Ondo 2024 : APC primary,Oke,Edema Akinterinwa,Dayo Faduyile demands cancellation

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By Folorunso Ojo, Akure

Some aspirants that participated in the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary in Ondo state on Saturday have called for the  cancellation and postponement of the exercise.

This was based on what they termed non compliance with the guidelines set by the APC 2024 Governorship Primary Electoral Committee headed by the Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo.

Addressing journalists at BON hotel ljapo in Akure, the Ondo state capital where the committee members lodged, one of the aspirants, Olugbenga Edema, demanded for the postponement of the exercise, insisting that no election material has been distributed as at 10am.

Edema narrated that on Friday Evening at the stakeholders meeting held at St Thomas’ Event Centre in Akure, the secretary of the Electoral Committee, Senator Ovie Omo-agege, said collection of voting materials which include the membership register and others, will be distributed to the electoral officers representing  each of the 203 wards of Ondo State by 6am on the day of the election.

He stated that the stakeholders were told to come to BON Hotel in Akure to collect the materials, and that accreditation will start by 10am, to be completed by 1pm, while voting proper will start by 1pm and end by 2pm, followed by announcement of results.

Edema said: “As I am talking to you now, this is 10:40am. We’ve been here since 6am, believing that our people will collect the materials but unfortunately, at about 10:10am, His Excellency, Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo came out to tell us that materials have been distributed to Southern and Northern senatorial districts of the state. How? At what time? We don’t know!

“Unfortunately for him, the returning officers and particularly the electoral officer of my ward, Mahin ward II, in Ilaje local government are here and unable to collect the materials as promised.”

Also, Mr Sola Ajisafe, the Director of Programme, Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Organisation who spoke on behalf of his principal said: “for APC to bring Governor Usman Ododo to Ondo state is a low to our party and state, and our position is that no primary election has taken place, no election material has left here, and we are saying that the leadership of the party should do the needful by sending another neutral person to conduct the election at a later date.

Ajisafe said: “If the leadership of the party failed to do the needful, then there is a way we will react and we are going to react accordingly. If any result is announced, we are telling the leadership of the party including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that no election took place in Ondo state, and no material was distributed for us to pick our preferred candidate.

In his reaction, Oluwarotimi Ogunleye, a media aide to Olusola Oke, SAN, said: “we got here around 6:30am, we don’t know when and where the election materials are, because nothing was sent out from this place to Ondo South and North senatorial districts, the truth of the matter is that there was no material sent out.

“Why can’t they follow the due process, the national leadership of the party should call Governor Ododo to order, they should follow the guidelines they released.”

Speaking on behalf of another aspirant, Prof Dayo Faduyile, Mr Paul Oniyemofe noted that “What we are asking for is a credible election. So, we are asking the leadership of the party to look into this non compliance with the guidelines. If they’re not ready for this election, they should postpone it and the right thing should be done.”