Govornship election: APC declares Aiyedatiwa as candidate amid protests – Ondo

Ondo State Governor Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa was announced early this morning as the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16 governorship election.

The election in 203 wards across the 18 local governments was held on Saturday, except in Okitipupa Local Government, which was held yesterday afternoon.

The poll in Okitipupa was shifted by the electoral panel due to disruption.

Results from the local governments were collated until the early hours of today by the Governor Usman Ododo-led electoral panel.

Electoral officers from the local governments personally announced the results before the seven-man panel.

Thereafter, the results were tallied.

In the final tally, Aiyedatiwa won 48,569 votes; Samuel Akinfolarin, 15,182; Olusola Oke, 14,453; Jimoh Ibrahim, 9,457 and Wale Akinterinwa, 1,952.

A mild drama played out during the collation of results.

The Returning Officer for Ifedore Local Government Area, Chief Oliver Okpala, said he recorded zero for all the aspirants because no election took place.

According to him, there was violence, which forced prospective voters to stay indoors.

He said: “No election took place in Ifedore. We couldn’t find anybody in any ward. Everybody had taken shelter in their homes.

“There was violence everywhere. We saw people mobilising. Police were on ground to give protection.”

The governor won in 16 local governments. Oke won in Ilaje Local Government while no results were declared in Ifedore.

Ododo, who announced Aiyedatiwa as the winner, called on other aspirants to work with the governor for the success of the party in the November election.

The Kogi State Governor appealed to other aspirants not to abandon the party.

There were protests by aggrieved party members, who claimed the election was not held.

Protesters holding placards and singing songs stormed the state secretariat of the APC, Akure, demanding the cancellation of results and a rerun.

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Four out of the 16 aspirants – Oke, Akinterinwa, Jimi Odimayo and Folakemi Omogoroye – rejected the outcome.

Omogoroye, the only woman aspirant, threatened to institute legal action if the primary was not cancelled.

Akinterinwa said it was a show of shame.

The placards by the protesters bore the inscriptions: “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,” and “No mandate for Aiyedatiwa, We’re calling for fresh primary election.”

Others read: “NWC of APC No Mandate for Aiyedatiwa,” “Saturday ‘s APC primary in Ondo was a sham,” “APC Must Not Collapse In Ondo State,” “Election materials were not distributed in all wards across eighteen LGAs in Ondo State.”

Oke said the declaration was a mirage aimed at deceiving party members.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the Director-General for Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation in Ondo Central Senatorial District, Adeniran Oyebade, said the protest was against a stolen mandate.

He said: “It was a broad-day light robbery, a monumental disaster. APC delegated some people to Ondo State to conduct the primary.

“That was never done. They remained in Akure and started writing results.

“They wrote the results of 203 wards across Ondo, taking the mandate of the people into their own hands.

“At the end of the day, we started seeing different results flying around, stating one particular candidate won the election. But that never happened.”

Omogoroye decried was she described as shoddy conduct of the primary, saying that there were no election materials in many voting centres.

She described the primary as a rape of democracy, saying that she and many of her supporters were unable to vote despite her preparation and financial commitment to the party.

Rerun, a mirage, says Oke

Oke described the rescheduled primary in 13 Wards of the Okitipupa Local Government area as a mirage aimed at deceiving the party faithful.

The Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation said in a statement by its Spokesperson, Mr Ojo Oyewamide, that the rerun was to give an impression that the committee conducted a credible primary.

The statement reads: “How can a primary election that did not take place anywhere in the state be rescheduled in one of the 18 local government areas (Okitipupa)?

“We consider this as a shameful attempt to give the sham a stamp of credibility.

“We also see it as an insult to the sensibilities and religion of the people of Okitipupa Local Government Area to slate an election for noon on Sunday.

“The local government area is predominantly populated by Christians and they will be in church at the time the exercise will be taking place.

“We believe that this is an unthinking plan to disenfranchise members of our party in the area.”

It was a show of shame, says Akinterinwa

The Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Organisation described the primary as a show of shame.

Its spokesman, Segun Ajiboye, said in a statement that no election was held in the state by the Governor Usman Ododo-led primary election committee.

The statement reads: “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, Gov. Ododo, arrived in the state 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.

“It was not surprising that what Gov. Ododo did on Saturday was far distant from what was promised.

“However, what was surprising was the audacity and the indecent manner the election committee actualised its plot, which was scripted and directed to favour a particular candidate.”

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