The leaders of the opposition in Ondo State, All Progressives Congress (APC), are now divided over the “delegates’ list” that would be used for the party’s primary election slated for August 27th, 2016.
This division among the leaders is coming few days after the party’s main national financier, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, was accused of anointing the candidature of Mr. Segun Abraham for the party ahead of the governorship election.
Mr. Abraham from Ikare Akoko in the Northern Senatorial District of the state is one of the leading gubernatorial aspirants of the opposition party.
“Some of them [leaders] are now asking the National Leaders of the party that would conduct the primary election in Ondo State to maintain a "delegates’ list produced at the party's congress held in 2014.”
SaharaReporters learned that this same delegates’ list was used to produce the current executive members of the party in the state.
Our correspondent exclusively gathered on Thursday that close to three thousand delegates would elect the party’s main flag bearer at the primary election.
The aggrieved ones among these leaders have also accused the state Chairman of the party, Mr. Isaacs Kekemeke, of causing another crisis in the opposition party.
One of the leaders who spoke to SaharaReporters under the condition of anonymity accused, Mr. Kekemeke, of backing one of the aspirants, Mr. Bode Ayorinde for the candidate of the party in the November 26th, 2016 governorship election.
Mr. Ayorinde, also known as “Achievers,” is from Owo Local Government Area in the Northern Senatorial District of the State.
This same leader has further alleged that Mr. Kekemeke has also doctored the delegates’ list sent to the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja that would be used for the party’s primary election in Ondo State.
According to this same leader, the delegates’ list sent to Abuja was prepared to favor Mr. Kekemeke’s anointed candidate [Ayorinde] in the forthcoming primary election of the party.
“The most important problem facing the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State today before going to the primary election is the delegates’ list.
“We are aware that the delegates’ list has been sent to the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja and this list has been doctored by the state Chairman, Isaacs Kekemke.
“The state Chairman [Mr. Kekemeke] has his own candidate and he has doctored the whole delegates’ list to favor his own person.
“What we are agitating for is that the delegates’ list produced in 2014 which also produced this same chairman and other executive members must be used for this primary election.
Another source told our correspondent that the issue concerning the "imposition of candidate" is a distraction from the main problem at stake- delegates list.
“I repeat, the main issue is that the National Secretariat should use the delegates’ list produced since Isaacs Kekemeke was elected as the party’s state Chairman."
The source maintained that if the original delegates’ list produced at the 2014 congress held in Akure, Ondo State capital is used for the primary election- its outcome would be free and fair.
Already, some set of leaders in the party have also kicked against the “imposition of candidate” on the members ahead of the primary election.
Our correspondent reported that many of these leaders are mainly Local Chairmen of the party from the eighteen local government areas of the state.
Seventeen out of these Eighteen Local Chairmen signed a communique to kick and reject any imposition of a candidate on the party members.
It was observed in the communique that the party's Local Chairman from Akoko North East Local Government refused to sign the statement.
His reasons were not given, our correspondent reported.
Mr. Rasheed Badmus, the party’s Local Chairman in Akoko North West who spoke with journalists on behalf of his colleagues kicked against the imposition of a candidate on the members.
Mr. Badmus explained that any imposition without transparent primary election would not be acceptable to the party’s local chairmen and members in Ondo State.
“The people of Ondo State are embodiments of pride and esteem, thus; any imposition without free and fair primary would not be acceptable by them.
“We wish to state emphatically, that we the local government Chairmen of APC Ondo State hereby disassociate ourselves completely from it.
“We wish to appeal to our national secretariat of our great party to wade in that free, fair, transparent and credible primary must not be compromised and that has being speculated the delegates list of the state congress in 2014 must not be doctored," he read from the communique.
Some women leaders of the party have also issued threats to reject any imposition of a candidate on the members.