From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has assured all 24 aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Saturday’s primaries in Ondo State, that President Muhammadu Buhari has no preferred candidate.
This is even as it has warned 10 of the aspirants yet to sign undertaking with the State Security Service to be of good conduct for the elections and to do so before the expiration of the deadline.
This is coming on the heels of the crisis of confidence rocking the state chapter of the APC.
Addressing newsmen after a closed door meeting with the aspirants of the party, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, said the discussions were peaceful and fruitful.
He said, “We expect that all the aspirants will work hard to win the votes of delegates. In the tradition of APC, we expect that there will be no inducement of delegates or coercion”, he said.
Lawal also assured of adequate deployment of security operatives for the primaries, warning that government would deal decisively with anyone who breaches the peace.
He urged the aspirants to unite behind whoever emerges as the candidate saying, “soon, Ondo state would become an APC state”.
“We understand that tension is high due to some underlying factors. The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party has assured the government and we believe them that everything will be done to ensure that elections are free and fair and we know that no official of the party would do anything to give undue advantage to any aspirant over others.
National Secretary of the party, Mai Mala Buni also restated the position of its leadership to providea level-playing field for all aspirants.
He said, “This party is committed to providing free and fair election because the calibre of members that we are sending to conduct this primary election are up to the task”.