…We’re ready for any mode of primary — Adetimehin
By Adekola Afolabi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has settled for indirect primary for the conduct of the gubernatorial primaries in Ondo State come July 20, 2020.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday confirmed this.
The State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner Rufus Akeju disclosed this to journalists in his office in Akure.
He noted that the indirect mode of primary was communicated to INEC through a letter from the APC national secretariat.
The INEC position put to rest the rumour over mode of primary adopted by the party in the July 20 governorship primary in Ondo state.
This is coming as the APC chairman in the state, Ade Adetimehin, said that the state chapter would accept any mode of primary adopted by the National Secretariat of the party.
Akeju further added that all the 17 participating political parties in the governorship poll in the state would adopt indirect mode of primaries.
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has also fixed its primary for July 22, 2020.
The electoral umpire had fixed July 2nd to 27th for holding primaries by political parties to pick candidates for the October 10, 2020 governorship polls in Ondo state.
It was gathered that screening of the 12 aspirants also began in a hotel in Utako suburb area of the Federal Capital, Abuja on Wednesday.
A senior party official, who spoke in confidence said that the Caretaker Committee of the party has resolved to stick to the mode of primary adopted and conveyed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the former National Working Committee of the party led by former National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
It was reliably gathered that decision to stick to the mode of primary was reached by CEONCPC on Sunday at a meeting in Asokoro, Abuja, where it was resolved that the party should stick to the mode earlier adopted.
A source at the meeting said that the Caretaker Committee had it’s hand tied due to the constitutional provision that mandates political parties to notify INEC of mode of primary 21 days before the conduct of the party primary.
Another competent source in the Caretaker Committee confirmed the mode of primary in Ondo State on Wednesday in a phone call, the source simply said, “We have adopted the letter Oshiomhole earlier wrote to INEC.
It was however gathered that 11 of the 12 aspirants called for direct mode of primary for the July 20 Ondo State Governorship Primary of the party.
Meanwhile, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, led the pack of contenders screened by the Tumusa led Screening Committee.
Akeredolu who posted on his Facebook page after screening, commended the execrise and the committee members.
According to the governor’s post, “I have just undergone screening by my party @OfficialAPCNg. Members of the committee were thorough, scrutinizing all documents amongst other questions. I believe the party made excellent choices of the committee members. Very professional and courteous”.
Other aspirants screened on Wednesday include Amb. Joseoh Olusola Iji, Chief Odimayo Okunjimi, Chief Olayide Owolabi Adelaml mni, Chief Issacs Kekemeke Duerlminl and Chief Olusola Oke.
Those billed for screening today are lfeoluwa Olusola 0yedele, Olajumoke Olubusola Anifowoshe, Awodeyi Akinsehinwa Akinola Colinus, Olubukola Olarogba Okunola Adetula, Dr.Abraham Olusegun Michael and Dr. Nathaniel Olumugwa Adojutelegan
But when contacted on the telephone on the mode of primary as confirmed by INEC, the Ondo state chairman of the APC, Ade Adetimehin, explained that the state chapter of the party would accept any mode of primary given to it by the National Secretariat.
Adetimehin said APC in the state believes in the supremacy of the party.
He noted that as the state chairman of the party, he would provide a levelled playing ground for all aspirants and treat them equally.
However, one of the governorship aspirants, Mr lsaacs Kekemeke has cautioned that adopting any other mode of primary election for July 20 APC primary in the state axcept direct mode, will prevent party members from picking most popular among the 12 aspirants in the party.
Kekemeke, who spoke on the mode of primary to be used by the APC, said indirect primary would produce unpopular candidate for the October 10, 2020 election in the state.
On the mode of primary to be adopted , Kekemeke said he had given seven reasons on the mode of primary for the party leadership at the national headquarters in support of direct elections and hoped that they would accept them.
He explained that direct primary had the capacity to sensitise and mobilise party members for eventual inter-party election.