Ondo Poll: IPAC Flays Imposition of Candidates by National Officers

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Oke cries out to Buhari APC says it is ready for election
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja and James Sowole in Akure

The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) yesterday condemned the practice of imposing candidates by national officers of political parties without due regard for party’ guidelines and electoral law.

The position of IPAC was one of the high points of a communique issued at the end of the meeting of the council held in Akure, the state capital.

In the communique signed by Deputy Chairman, Mr. Atanlogun Olarewaju, who is the Chairman of Kowaa Party and the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and the PRO of the group, Mr. Fagboro Olawale, the council said candidates must be nominated in line with the laid down rules of political parties.

The council said the unjust exclusion or substitution of party’s candidate should be stopped immediately while parties should be allowed to determine who to represent them in an election.
They said if the practice is not stopped, it would have adverse effects on the nation’s democracy saying “an injury to one is an injury to all”

The IPAC advised political parties participating and campaigning for votes ahead of the government election in Ondo State to make their campaign issue based.

The Alliance for Democracy (AD) governorship candidate for the election in the state, Chief Olusola Oke yesterday cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari to save him from a cabal within his government, whom he were making attempts to stop him from contesting the election at all cost.

Oke raised the alarm at a news conference addressed by the Director General of his campaign organisation Mr. Bola Ilori in Akure.
The director -general alleged that some ministers and state governors had been engaging in activities in order to stop him from contesting and pave the way for their protege, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“This plot to stop Oke from contesting the election is simply to clear the way for their protégé, Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is also vying for the Ondo State governorship position.

“The plan of these people is to prevent Olusola Oke from contesting the election because their candidate, Akeredolu, is not in contention, having lost relevance with the people, thus they have resorted to lots of underhand tactics to stop him.

“We want to by this medium, crying our to President Muhammadu Buhari to save Nigerian democracy from a cabal within his government hell bent on stopping our candidate from contesting the election by resorting to underhand methods.

Ilori alleged that the first leg of the conspiracy was the award of N10 billion contract to Owo Community without due process and out of which N2 billion would be released by to the candidate to prosecute the election.
He also alleged that it was the same cabal that at their meeting in Abuja instigated a suit against the Oke’s candidacy.

Meanwhile,  Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, yesterday in Abuja said the All Progressives Congress (APC) will flag off its campaign in Ondo State tomorrow.
Lalong, who spoke with State House correspondents yesterday after a meeting with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the State House in Abuja, said: “For us, our party is ready for election in Ondo State. In fact, we are flagging off our campaigns on Thursday so we are very ready.”

Responding to threats by the state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko,  that elections cannot go on in a situation where the state is in crisis, Lalong said: “Well, I don’t like joining issues with the incumbent because he is not contesting election, he is not the candidate for Ondo. I have said here that if they have issues within their party, they should go and resolve that issue within PDP. This is not a PDP matter, in that election it is not only PDP that is contesting election, other political parties are engaged in contesting the election and the chief electoral officer is the INEC.”

Lalong said if INEC announced plans to shift the elections because of security issues, APC would abide by the announcement.

 “But as far as we are concerned, we are not worried about what other political parties would say, for APC we are ready to contest the election we have a candidate and we are going into the elections in November.”

The governor said he came to see the vice president  on other state engagements like issues on agriculture, school feeding programme because the Vice President is the chairman on the school feeding programme.