APC declares Aiyedatiwa winner of Ondo governorship primary election despite protest over alleged irregularities

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared Lucky Aiyedatiwa as the winner of the Ondo governorship primary election.

Aiyedatiwa, who is the governor of the state scored a total of 48,460 votes in the total votes cast in the 18 local government areas of the state.

This was announced by Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi State, who served as the Chairman of the Primary Election Committee.

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Recall the APC primary was held across the 203 wards and 18 local government areas of the state amid protests by some of the governorship aspirants.

No fewer than 16 members of the party contested the ticket of the party in the Saturday primary.

They include Aiyedatiwa, Chief Olusola Oke, SAN, Wale Akinterinwa, Prince Diran Iyantan, Prof Dayo Faduyile, Mr Gbenga Edema, Mr Jimi Odimayo and Dr Jimoh Ibrahim.

Others are, Brig. Gen. Olamide Ohunyeye (retd), Mr Diran Iyantan, Ife Oyedele, Mr Soji Ehinlawo, Mrs Funmilayo Waheed-Adekojo , Mr Morayo Lebi, and Mrs Funke Omogoroye.

The primaries, marked by controversy and tension, saw Aiyedatiwa’s closest contender, Mayowa Akinfolarin, securing the second position with 15,343 votes.

Olusola Oke came third with 14,915 and Jimoh Ibrahim scored 9,456 to occupy the fourth position.

Earlier on Sunday, scores of members of the APC in the state took to the streets of Akure, the state capital to protest against the conduct of the primary.

The protesters alleged that the primary election committee led by Governor Ododo did not follow the party’s guidelines.

The protesters, who also stormed the state secretariat of the APC in Akure, expressed displeasure over the conduct of the governorship primary in the state. They were said to be supporters of some governorship aspirants who participated in the primary and lost out.

They were armed with placards with various inscriptions such as “No election in Ondo”; “APC primary electoral officers failed to show up in all wards in Ondo State,’ ‘We demand fairness and justice in APC primary election in Ondo’’; ‘No mandate for Aiyedatiwa, We’re calling for fresh primary election”;  ‘NWC of APC No Mandate for Aiyedatiwa”; “Saturday ‘s APC primary in Ondo was a sham”, among others.

Speaking for the protesters, the Director General of Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation, Ondo Central Senatorial District, Mr Adeniran Oyebade, said the people of the state would not allow their mandate to be stolen

Oyebade said, “We are protesting against our mandate that was stolen. It was a daylight robbery, a monumental disaster. The APC delegated some people to Ondo State to conduct the primary, apparently, that was never done. They remained in Akure and started writing results.”

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Calling for the disbandment of the Primary Election Committee of the APC in the state, Oyebade said the committee had caused more division in the party in the state.

“Election crime is a serious crime. You cannot come to the wards of our people and start terrorising them against their will. What we want is the cancellation of the election because the election did not take place,” he declared

In the same vein, three aspirants in the election, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, and one of the two female aspirants, Mrs Folakemi Omogoroye, condemned the process of the election on Sunday, demanding the cancellation of the whole exercise.

The Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Organisation’s spokesman, Mr Segun Ajiboye, described the exercise as a show of shame, saying the Ododo-led committee did not do well in the conduct of the shadow poll.

He said, “Without any fear of contradiction, we state here that no election was held in any part of Ondo State on Saturday to elect the candidate of the APC. It is on record with incontrovertible evidence that nothing in the semblance of a primary election was held in all the 203 wards in Ondo State. At best, what can be said to have happened was that the committee chairman, Governor Ododo, arrived in the state at about 8 am on Saturday to write the result of an election that was never conducted.

“Saturday’s election presented our dear party with a rare opportunity to endear itself to the people of the state. All that was needed was for us to organise an election that would be hailed by all, even the opposition. But we bungled the opportunity with the sham organised by the electoral committee.

“The people have eyes and they can see. But on Saturday, they did not see any part of the state where electoral committee members counted the votes as expected. Rather, what they witnessed was a crowd of our enthusiastic supporters who stood in the sun for several hours waiting for the elusive electoral officers to turn up. But we dashed their hopes and expectations of a robust democratic engagement.”

In the same vein, the Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr Ojo Oyewamide, on Sunday, said the primary was a mockery of democracy.

“We insist that what happened in Ondo State yesterday (Saturday ) was a disheartening mockery of democracy. As a result, our party has become a butt of jokes in the hands of the opposition parties and the people of the state.

“We would like to categorically state that the Kogi Governor cannot impose a candidate on our party members, through a shambolic exercise. It is unacceptable to us, “ the statement read.

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