*10 aspirants to boycott primary, challenge party decision in court
*Alleges Akeredolu scheming for disqualification of notable aspirants
*Modu Sheriff consults Buni ahead national convention
Crisis looms ahead of the July 20 governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State as one of the two factions of state executive has rejected APC alleged adoption of indirect mode of primary.
This is as ten of the twelve aspirants contesting the APC ticket are poised to go to court should APC leadership foist indirect primary on the.
A factional chairman, Hon. Henry Olu Olatuja who disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja insisted that direct primary option is a must for APC in Ondo state.
Addressing a press conference at APC national secretariat, the chairman warned the party leadership against another loss at the poll while reminding the party of avoidable losses in Rivers and Zamfara states.
Olatuja said the Buni – led caretaker committee should carefully navigate the legal landmines surrounding the mode of primary to be adopted in the state, while urging the committee to consider petitions by the factions on issues of party membership register.
“It is important to consider the mode of primary to be adopted considering the pending litigation on the legality or otherwise of the process that produced the two Executives Committees, not withstanding that our own Ward, Local and State Executives Committee and the delegates elected at the congresses were constituted with substantial compliance.
“We are also aware that with deflection of the Deputy Governor H.E. Agboola Ajayi to PDP and the recent resignation of Hon. Sunday Abegunde (a.k.a Abena) as SSG from government of Arakunrin Akeredolu a lot of manipulation from their own list of members being prepared for this indirect primary had been done.
“They are expert on delegate list manipulation as evidence in 2016 governorship primary that resulted in emergency of the incumbent Governor as the party candidate. The delegates’ lists from both factions are contentious. Therefore, there must be fair and equitable consideration of the two delegates’ lists.
“We urge that premised on the situation at hand in Ondo State as highlighted above, that the option of Direct Primary be considered and must adopted in the interest of equity, fairness and justice.
So that the outcome of the pending suit No. FHC/AK/CS/10/2019 would not affect the validity of the Governorship Primary to be conducted on the 20th July, 2020”, he stated.
The faction urged the Caretaker committee to prevail upon stakeholders such as governors of Ekiti snd Kaduna states, Kayode Fayemi and Nasir El – Rufai and Transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi to desist from backing impunity embarked upon by Ondo state governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Olatuja said “we need to call the attention of National Leaders of our party to call the Governor of Ekiti State Dr. John Kayode Fayemi to order to avoid disgrace and embarrassment that may arise from abuse of his office as Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum.
“He and his cohort should desist from facilitating undemocratic process, while try to impose the incumbent Governor Arakunrin Rotimi Odunayo Akeredolu on the APC by pushing for an indirect primary model which is grossly inequitable and inimical to the success of our party in general election coming up on the 10th October 2020.
He should note that Ondo State is not an appendage of Ekiti State and such he should stop meddling with the political affair of Ondo State”.
The faction accused Akeredolu of scheming to influence the disqualification of his notable challengers as the screening of aspirants continues.
The faction also said that Akeredolu ought to have been disqualified from the 2020 Ondo governorship contest on allegations of anti – party activities.
The governor and Mr. Ade Adetimehin led Executives were alleged to have vigorously campaigned and mobilized for Action Alliance (AA) candidates against the candidates of the APC in 2019, resulting in the lost of Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representative Seats; wherein APC lost 2 Senatorial seats and 5 House of Representative seats to the opposition parties.
This, he said ran contrary to Article 21 of APC constitution but regretted that immediate past national executive swept
these allegations under carpet without approprate sanction.
He said ” this might also lead to boycotting of the proposed Governorship primary election by some aspirants and is going to be an authorization for further anti – party activities in Ondo State”.
Meanwhile, former governor of Borno state, Ali Modu Sheriff made a brief appearance at the party headquaters yesterday.
The former factional national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) brisked into the APC secretariat in his black Mercedez Benz G – Wagon in the afternoon and headed straigjt for the office of the chairman, National Caretaker Committee, Gov. Mai Mala Buni.
Though mission of his visit which lasted barely twenty minutes was undisclosed, Sheriff refused to entertain questions from journalists before been driven out of the ptemises.
However, unconfirmed source said his visit might not be unconnected with the forthcoming extra – ordinary national convention of the APC in which Sheriff is suspected to be nursing national chairmanship ambition.