Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
All Progressives Congress (APC) former chairman in Ondo State, Isaac Kekemeke, yesterday announced his decision to contest the October governorship election.
Kekemeke, a former commissioner for Works and Transport, had also served as the secretary to the state government.
At a news conference in Akure, the state capital, the former APC chairman said his decision to contest the election was due to his desire to serve his people.
He debunked insinuations making the rounds that he was not a serious contender as it was alleged that he was, through his ambition, planning to serve as running mate to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
He declared that he was prepared to take over the reins of government from Governor Akeredolu, saying he has no plan to serve as deputy governor to either Akeredolu or any other person.
“I laboured more than any other individual to build this party and together, with some stakeholders, we were able to develop the party. I am not a small person in politics and I have all it takes to lead the state.
“I had openly told the incumbent Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, that I am not interested in his office and I mean it. I am interested in the office his boss is holding and by the grace of God, I shall get there,” he said.
On the crisis rocking the party, Kekemeke said efforts are on by the leadership of the party, at both the national and state levels, to reconcile all aggrieved members.
He said the national leadership of the party, through its reconciliatory committee, headed by former Osun State governor, Bisi Akande, will work for the unity of the party before the governorship poll
Meanwhile, APC members in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, yesterday, protested at the party’s secretariat in Akure over alleged imposition of chairmanship candidate.
On February 5 and 6, APC held its councillors-hip and chairmanship primaries respectively, in all the 203 wards of the 18 local government areas of the state.
The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, alleged imposition of Goke Jatuase, the current education secretary in the council, from Mahin Ward 1.
One of the protesters, Adehin Ekundayo, said some political office holders decided to impose the aspirant on them rather than allowing the eight aspirants to contest the primaries.
Ekundayo said it was the turn of Mahin Ward II of the council to produce the next chairman, saying Mahin Ward I and other wards had already occupied political offices at the state level.
An APC chieftain, Moro Success, said an advisory committee was set up to reconcile all chairmanship aspirants in the council.
“The eight-man committee, led by a former head of service, Ajose Kudehinbu, interfaced with Jatuase, Atikase Otito, Rotimi Omomuwasan, Oyetakin Juwon, Orokotan Omokunle, Emehin Omolebi, Kunle Odidi and Ojowuro Sunday on February 10 and 11 at Oba-Ile in Akure North Local Government Area.