LG polls: Ondo APC holds councillorship screening
BY Jubril Bada
The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State has screened all its councillorship aspirants who have indicated interest in all the 203 wards across the state to pick the party tickets for councillorship position in April 18 local government elections.
The screening which was conducted in each of the three senatorial districts in the state went on peacefully as all aspirants came out from all six councils of each district for the exercise after sanitation at the weekend.
Success of the exercise was not unconnected to the effort of the party to put in place local government councillorship screening committee comprised of unbiased members that cut across all the party’s chieftains from each district to screen other senatorial district.
During the screening,the committees ascertained the qualifications of the aspirants to contest on the platform of the party.
In the Northern Senatorial District, a total of 215 aspirants were screened at the party secretariat in Owo.
The screening exercise which took place at the APC Owo party Secretariat saw aspirants from all the six local governments in the district converging at the centre as early as 8.00 am at the weekend.
The total number of screened aspirants in other districts are yet to be made available by the party in the state.
Speaking with The Hope, the State Chairman of the APC, Mr. Ade Adetimehin, described the screening as peaceful and violence free exercise.
The screening, he added was best of its kind that devoid of complaint from any aspirant in all the senatorial districts.
While commending the members of the screening committee for the success recorded in the exercise, Adetimehin said this was an indication of true level of internal democracy of the party to the whole world.
He reiterated his commitment towards enhancing the party’s cohesion and unity as well carry all members along in all the affairs of the party.
His words” When we gone round the three senatorial districts the exercise went on peacefully. The screening committee which include the men of personality did a good job to ensure the screening ended well.
“We are going to carry people along and maintain and ensure the party’s cohesion is not toyed with”
The Chairman of the Screening Committee in the Central Senatorial District and State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan, also described the exercise as a transparent arrangement where everyone was given level playing field on various questions to ascertain their loyalties to the party..
The screening, according to him, was put in place by the APC in the state to ensure it has credible candidate that would represent the party in the forthcoming local government election.
“So far so good, we have put in place transparent arrangement where everybody is given level playing ground by asking aspirants on the level of their knowledge and loyalty to the party.
“We also ensure that most of the aspirants have in their minds that any emerged councillors should be collectively supported”. Igbasan affirmed
He said the exercise was an opened arrangement which was acceptable by the aspirants.
He assured that “The result will be credible and acceptable by everybody including aspirants”.
On her part, the Head of the Ondo North Screening Committee, Mrs Lola Fagbemi who is also the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the exercise.
Fagbemi said the outcome was a clear testification to the fact the the APC is disciplined and peaceful party.
While expressing her feelings about the increasing number of University graduates that expressed their intention to contest for the councillorship positions, the commissioner said it is a sign that politics is getting to the level where only those who are well qualified academically are contesting elections in the country.
According to her, the era when elective positions in the local councils are thought to be for those with little academic qualifications has gone.
Similarly, the Southern Senatorial District Chairman for the exercise and Special Adviser to the state governor on Political Matters, Mr. Victor Olabimtan said the screening went on smoothly.
The successful exercise, he said was an indication of improvement in the democracy of the party politics in the state just as he noted that no one can fault the exercise.
The chairman, who explained that the submitted reports of the screening to the state secretariat of the party would be published to enable the general public knows successful aspirants to participate in the primary of the party.
He added that the successful exercise would further deepen the party’s democracy in the state.
Olabimtan commended the state executive members of the party for their transparency over the exercise and optimistic that the party would win the election and all future elections in the state.