Romanus Ugwu, Abuja and Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Factional Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ondo State chapter, Henry Olatuja, has urged the national leadership of the party to reconsider the indirect for the governorship poll.
Addressing newsmen at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, yesterday, he insisted that direct primary is a must if the national leadership did not want the party to lose out completely in the election.
“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 executive committees, notwithstanding that our ward, local and state executive committees and the delegates elected at the congresses, were constituted with substantial compliance.
“We are also aware that with defection of the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the recent resignation of Sunday Abegunde as secretary to the state government (SSG)from the Akeredolu administration, a lot of manipulation from their list of members being prepared for this indirect primary had been done.
“They are expert on delegates’ 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.”
Regardless, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared that indirect primary will be used by APC and PDP for their governorship primary in Ondo State.
INEC said it took the decision after wide consultation with stakeholders in both parties.
The electoral body has thus fixed July 2 to 27, for primaries by political parties to pick candidates for the October 10, 2020 governorship election in the state.
The mode of the primary to be adopted by the APC had generated a lot of controversies as many aspirants preferred direct primary, while Governor Akeredolu said he would be ready for any mode of primaries.
Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Rufus Akeju, who confirmed INEC position to newsmen in his office, said the indirect mode of primary was communicated to INEC through a letter from the APC national secretariat.
Akeju said the 17 political parties would adopt indirect primary system.
The APC has fixed July 20 for its primary, while that of PDP will hold on July 22.