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Ondo 2024: APC gov aspirant seeks free, fair primary

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As the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State prepares for the forthcoming governorship primary in April, a governorship aspirant of the party, Chief Olusola Oke, has called on the leadership of the party to conduct a free and fair primary.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed April 2024 for the party’s primaries ahead of the forthcoming governorship primary in November, but the national leadership of the APC is yet to fix an exact date for the April primary of the party.

Oke, who spoke during his visit to the state secretariat of the party in Akure, the state capital, on Monday, expressed confidence that he would emerge the candidate of the party after the primary.

He said, “I have come here today to notify you of my intention to throw in my cap again into the contest for the governorship seat of Ondo State on the platform of APC.

“All I have come here to ask for is not to ask you to descend to the arena but to organise a free and fair primary. Once this is done, we will all go to the field and I assure you I know I will emerge. But in any circumstance, I will remain a loyal party member.”

Oke would be contesting for the primary of the party alongside other aspirants who include, Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, a former Commissioner for Finance Mr Wale Akinterinwa, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Mayowa Akinfolarin; a former Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Oladunni Odu and a former Special Adviser to Governor Akeredolu on Health, Prof Francis Faduyile.

Others include a former governorship aspirant of the APC, Chief Olusola Oke, a former, a former Chairman of the Ondo State Oil-producing Areas Development Commission, Mr Gbenga Edema, Dr Jimoh Ibrahim, Dr Paul Akintelure and  Brig. Gen. Olamide Ohunyeye (retd).

Oke, who had contested the governorship election twice with the Peoples Democratic Party and the defunct Alliance for Democracy in 2012 and 2020 respectively, declared that he was ready to serve the state if voted for.

“Ondo needs a governor that is familiar with the environment. I have spent the whole of my life in Ondo state, I’ve never been away for six months except in 1971 when I was in Lagos for nine months. I have been part of the suffering, I’ve been part of the denial and that’s why I will be part of the solution to the problems of our state.

“I’ve contested for this position three times, I lost like Buhari and the fourth time is my turn. Recall that three of us rose at the same time in this state. Mimiko, Akeredolu and I. The three of us are from three senatorial districts. Mimiko took his turn from the central senatorial district, and Akeredolu took his turn from the north. I am told and I’m glad that the ticket is shifting to the south, so who’s turn is next? It is my turn! I am the only one who can say that, nobody else can say that Oke stated.

Responding, the National Chairman of the state APC, Mr Ade Adetimehin, urged the aspirants not to take the primary as a do-or-die affair, saying all the aspirants would still come back as members of the same party after the primary.

“We want to appeal to you and your supporters to play the game according to the rules in a civilized way. We should not fight. Don’t be involved in the campaign of bitterness. What I want from you is to focus on how to develop the state.

“I want to appeal to you to all aspirants to cooperate and work with whoever emerges as the winner of the primary because we are all members of the same family,” the APC chairman urged.

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