Ondo 2024: Edema rubbishes APC aborigines’ decision to screen aspirants

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By Folorunso Ojo, Akure

Ahead of the April 25 primary of the
All Progressives Congress (APC in Ondo state, a governorship asiprant, Hon Olugbenga Edema has faulted the decision by some elders of the party otherwise known Ondo APC Aborigines to set up a committee to screen the aspirants of the party

The party elders known as APC Aborigines had said that they had penned down three governorship aspirants including Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa on the party’s platform to consider for endorsement.

Edema said that the outcome of the committee would not be acceptable to him and other aspirants as the elders have no moral justification for the decision to be taken.

Speaking with journalist on Sunday, Edema said most of those who claimed to be APC Aborigines were either in the Labour Party (LP) or Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the formation of APC in 2014.

Edema said the absence of the State Chairman of APC, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, former Deputy Speaker, Rev Sam Aderoboye, former speakers Kenneth Olawale and Ayo Agbonmuserin from the committee has made the decision irrelevant to the hierarchy of the party.

His words ” I saw it on social media that a group who called themselves Aborigines group of APC was saying they have screened some candidates and they came out with names, I have my reservations about that group, for you to say you are aborigine of APC you must have some legitimacy that confer aborigine on you.

“I do not know if the aborigine is of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), is it of Labour Party, or PDP? We have to define the legitimacy part of it. The person I saw in that picture and the name is Prof Ajayi Boroffice, we were together in Labour party up to 2013 or thereabout, he went to National Assembly as a senator on the platform of Labour Party of which Dr. Olusegun Mimiko was the leader before he defected to ACN, I do not know how that confirms indigenship or aboriginship on him.

“Secondly I know that Boroffice and his cohorts have raised up Lucky Aiyedatiwa’s hands as their preferred candidate in the coming election. Having raised the hands of Ayiedatiwa, it spark bias, they could simply have said they have endorsed Aiyedatiwa as their candidate rather than saying have are screening.

“I would ask them these three questions, what are the parameters they have used to screen aspirants for them to adopt a particular candidate, have they look at educational qualification, have they look at the length of time the person have joined politics, have they look at the position the person have held before, have they interfaced with all the aspirants, because they have not walked up to me for me to tell what I am capable of doing as an aspirant of APC to be the governor of Ondo State.

“At what stage do they interview all the potential aspirants? Do they know who are the potential aspirants since we have not obtained forms of the N50m? They already have a preferred aspirant, like they did in the days of unity forum. In the time of unity forum they also have a preferred candidate, the moment the Unity Forum adopted Olusola Oke that was the end of the story in the camp, I am sure that is what they wanted to replicate now.

“The question I asked, can they tell the people the criteria they used to pick their candidate, do they look at acceptability? They said they look at the ability to fund, if you look at ability to fund election, you may not be able to ascertain because there must be proof of funding and prove of funding does not mean what is in my bank account, because coming to the governorship election is not done by one man, people should be able to come, when we are talking about purchase of form, it must be done by your supporters, not necessarily you.”

Edema said the elders were not sincere because other aspirants were not given fair hearing before they decided to shortlist three aspirants among the deluge of those jostling for the ticket of the party.