A factional chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Hon Henry Olu Olatuja, has warned that 10 out of 12 governorship aspirants may boycott the July 20 primary election if the party settles for indirect mode of ballot.
Olatuja, who addressed a press conference on Thursday at the APC national secretariat in Abuja together with his factional state secretary Barrister Akin Ogunsakin, warned against alleged divisive influence of Governors Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Nasir El’rufai of Kaduna State and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in the state chapter of the party.
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He said his faction had earlier intimated the current leadership of the party of petitions before the recently dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) and the pending suits No. FHC/AK/CS/10/2019 challenging the process and the outcome of congresses held by the faction of the State Executive Committee of APC in Ondo state led by another factional chairman Mr. Ade Adetimehin from Ward level to the state for non-compliance substantially with the congress guidelines as laid down by the party.
“In addition, we also pointed out our observation in the letter written by the current leadership of the party dated 25th June, 2020 with ref. No. APC/NHDO/19/013 to the INEC notifying them of the forthcoming Governorship primary election of our party fixed for the 20th, July 2020, in Ondo State.
“It is, however, our observation that the mode of the primary election to be adopted was not stated / communicated to assist their preparation for the monitoring of the exercise as required by the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
“We are however, despite the above observation aware of the speculation published in the newspaper of 4th of July 2020 and various posting in social media insinuating an indirect mode of primary for Ondo state although it was not contained in their official letter dated 25th of June to the INEC.
“We find it compelling to assist the decision of current leaders at the national level by furnishing them with the details of events as it affects the Ward, Local and state executives and delegate lists of APC in Ondo State.
“That, considering the pending suit before the Federal High Court Akure Division and our letter dated 26th June, 2020 which was served on Chairman and other members of the caretaker committees on 30th June, 2020 drawing the attention of the caretaker committee to this suit and it implications on the need to conduct a valid and successful Governorship Party Primary and the desire to avert the Zamfara and River State episode / bitter pills.”
Though the party had refused to officially announce the mode of primary, A senior party official said Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CEONCPC) had adopted indirect mode of primary to elect its governorship flag bearer in Ondo State.
The senior party official said the CEONCPC had to stick to the mode of primary adopted and conveyed to the INEC by the sacked Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) in view of the constitutional provision that mandates political parties to notify electoral body of mode of primary 21 days before the conduct of the primary election.