arrive in Abuja today.

However, the intervention of men of the Nigerian Army yesterday forestalled a planned attack on a member of House of the Representatives, Stephen Olemija at Ikare Akoko.
Olemija is representing Akoko North East and Akoko North West in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

The sin of the lawmaker was that he worked against the interest of Abraham, who is an indigene of Ikare Akoko, the headquarters of Akoko North East Local Government Area.

The lawmaker worked openly for Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, who is an indigene of Iju in Akure Local Government.

Alasoadura scored 206 votes.
However, women trooped out in their scores and rained curses on Olemija for working against Abraham in the primary election.

THISDAY gathered that women placed fetish objects in front of the lawmakers’ house at Ikare.
The Ekiti State chapter of the APC has congratulated Akeredolu for his victory at governorship primaries.

It noted that the rancour-free exercise demonstrates oneness of spirit among party leadership, the aspirants and members, stressing that such conduct signals victory over a “bitterly divided rival PDP” in the November governorship election.

The Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said in a statement sunday that Akeredolu’s victory was a consolidation of the rancour-free presidential primaries that produced President Muhammadu Buhari to be followed by Kogi State primaries that produced the late Prince Audu Abubakar.

He praised the national leadership of the party for setting records in transparent democratic electoral process and urged other political parties to emulate APC to strengthen the practice of democracy in line with modern trends in developed democracies around the world.

Asking the PDP to prepare for crushing defeat in November poll, Olatunbosun said the bitterly divided house of PDP would give way to APC to enable Ondo residents see development in APC-led government in the state.

He said: “In the midst of plenty, PDP-led government has done enough havoc to the psyche of Ondo State people in the last few years.

“Now is the time to break from the yoke of PDP that has imposed the reign of impunity, mismanagement, lack of transparency and accountability and bereft of development programmes even when Ondo is an oil-producing but sadly lacking in right political leadership with right vision to develop the state.”

He also praised other aspirants for embracing Akeredolu after emerging victorious, saying this demonstrated a new political conduct that emphasised collective interest above self-interests among the contestants.

“Self-interest above collective interest in political contest is what is driving PDP into factionalisation at the state and national levels and this is what Nigerians have seen in the party that informed the rejection of PDP in all recent elections across the country.

“This Ondo governorship election is not going to be an exception against the background of the ruins the party has brought on the nation during its 16 years maladministration of Nigeria,” he said.

Praising APC for institutionalising transparent internal democracy as
demonstrated in recent party’s primaries across the country, Olatunbosun urged Akeredolu to work closely with other aspirants and party leadership in the state to ensure victory in the November
governorship poll.