The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State yesterday gave a stern warning to all the aspirants seeking its ticket to contest the November 26 governorship election of the state.
The Ondo APC Chairman, Isaac Kekemeke, who spoke at a news conference at the party’s secretariat in Akure, the state capital, said the party’s leadership has resolved to conduct a free and fair primary election for all the governorship aspirants and called for their co-operation.
Kekemeke, who spoke against the backdrop of violence before the party’s primary, said any aspirant involved in violence before and during the election risks being disqualified.
He said the party must go into the forthcoming governorship poll as a united family even as he stressed that that no amount of propaganda by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will change the mind of voters, who have resolved to send the ruling party in the state packing.
The APC chair said the party was set to take over the mantle of leadership from the PDP government.
Highlighting the rules for the primary election campaign, Mr. Kekemeke urged the aspirants to promote unity and peace among themselves as the race to become the APC standard-bearer, must be a family affair, not do-or-die.
The chairman used the occasion to release the rules of conduct for the primary election campaign, noting that multiple aspirants would not tear the party apart.
He announced that each of the male governorship aspirants would pay N2 million for development levy while their female counterparts would pay N1m.
Kekemeke noted that the money was different from the nomination fee, which all aspirants will pay before the primary.
According to him, payment of the development levy was aimed at strengthening the party financially, saying: “This is a way of generating money to finance the party in the state”.
The chairman urged the governorship aspirants to see themselves as members of the same family and work together for the overall success of the party in the governorship poll.
Besides, he urged the aspirants to make their campaigns issue and programme-based, devoid of mudslinging, attack and acrimony.
He warned against the use of ammunition and other forms of dangerous weapons by supporters of the aspirants during campaigns.
Kekemeke said: “Thuggery and any form of violence by supporters of the governorship aspirants are not allowed in the course of campaigns and as such aspirants shall be held responsible for the misconduct, unruly acts and any form of untoward activities of their supporters during campaigns”.
Responding on behalf of the other aspirants, Senator Ajayi Boroffice assured the state exco of total compliance with the rules and regulations guiding both the primary and general elections.