By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
There is palpable fear over the possibility of hostilities excalating in the Ondo State politics, following the alleged moves by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to adopt an indirect primary election, despite that majority of the governorship aspirants who purchased forms for the elections opted for a direct primary.
Recall that during the sale of forms, all the aspirants, except the incumbent Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had expressed preference for an direct primary.
Their argument was that the condition for an indirect primary, including convening of a special Congress to elect the state party delegates who will vote in the indirect primaries, had made it difficult for the party to go for indirect primary mode.
Other factors they cited to fault direct primary was the prevalence of Covid-19 pandemic, which they said indirect primaries will worsen in the state, especially considering the Federal Government protocols and guideline for election by INEC.
But a source in the party hierarchy confided in Peoples Daily that the Caretaker Committee, led by Governor Mai Mala Buni, does not wish to alter the correspondence which went on earlier between the former Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomole and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on the mode of primary to be adopted by the party for Ondo State.
Before his National Working Committee (NWC) was dissolved, Oshiomhole had written to INEC expressing that the party will follow indirect primary to elect its Governorship candidate for Ondo, which is what the Buni led caretaker Committee does not wish to upturn.
As at the time of filing this report, the APC is yet to make public the mode of primary election it intends to adopt for Ondo, confirming the speculation by some of the governorship aspirants that the party is setout to favour the embattled Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
Oshiomhole had evaded question on which primary elections method the party will apply in Ondo after a peace meeting held in late May between Governors Akeredolu and Godwin Obaseki, which was brokered by the chairman of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state.
Oshiomhole merely said that Ondo is not a problem as the incumbent Governor Akeredolu has done very well, to the extent that the party does not have any fear about his re-election and victory at the poll.
In another development, the screening committee of the APC was said to have screened the incumbent governor Rotimi Akeredolu and five other aspirants in a Abuja, remaining six would face the screening panel today at the same venue.
Nonetheless, the screening appeal committee will sit to hear appeals from the aggrieved aspirants on Friday.
Meanwhile, yesterday, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on his Facebook page, said “I have just undergone screening by my party @OfficialAPCNg. Members of the committee were thorough, scrutinizing all documents amongst other questions. I believe the party made excellent choices of the committee members. Very professional and courteous. …“.
The Governorship aspirants for the Ondo polls are: Oluwarotiml Odunayo Akeredolu, Joseoh Olusola Iji, Odimayo Okunjiml, Olayide Owolabi Adelaml, Kekemeke Duerlminl, Olusola Oke Alex.
Others are: lfeoluwa Olusola Oyedele, Olajumoke Olubusola Anifowoshi, Awodeyi Akinsehinwa Akinola Colinus, Olubukola Olarogba Okunola Adetula, Abraham Olusegun Michael and Nathaniel Olumugwa Adojutelegan.