By Dayo Johnson & Ola Ajayi
DISTURBED by the crisis within the All Progressives Congress APC in Ondo State over the choice of its candidate for the governorship election, the presidency has moved in to calm strayed nerves.
The Presidency has subsequently summoned all the 25 aspirants, state party leaders and all stakeholders to a meeting in Abuja today.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal is expected to represent President Muhammadu Buhari at the meeting.
Also, the party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, South-west leaders of the party and other NEC members are expected at the meeting.
The primaries of the party had been shifted twice following the tension that greeted the endorsement of Dr Olusegun Abraham by the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Confirming the intervention, one of the aspirants, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu said all of the aspirants have been summoned to Abuja today to resolve the crisis that the endorsement has generated.
Akeredolu, who said the summon by the presidency necessitated the shifting of the primaries earlier fixed for Wednesday, expressed optimism that the Presidency’s intervention would restore confidence in all the aspirants who may have lost hope in the primaries.
He said: “A meeting has been called now and if that meeting gives directive and asks people to cut off this monumental monetisation of the process, all we need is to assuage the feeling of the aspirants and drop the issue of endorsement and whosoever emerges among the aspirants, we will all support.”
Akeredolu denied being backed by the Presidency insisting that he would win the primaries convincingly.
Chairman dragged to Court
This came as members of the State Executive Committee of the party approached the Federal High Court, Abuja to stop the embattled chairman of the party, Isaac Kekemeke from parading himself as the chairman of the party.
The suit was filed by the Publicity Secretary, the Youth Leader and party chairman of the party in Akoko South-West, Mr. Abayomi Adesanya, Olutayo Babalayo and Dawodu Bolakale respectively on behalf of the SEC.
They alleged that the embattled chairman was still going about the state, claiming that he has not been suspended from from office.
But Kekemeke in his reaction to the development, said he had not been served the court order, insisting that he remained the chairman of the party.
Sheriff’s PDP in Ondo moves primaries to Ibadan
Meanwhile, the Senator Ali Modu Sherif faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ondo State has moved the conduct of its governorship primary to Ibadan in Oyo State.
Vanguard gathered that this was sequel to the declaration by the state electoral commission that it would not monitor any other primaries of any other faction of the PDP in the state.
Speaking with Vanguard on the shifting of the exercise to Oyo State, a member of the faction, Mr Ebenezer Alabi said it was to prevent a situation where the primary would be disturbed by suspected agents of oppositions in the state.
Five aspirants including Chief Sola Ebiseeni, Prince Bamiduro Dada, Hon Niran Sule-Akinsuyi and Mrs Abiye Ademoyegun are to stand for today’s election in the Sheriff faction