Ahead of the July 20 governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, moves by 11 aspirants to change the mode from indirect to direct primary election has been scuttled, it was learnt on Sunday.
The aspirants, who are contesting with the incumbent governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, had lobbied the National Caretaker Committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni to change the mode of the primary but they were reportedly told that the notice had been sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which had given its approval.
- What we are doing for APC victory in Edo, Ondo — Sen Yusuf
- Ondo govt should assist us tackle ocean incursion
The committee had to remind them of the 21-day notice for INEC.
Subsequently, some of the aspirants are said to have been putting pressure on the Buni committee to dissolve the executive councils of the party from ward to state level to pave way for the election of a three-man ad hoc delegate that would vote via the indirect mode during the primary.
Their fear is that the APC faction recognised by the committee would favour the incumbent.
But the request was said to have been turned down by the committee citing time constraint, a source told Daily Trust.
Some of the aggrieved aspirants are; the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Niger/Delta Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Engr. Ife Oyedele; Chief Olusola Oke, former Deputy Clerk of National Assembly, Mr. Olayide Adelami
Daily Trust reports that the party’s national caretaker committee needs at least 21 days to notify INEC on its decision in respect of the primary election; a constitutional provision that cannot be met now.
Four of the aspirants, it was gathered, were also in Lagos on Sunday to see the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the need for the National Caretaker Committee of the party to either adopt direct primaries or dissolve the current executive of the party.
This is to pave way for the election of ad hoc delegates to vote during the primary but the aspirants were unable to meet the former Lagos State governor.
One other aspirant, Olusola Oke, had said earlier that the ruling party could not use indirect primary because of polarisation and pending court cases, warning against a repeat of the Zamfara experience.