The All Progressives Congress (APC), House of Assembly aspirants and their supporters in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, have protested against imposition of a candidate the into the State House of Assembly by the state chapter of the party.
The aggrieved members specifically said the state deputy speaker in the House of Assembly, Hon Iroju Ogundeji, was declared the winner for the Odigbo Constituency 1, where there was no primary election.
The leader of the aggrieved members from the area and an aspirant, Mrs Margret Akinsuroju, described the declaration of Ogundeji as the winner of the primary as strange and funny saying there was no election in the area.
According to her, members of the party in the area had assembled at their various ward to cast their votes as early as 8am and waited till 4pm when the state deputy governor arrived at the center, claiming to have won the election.
Akinsuroju disclosed that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were at the venue of the election but lamented that there was no party official from state Secretariat to see to the conduct of the election.
The former Commissioner of the state said apart from this, there was no comprehensive and credible register of members of the party with which a free and fair transparent direct primary could be conducted during the primary election while leaders of the party failed to turn up for the election.
All the five aspirants for the House of Assembly however, vowed to resist the imposition of Ogundeji on members from the area while they called on the state Chairman of the party, Mr Ade Adetimehin, to call for a fresh election to decide APC State Assembly candidate for Odigbo constituency 1.
Also speaking, the party’s youth leader, Abideen Abass, described the development as unhealthy for the party in the area, noting that the party may lose its grip in the area if a proper party primary is not conducted in the area.
He said that APC might lose the 2019 general election if the party’s leadership failed to conduct an acceptable primary in Odigbo constituency 1, noting that the imposition could destabilise the party in Odigbo
He appealed to the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu and the party leadership in the state to intervene and stop the undemocratic practice, to save the party from another crisis in the area.
The APC members also warned INEC against accepting name of Ogundeji as the candidate to represent Odigbo constituency 1 in the forthcoming 2019 election.