APC Aspirants Want Fresh Primary in Ondo

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By James Sowole in Akure

Dissatisfied with the process of choosing party’s candidates for the 2019 election, some House of Representatives and state House of Assembly aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State have called on the national leadership of the party to conduct a fresh primary for Akoko North-East/ Akoko North-West federal constituency of the state.

 The aspirants, who are 13 in number, made the call against the statement credited to the state Chairman of the party, Mr. Ade Adetimehin, that a peaceful election was held in the federal constituency and the candidate had emerged last week.

In a statement jointly signed by the aggrieved aspirants yesterday, they demanded a fresh election for the real candidate of the party to emerge.

“We the aspirants of the state House of Assembly and House of Representatives wish to categorically state that there was no primary election conducted in Akoko North-East/ Akoko North-West federal constituency and no candidates have emerged.

“It is rather sad and unfortunate that the chairman of the party did not verify the authenticity of the statement before issuing it,” they stated.

However, the party had insisted that it had conducted transparent and peaceful primaries across the state and had picked its national and state assembly standard bearers for the next elections.

According to the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Alex Kalejaye, the exercise was carried out with the full participation of the stakeholders and party members in line with the directives of the National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja.

According to him, “We have conducted all the primaries across the senatorial districts-federal and state constituencies in the state. The primaries were peaceful, free and fair. So our candidates have emerged.”

In another development, the former Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Victor Olabimtan, said he would not leave the party despite the imposition of candidates to stop his ambition. 

Olabimtan, who is an APC aspirant for Ondo North senatorial district, stated this in a statement he signed after being allegedly denied opportunity to contest the senatorial ticket of the party.

 Olabimtan and some other aspirants were unable to contest the primary in Ondo North senatorial district following the automatic ticket given to the incumbent Senator, Ajayi Boroffice, by the NWC of the party.

The former speaker alleged that  the decision of the NWC prevented the people of the senatorial district to vote and choose their representatives .

 According to him, the crises rocking the party at the national and state levels were avoidable if all stakeholders in the party could be
selfless.