Aiyedatiwa, other APC aspirants battle for Ondo guber ticket

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The All Progressives Congress will on Saturday hold its primary to elect its standard-bearer in the Ondo State governorship election, scheduled for November 16, 2024.

For the exercise, 171,922 validated members of the party drawn from the 203 wards of the 18 local government areas in the state will determine the fate of the 16 aspirants.

Slugging it out on Saturday to win the ticket are Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa; the Senator representing Ondo South, Jimoh Ibrahim; Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olusola Oke; former President of Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Francis Faduyile; an engineer, Dr Funmi Waheed-Adekojo and the APC National Vice Chairman (South-West), Isaacs Kekemeke.


Others are Dr Soji Ehinlanwo, Akinfolarin Samuel, Okunjimi Odimayo, Adewale Akinterinwa, Olugbenga Edema, Gen. Ohunyeye Olamide, Morayo Lebi, Garvey Oladiran Iyanjan and Ifeoluwa Oyedele.

The party, on Thursday, inaugurated the officials appointed to oversee the governorship primary election at its national secretariat in Abuja.

The Kogi State Governor, Usman Ododo, was chosen to head the seven-man Primary Election Committee set up to conduct the shadow poll, while former Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, will serve as the Secretary.

Other members include a former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Iyiola Oladokun; Senator Lekan Mustapha, Adefunmilayo Tejuoso; Margaret Duru and Dr Sani Danjuma.

The committee was saddled with the responsibility of conducting a direct primary in all 18 local government areas of the state, to pick the party’s standard-bearer ahead of the November 2024 governorship election.

The ruling party also swore in another five-man committee to take charge of post-election appeals and complaints.

The appeal committee is headed by former Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, while Chief Obiocha Israel serves as Secretary

Other members are Edo lawmaker, Patrick Obahiagbo; Jamilu Isiyiaka Gwamna and Chief Onyeka Okafor.

Ododo was, however, absent at the oath-taking ceremony, which started at about 5.30 pm.

The Kogi State governor, who came to the rescue of his predecessor, Yahaya Bello, during the siege laid on his Abuja residence by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was represented by his deputy, Salifu Oyibo.

Oyibo attributed Ododo’s absence to ‘security challenges and assured that the governor would be available in Ondo State for the assignment tomorrow.

He said, “I’m here representing my governor and executive governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Usman Ahmed Ododo, who could not make it down here today because of security challenges, which he told me he has informed you about. I am here because we don’t want to allow this place to be vacuumed today in the usual way.

“In his acceptance speech, he told me that ‘If there is any job not to be done, it must not be the one sent by the number one party member.’ That is the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and your humble self, the national party chairman and the party that is supreme. Any work set by these people must be done by him.

“On that note, he wants to inform the house that he has agreed to collaborate with all the committee members to produce the best candidate for the Ondo governorship election. He also said he will abide by the principle, doctrine and constitution of our great party.”

Addressing the audience, the National Chairman of the party, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, charged the primary election committee to take their assignment seriously.

Ganduje also disclosed that they need not panic, as proper security arrangements had been made for the exercise, with a reassurance that all relevant documents would be made available to all the officials ahead of the poll.

He said, “Controversy is a whole department in a democracy and you cannot have a 100 per cent peaceful exercise. But we know you are equal to the task. We expect you to be focused and highly organised in Ondo State. We have contacted all the stakeholders, and security agencies and you will be protected.

“Today we are reaching the climax of the various activities lined up for the Ondo governorship primary election coming up on Saturday. Your job is very important because you are the one to produce our gubernatorial candidate after their participation. If there is any dispute or disagreement, then the Appeal Committee will listen. That is part of the internal democracy as prescribed by our constitution.

“Members of this committee were selected based on their integrity, honesty, standing in the party and experience. The chairman of the primary election committee is our new governor in Kogi State, Usman Ododo. He is not here in person. But he has requested his deputy to represent him. Ododo has, however, promised to be personally there (Ondo) for the exercise.

“You will have all the necessary documents and records that you need so that if you have any complaint, you can attend to it judiciously. So we congratulate you on this. With these few remarks, I now formally inaugurate you.”