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Direct primaries will give room for fraud– Ondo APC

By Chris Chimezie, Adekola  Afolabi & Jubril Bada
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state has attributed its adoption of the indirect system of primaries for all elective positions in the 2019 general elections to non-availability of comprehensive register for party members in the state and for security purpose.

It added that direct primaries would give room for fraud, with non-members claiming to be members of the APC which could lead to chaos during the primaries.

The party’s resolution followed a special stakeholders meeting held behind closed doors which lasted for hours at the State Secretariat of the party in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The meeting which had in attendance, the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon Ifedayo Abegunde, Senators representing Ondo South & Central Senatorial Districts, Senators Yele Omogunwa and Tayo Alasoadura  respectively and other elected and key appointees of the ruling party, unanimously adopted indirect primaries as its mode of selecting its representatives in all elections.

The State Party Chairman, Engr Ade Adetimehin, while addressing journalists, said the state chapter rejected the direct primary system due to its security and financial implications.

Adetimehin who noted that both direct and indirect primary methods were constitutional, insisted that indirect primary would accommodate those who defected to the APC recently, hence the need for its adoption.

“The party would also avoid the possibility of chaos and security challenges that may crop up, in the event of sharp disagreements among members, and possibilities of infiltration by opposition members.”

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He said the priority of the Ondo State APC is to embrace a lawful option that would unite the party ahead of the main elections, rather than plunge it into avoidable crisis.

The Chairman described the party as that of the masses and a one big united family that had remained stronger under the leadership of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Adetimehin while describing those piloting the affairs of the party as people of proven integrity, enjoined all party members to strive hard and protect the party’s image and continue to see themselves as a member of one indivisible family.

“If anyone has issue, let such individual approach the State Secretariat of the Party and we will have it resolved.

“That is the beauty of a political party, you talk and I talk and any issue would be resolved through that means. We are people of integrity. Let’s continually make this party stronger”, he said.

Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyeyogun  had moved a motion for the adoption of indirect primaries and was seconded by APC Chairman in Owo Local Government, Mr Stephen Olaleye.

Oleyelogun explained that the adoption of indirect primaries for all elective positions such as the Senate, House of Representatives and the state House of Assembly elections in Ondo state was a unanimous decision of all the stakeholders.

The Speaker submitted that its adoption will make the exercise less cumbersome, reduce cost and prevent crisis and the possibilities of infiltration by non APC members

Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Senator Tayo Alasoadura hinted that SEC members unanimously endorsed indirect primaries based on its merits.

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He said the Exco arrived at the conclusion that all election that has to do with the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and the Senate should be conducted as indirect primaries in the state.

“We arrived at this because of the difficulties that would be associated with the direct primary system. A lot of people have joined our party since  the last registration, but do not have registration cards.

“Direct primaries would lead to unfairness and chaos because a lot of people who may not be members of the party are likely to claim to be one and any election conducted under such atmosphere would not be credible.

“Having critically looked at all of these, we unanimously decided that all elections to the various Houses would be through the indirect system as it conforms with the constitution of the party,” he explained.

Also addressing newsmen, member representing Odigbo/Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Federal constituency, Hon Mayowa Akinfolarin who defected to the ruling APC last year from the PDP, described direct primary method as an invitation to anarchy and another form of corruption.

“I joined this party with my teeming supporters and I would be sad to see them being deliberately and consciously excluded from participating actively all in the name of direct primaries.

“Using direct type of primaries would be an indirect way of stopping us from participating. This is unacceptable and those promoting the direct primary method are working against our interest.

“In the spirit of fairness, justice and equity, those of us who became members of this party are saying we want indirect primaries system of electing our representatives”, he said.

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The State Youth Leader of the Party, Mr Olutayo Babalola, on his own, described the direct primary system as canterkerous, unpalatable and injurious to Ondo APC’s existence as one united political family.

“As a result of this, the entire youths of our party condemn it in its totality and have resolved to adopt the indirect method as enshrined in our party’s constitution which we will always align with to guide us during electoral processes”, he stated.

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Olawunmi Ohwovoriole – harped on the need to sustain the relative peace being enjoyed in the state which only indirect system of election can guarantee.

“Merits of the indirect method of primary election outweighs the demerits of the direct type and the present administration is determined to continue protecting the lives of its citizens.

“We don’t want violence as we are interested in seeing people go about their normal businesses without any life being lost, hence our resolve to settle for the indirect system of primaries to elect our representatives in all the elective positions”, she said.

Direct primaries will give room for fraud– Ondo APC

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