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Ondo APC Boils as Rumoured Imposition of Candidate by Tinubu Tears Party Apart


The Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has slipped into crisis ahead the party governorship primaries on August 27.
The crisis came to a head on Tuesday with some members claiming they have impeached the state Chairman of the party, Isaac Kekemeke.
The members accused the Chairman of involvement in the endorsement of an aspirant ahead of the governorship primaries.
This followed a protest letter jointly signed by the women leaders of the party in the state, on Monday, August 15, in which they accused the national leader of APC, Ahmed Bola Tinubu of trying to impose an unpopular candidate on the party, ahead the primaries.
The protesters on Tuesday alleged that Kekemeke had compromised his position by allowing the “imposition” of a candidate in spite of the agreement that all aspirants should be allowed to test their popularity at the primary election.
Also, a group known as the Owo/Ose Egalitarian Group, had earlier rejected the imposition, saying the action negated the principle of fairness and denied the people of Owo/Ese Federal Constituency the right to produce a governor for the state.
Its coordinator, Akin Famadenuyi, who protested the imposition in statement, said the leaders of the party should not take away the rights of the people of his constituency to produce the next governor by zoning it to another.
Meanwhile, in a statement by the women leaders of the APC in the 18 local government councils of Ondo, they warned Tinubu, against imposing a governorship candidate on the party.
In a letter jointly signed by the women leaders on Monday, August 15, they said that the preferred choice of Tinubu for the governorship election was unpopular.
The signatories to the letter included Mrs. T. O. Oparinde (Ondo-Central senatorial district); Mrs. Adejoro Lydia (Ondo-North senatorial district); Mrs. E. Y. Akinlaja (Ondo-South senatorial district), among several others.
The reaction of the APC women leaders came on the heels of an allegation by one of the governorship aspirants of the party, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, who claimed that Tinubu summoned all the party’s leaders, including the Chairman of the party at the local government level to Lagos, where he directed them to ensure that Dr. Segun Abraham emerges as the candidate of the party at the primary.
Tinubu had since replied Abayomi, telling him that he has the right to support anyone he wishes.
While affirming their loyalty to the leadership of Tinubu, the women leaders said that the preference of Abraham by the national leader would spell doom for the APC during the forthcoming poll.
The women advised Tinubu to allow a free and fair governorship primary.
The women said: “Recent rumour in Ondo state about your decision to back one of the aspirants has got us seriously worried. It would have been less worrisome if the particular aspirant has some measure of popularity that can be leveraged upon to win the governorship election. “Unfortunately, the reverse is the case. The number of those of us that sign this letter shows that our opinion cuts across all the part of the state.”
While calling for an urgent stakeholders’ meeting, the women leaders blamed the turn of event in the countdown to the governorship primary on “some selfish leaders who go to Lagos to feed Asiwaju with lies.”
“We appeal that you urgently convey a stakeholders’ meeting and listen to the genuine views or the Ondo people and not some few selfish individuals that are disconnected from the practical political reality in Ondo by their own selfish agenda. You are the father of all, don’t let them narrow you to a selfish agenda that will make us fail again.”
But the state Chairman, Kekemeke said these developments were an expression of democracy in action.
“You know our party is a progressive party and what happened today (Tuesday) is part of the vibrancy in the party,” he said.
“I am not angry because people are free to express how they feel especially given the fact that APC has a high propensity to win the coming election.
“People have invested their time and energy in the pursuit of their ambitions, and they are bound to vent their frustrations if they think that those ambitions are dimming.
“To seek endorsement from anyone is normal in a democratic process, it is political illiteracy to be angry because someone got endorsed and you did not get the endorsement, which you also sought,” he said.
“The aspirants have been going around trying to get endorsements even from me and I don’t think there is anything wrong if anyone got endorsed.
“Whatever the case, I can assure you that everyone will still have to submit himself to the primaries and a candidate will emerge through a free and fair election.”
He said he was willing to be the “scape goat,” as the Chairman of the party, saying he would be strong to receive whatever attack that would come to him in the process.
He promised that the issues would be resolved and the present state of things would not affect the process of the coming primaries.

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