— Jimoh Ibrahim, Mato, others to face primaries

•Ojogo, BTO, Adefarati, others emerge party’s choice

Dayo Johnson Akure

Leadership of the All Progressive Congress in Ondo State and aspirants vying for elective positions in the 2023 general election have disagreed on consensus arrangement ahead of party primaries across the state.

Vanguard reliably gathered that a committee set up by the party leadership to meet with the aspirants, party leaders and stakeholders in a bid to work towards producing a consensus candidate among the large numbers of people jostling for the party tickets has submitted it’s report.

The committee which set up in each of the three senatorial districts of the state, was headed by the senatorial chairmen with the sole responsibility of pruning the number of aspirants and producing a party’s choice in form of a consensus subjected to the approval and agreement of the party leaders , stakeholders and elders of the concerned council, constituency and the senatorial district.

The party leadership have briefed the state governor on the committee’s findings.

A party source, who spoke in confidence, said that the consensus idea “was inspired by the successes recorded in the last Congress held in the state where the party leadership installed consensus candidates as party executives.

” The Governor was satisfied and happy that the arrangement was rancor-free, making the state the only crisis free APC state in the Southwest.

” The State Working Committee of the party and some selected leaders have held two strategic meetings with the Governor at the Cocoa conference Hall of the Governor’s office to fine tune the decisions of the party leadership in the senatorial districts

Findings by Vanguard indicated that for the Southern senatorial seats, the party leadership and the governor agreed to throw open the contest since the idea of consensus candidates failed.

Party bigwigs expected to slug it out in the primary include, Billionaire business man, Jimoh Ibrahim; former CEO of ONDIPA, Boye Oyewumi; Mathew Oyerinmade; and member of the House of Representatives, Mayowa Akinfolarin.

For the House of Representatives seat in the Southern Senatorial district, party source at the meeting disclosed that former information commissioner, Donald Ojogo emerged as the party’s consensus for the Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency.

Ojogo, is said to have enjoyed the popular supports of the party leadership in both Ilaje and Ese-Odo. However, other aspirants ready to slug it out with Ojogo in the primary include ldowu Mafimisebi and Goke Ayara.

However, primary elections will be held in the other two Federal constituencies in the district. The Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency and Ile-Oluji-Oke-Igbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency.

The decision to hold primary elections in the two federal constituencies was due to the inability of the party’s leadership to reach a consensus.

Also in the south, there are also consensus candidates for the house of Assembly.

However, in Odigbo constituency 1, party chieftain, Tunji Rhema and former Special Adviser to the Governor, Tunji Fabiyi alongside son of the late monarch, Prince Akinbobola Temidayo Ojo will be slugging it out at primary as no consensus was reached in the constituency.

In the Central, the party source said that the governor and the party leadership agreed to throw the tickets open since the leadership of the party in the senatorial district couldn’t convince the stakeholders and party leadership into a consensus arrangement.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the party in the Northern Senatorial district has anointed and picked Jide Ipinsagba as the party’s choice for the ticket of the party ahead of the next year’s election. Ipinsagba is from Akoko. But another strong contender, Chief Alex Ajipe was determined to rubbish the choice of lpinsagba

Other aspirants endorsed by the party in the north, according to party sources, include; Bunmi Tunji-Ojo; Timehin Adelegbe; and Gboyega Adefarati.

But a notable aspirant in Owo/ Ose federal constituency, Dr Abiola Oshodi has insisted he would sack the incumbent, Adelegbe in the primary.

A member of the state working committee who spoke in confidence with our correspondent said party elders and leaders sat and deliberated on the best choice for the party ahead of the primary.

This, he said , was not to rule out others who may still want to contest out of the exercise, but to reinforce the party’s cohesion.

“The party set up committees across the three senatorial districts of the state.

“After due deliberations and consultations with these party leaders, the Governor supported that the reports be adopted.

“So, this is purely a party activity. No unilateral decision was taken by anyone. It is so rare to see a state Governor respecting the party this way. Well for us, we are amazed.”

Reacting, the Publicity Secretary of the party, Alex Kalejaye denied that there was disagreement on the adoption of consensus candidates.

Kalejaye said that ” The party position is that aspirants should get prepared for primaries.

“Although the leadership of the chapter, expectedly, betrays interest in some House of Assembly aspirants, for stability of the House, and have sufficiently pacified aggrieved leaders from such state constituencies, it is not going to be outright imposition.

He added that “What that means is that the party is in full support a transparent exercise during the primaries.

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