Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
About 2,500 delegates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 18 local government areas of Ondo will today converge on Akure, the state capital, to elect the standard-bearer of the party in the governorship election holding in October.
Already, 12 aspirants, including Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, are jostling for the post.
Others seeking to contest the governorship election on APC platform are Olusola Oke, lfeoluwa Oyedele, Joseph Iji, Odimayo Okunjimi; Olayide Adelami; Issacs Kekemeke and Olajumoke Anifowoshe.
Also in the race are Awodeyi Colinus, Olubukola Adetula, Abraham Olusegun and Nathaniel Adojutelegan.
Of all the 12 aspirants, only Governor Akeredolu is favourably disposed to the indirect mode adopted by the national secretariat of the party for the primary.
Others had protested the decision of the party, alleging it was a plot to favour Akeredolu, as he was said to have the control of the delegates.
But, the party insisted there was no going back on the adoption of indirect primary as the National Executive Council (NEC) had approved it.
Chairman of the primary committee and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, who has arrived the state, said he has no power to upturn the decision of the NEC. He said the party has settled for indirect primary.
Although none of the aspirants has formally announced his decision to boycott the primary, there are speculations that some of them may boycott the poll.
However, Governor Akeredolu, Oke and Kekemeke said they are ready for the party’s governorship primary regardless of the mode of its conduct.
Also, the state chapter of the party said it was prepared for the primary as all arrangements to host the committee set up by the national secretariat have been concluded.
Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaiye, who informed that 2,500 delegates would participate in the primary, said the election would be free and fair.
He said: “There will be 12 delegates from each of the 203 wards, 72 from the state executives. We have delegates from local government areas; we have House of Assembly and National Assembly members as automatic delegates. We also have special delegates.”
Kalejaiye, who stated that the primary election would not divide the party, said the state chapter will support and work for anyone who emerged as the party’s candidate after the primary.