APC Primary: Protest Rocks Ondo over Alleged Irregularities

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Fidelis David in Akure

Aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State on Sunday protested in Akure the Ondo State capital over alleged irregularities in the conduct of Saturday’s governorship primaries across the state.

This came hours after the governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo and chairman of the seven-member committee set up by the national leadership of APC to supervised the exercise to elect a flagbearer for the November 16 poll in Ondo declared the governorship primary as inconclusive.

Specifically, Ododo, in a statement he signed and made available to Journalists on Sunday morning, said having received reports of the primary election from the 203 Wards in the 18 Local Governments of Ondo State, the Primary election Committee had decided that election will be conducted in all the 13 Wards of Okitipupa Local Government having a total validated registered members of 9,515.

However, the protesters who carried placards, chanting solidarity songs and occupied the popular Oba-Adesida/Oyemekun road, preventing vehicular movement for two hours.

The aggrieved protesters alleged that the Governor Usman Ododo led- electoral committee allegedly concocted the results of the primary even when no election took place across the 203 Wards in the state.

The protesters who first converged on the party’s state secretariat along Oyemekun Road at about 4:30 PM, took to the streets protesting the alleged forged figures put together by Governor Ododo and his team, calling for the cancellation of the alleged “kangaroo primary”.

They carried placards with various inscriptions which include, No election in Ondo.,” APC primary electoral officers failed to show up in all wards in Ondo State,” “We demand fairness and justice in APC primary election in Ondo,” “No mandate for Aiyedatiwa, We’re calling for fresh primary election, ” “NWC of APC No Mandate for Aiyedatiwa,” “Saturday ‘s APC primary in Ondo was a sham,” “APC Must Not Collapse In Ondo State,” “Primary Election materials were not distributed in all wards across Eighteen LGAs in Ondo State,” among others.

The protesters, who were supporters of Olusola Oke, Wale Akinterinwa and Jimi Odimayo, called for fresh primary election in the interest of peace and tranquility.

Addressing Journalists, the Director General for Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation, Ondo Central Senatorial District, Mr Adeniran Oyebade who spoke on behalf of the protesters said the election was a broad-day robbery.

His words: “We are protesting against our mandate that was stolen. It was a broad-day light robbery, a monumental disaster. APC delegated some people to Ondo State to conduct the primary; apparently, that was never done. They remained in Akure and started writing results. They wrote the results of 203 wards all across Ondo State, taking the mandate of the people into their own hands.” 

He alleged that, “at the end of the day, we started seeing different results flying around stating one particular candidate won the election, but that never happened.

“APC as a party is about to set Ondo State on fire, and we will never take this as lighty. We want the most popular candidate, a candidate that knows the people; we want the candidate whose name is a household brand in every part of Ondo State. We do not want an unpopular or controversial candidate; we don’t want a wife beater. We want someone with a sound mind”, Oyebade claimed.

He also claimed that “Ododo should be suspended from the party. Ododo is a criminal and a thief. In a saner clime, Ododo by now will be in jail. Election crime is a serious crime. You cannot come to the wards of our people and start terrorising them against their will. What we want is the cancellation of the election because any election did not take place. There is no need to say that the election was inconclusive.”

Mr. Ade Adeniyi and Mr. Bola Fisayo who also spoke said APC members, who are eligible to vote for their preferred aspirants, waited for the conduct of the poll but all to no avail. 

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