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April 21, 2024

Ondo 2024: Violence, protests rock APC governorship primary

Ondo 2024: Violence, protests rock APC governorship primary

•4 aspirants pass a vote of no confidence on Ododo, want exercise cancelled
•l am satisfied with exercise — Aiyedatiwa

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

Yesterday’s governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State was characterized by protests, violence and call for the cancellation of the exercise.

Four of the aspirants kicked against the conduct of the exercise.

16 aspirants participated in the contest which was through direct mode of primary.
The aggrieved aspirants include Chief Olusola Oke, Hon Olugbenga Edema, Hon Wale Akinterinwa and Prof Dayo Faduyile.

They asked the leadership of the party to cancel the primary conducted by Governor Ahmed Ododo of Kogi State, alleging compromise.

Violence erupted in Okitipupa, ldanre, Akure, the state capital, Supare and Akoko South-West.

A former councilor in Akure South council area of the state, Hon Yinka Akosile, was attacked with machete cuts on the head by suspected political thugs who invaded the Obanla ward in Akure metropolis to drive away voters.

Reports had it that political thugs stormed voting centres to disrupt the exercise and prevent supporters of some governorship aspirants from voting.

Election materials were reportedly not taken to Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo, hence no voting.

Speaking on the non-distribution of voting materials by the governorship election committee, the four governorship aspirants said there was no voting material seen in any of the political wards in Ondo, fueling the speculation that the result generated from the election would not be credible

Violence reportedly erupted at Ward 1, Stella Maris College, Okitipupa, as rival supporters of two aspirants clashed.

The violence erupted even before the accreditation and election procedures could commence, prompting panicked voters to flee in search of safety.

Meanwhile, the seven-man Primary Election Committee set up to conduct the shadow poll said that the committee has no predetermined motive but to ensure the credibility of the primary.

The Secretary of the committee, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, said 172,025 members of the party participated in the exercise.

He said ahead of the election, “We expect a seamless exercise, a very peaceful exercise. It’s a family contest. This is not the general election.

“We are determined to ensure that, at the end of the eight years of APC, we are about to start another eight years of another APC administration.

“We believe that whoever emerges as our flag bearer is going to win the general election, and at best, we have been able to assure all of the aspirants that there should be no bitterness.

Aiyedatiwa expresses satisfaction

Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the shadow election.

Aiyedatiwa, who voted at his Ugbo Ward 4, Obenla in Ilaje council area of the state, expressed confidence in the democratic process and reiterated his commitment to upholding the principles of transparency and fairness in the party’s selection of candidate.

The governor urged all stakeholders to embrace unity and cohesion, emphasizing the need for collective efforts towards advancing the development agenda of Ondo.