By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—MIXED reactions, yesterday greeted the report of the Appeal Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, that ordered for fresh governorship primaries in Ondo State. This is coming as two political parties the Action Alliance, AA and National Conscience Party, NCP, beat the deadline for the conduct of their governorship primaries stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC .
Yinka Orokoto emerged the candidate of the AA, while David Oluwasuyi will fly the flag of the NCP. Also, INEC has disclosed that 30 political parties would participate in the November 26 governorship election in the state.
Findings by Vanguard after the cancellation of the primaries was made public, showed that the camps of the four petitioners, who faulted the exercise erupted in joy while that of the winner called for calm.
Four aggrieved aspirants including Olusola Oke, Ajayi Boroffice, Olusegun Abraham and Akinwale Akingbade, had faulted the outcome of the exercise.
Akeredolu calls for calm
But the camp of the winner of the primaries, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN and some other aspirants like Dr Tunji Abayomi, Bode Ayorinde, Tayo Alasoadura, Boye Oyewunmi and other supporters kicked against the report which called for a fresh primaries.
Akeredolu, in a statement, appealed to his supporters to be patient saying the report is subject to ratification by the National Working Committee, NWC.
Akeredolu said, “The election will not be cancelled because it represents the collective will of Ondo APC members. I’m very optimistic that justice will be done and I therefore want to assure the good people of Ondo State that the sanctity of the September 3 governorship primary election that produced me as our party’s candidate will be upheld. I appeal to you all to remain calm, a glorious dawn is assured.”
However, one of the aspirants, Olusola Oke has commended the recommendation of the panel noting that there was no way the committee would have ignored the irregularities in the election.
30 parties to participate in polls — INEC
Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Olusegun Agbaje, who made this known at a media briefing on its preparation, said the list of candidates would be published 30 days before the poll according to the electoral guideline.
Agbaje appealed to political parties and politicians to exercise restrain in their pronouncement and avoid verbal wars and inflammatory comments capable of igniting political tension and provoke rancour.
The REC said over 1.5m registered voters would participate in the coming election while over 331, 000 PVCS are yet to be collected by their owners. Reacting to the report, the party Director of Publicity, Abayomi Adesanya, said the election had not been cancelled because the decision was yet to be taken by the NWC.
He said only a final decision of the NWC expected later in the day would establish the facts of the matter.
NCP picks gov candidates
Meanwhile, the NCP candidate, who emerged at the party’s primaries, held in Akure, promised to implement the ten care programmes of the party which will uplift the masses from abject poverty.
Group wants deputy slot zoned to IleOluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo
Similarly, a pressure group within the APC in Ondo State, the Solidarity Congress, OSSC, yesterday advocated the zoning of the running mate of the party to IleOluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo federal constituency in the Southern Senatorial District of the state.
The group comprising present and former political office holders said the party should not toy with the idea of giving the running mate to Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, to other zones if it wants to win the coming election.
Chairman of the group, Chief Samuel Ikujuminu in his statement titled “Support Ileoluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo for APC Deputy Governorship Position”, said justice, fairness and equity demanded that the zone should be given the slot.
He argued that, “the zone has never occupied any key political positions whereas the other federal constituencies have produced Ministers, governor, Deputy Governor and Speaker of the House of Assembly severally.”