BY DAYO JOHNSON
GOVERNOR Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State yesterday declared that he had no regret settling for a consensus arrangement in the on-going State Party Primaries.
He equally denied insinuations within the party that he has anointed candidate among all the aspirants eyeing political offices in the party.
Speaking with newsmen in Akure on the on-going primaries, Dr Mimiko said: “We have a very large house and scores of aspirants were contesting for the few seats available. For instance, there are 26 seats in the House of Assembly and 160 people had obtained forms to contest.
“We have more than 350, 000 people had registered as potential delegates towards the party’s congress within one week that the exercise commenced. How do we manage that if we don’t settle for consensus? It is the recipe for crisis”.
According to him only the most popular candidate among the aspirants would emerge as the party’s candidate for the forthcoming elections l do not have any favoured candidate.
Dr Mimiko said that the party leadership tried its best to ensure that there was no rancor among aspirants, and that many aspirants came out on the platform of the party to claim the ticket to represent the party at all cost.
According to him “no fewer than 160 aspirants were jostling for 26 seats of the state house of assembly while about 159 members picked forms for nine houses of representative seats.
“Without sounding immodest, we have tried to reduce the rancuor in the party by generating consensus candidates and in areas where people say they don’t want consensus we allow them to go for primaries.
“There are many other parties that recorded death in their congresses. We have a lot people who want to fly the ticket of the party as at the last count we have 160 people who are jostling for 26 houses of assembly seats. So the rush is too much in our party.
“There is nothing undemocratic about consensus, in areas where we could not generate consensus, we allow people to go into contest. We have been able to resolve 23 out of 26 seats in the state House Assembly and we hope to resolve the remaining three slots.
“I have tried to distance myself from all the aspirants but some aspirant will go and say Governor said I should go and contest. All these are not true.
“It is not true that I am imposing candidates. Although I have the right to do it but it will be morally unjustifiable to do so. Some people claimed that I asked them to contest, it is not true. We will provide for a level playing ground”.