JUST IN: Ondo APC elders screen Aiyedatiwa, two others for endorsement

Elders of the Ondo State All Progressives Congress, otherwise called Ondo APC Aborigines, said, on Thursday, that they had penned down three governorship aspirants on the party’s platform to consider for endorsement....READ FULL ARTICLE

The Ondo State governorship election comes up on November 16 and the APC has fixed April 25 for its primary election to pick its governorship candidate.

Among the frontline contenders is the incumbent governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa. Others include a former Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa; the APC National Vice Chairman (South-West); Isaac Kekemeke; a former member of the House of Representatives, Mayowa Akinfolarin; and a former Special Adviser to the late Governor Akeredolu on Health, Prof. Francis Faduyile.

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

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The Ondo APC elders had last week warned the party against picking a “stranger” or an “alien” as governorship candidate.

Speaking after a meeting in Akure on Thursday, the chairman of the group and a former Ambassador to Togo, Sola Iji, disclosed that a nine-man committee set up by the APC elders had assessed all the aspirants and had penned down three of them, among whom one would be endorsed after further screening.

According to Iji, the committee headed by Mrs Christy Olufowose, had submitted its report to the house at the Thursday meeting.

Iji said, “We have received the report of the nine-man committee headed by Olufowose. The report contains some recommendations that we, the leaders, will deliberate on and we will return to take a final decision on our preferred aspirant.

“We are interested in working for a preferred aspirant who will be a party man. The elders will look at the recommendations. What should interest the people is the candidate that will be acceptable.

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“The committee has identified the aspirants. The house has accepted the report of the committee but with some amendments. At the next meeting next week, we should be able to name the aspirant we are supporting.”

Though Iji did not reveal the names of the three aspirants being considered, our correspondent reliably gathered that Aiyedatiwa was one of them.

A former Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, said loyalty to the party would be a major yardstick to pick the aspirants that the elders would back at the APC governorship primary.

“Loyalty to the party should be considered. How long have you been in and out of the party? All those will be used to assess the aspirants,” Borofffice said.

Also, a former Commissioner for Regional Integration in Osun State, Mr Bola Ilori, said the group was fighting against commercialisation of the party, saying all the aspirants who thought sharing billions would get them the ticket of the party would be disappointed.

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Ilori said, “One major issue that came up in the course of our discussion is that we want to fight against commercialisation of the party because when the people have the notion that it is going to be money for money, then we will miss the genuine interest of members. That was what led us to the first problem that we had.

“This is the opportunity to change that narrative. The party is not for sale. We want a governor we can talk to, not the governor who will shut the party members out. Somebody may come with billions, they will fail this time.”...READ FULL ARTICLE

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