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Ondo Guber: APC to Conduct Fresh Primary

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A fresh primary election seems underway to resolve the crisis trailing the September 3 congress held to pick the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 27 governorship election in Ondo State.

The APC Primary Appeal Committee in the state has recommended the cancellation of the governorship primary held in the State on September 3.

Chief-Rotimi-Akeredolu-SAN                                                Rotimi Akeredolu

In its place, the committee recommended the conduct of a fresh primary for the governorship election.

The initial primary had produced former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), as the governorship candidate.

But the panel received six petitions in respect of the primary. Three of the aspirants who took part in the election, Chief Olusola Oke, Dr. Olusegun Abraham and Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, had filed petitions against Akeredolu’s emergence.

Also, the Chairman of Ondo Central APC, Adegboyega Adedipe; his Ondo East counterpart, Akintunde Temitope; and a delegate, Toyin Ajinde, also petitioned against the election.

The Appeal Committee, headed by Hellen Bendega, said a rerun primary should be held immediately to beat the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Committee for the submission of the names of candidates for the election.

The panel also suggested that the party’s national leadership should revert to the earlier delegates’ list, which was distributed to aspirants in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, shortly before the primary.

According to the committee, a final and properly harmonised list acceptable to all contenders should be compiled.

It said the delegates’ list should not be released on the eve of the primary, but much earlier to give sufficient time for the take-off of the election and avoid being used in favour of any aspirant.

The panel pointed out that although there was substantial compliance with rules during the primary, “that consideration may not be sufficient reason to ignore such serious and weighty, identified irregularities”.

It added: “In view of the change mantra of this administration, it is pertinent that the party blazes the trail by refusing to condone a less than perfect exercise. We, therefore, formally submit our recommendations for the National Working Committee to use its discretionary powers in line with the APC constitution and the Electoral Act to arrive at a final decision.”

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