Ahead of the August 27, 2016, governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State, the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has assured aspirants and party faithful that leaders at both national and state levels have no preferred candidate.
There were reports that a national leader of the APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had purportedly anointed one of the aspirants – Segun Abraham – as his preferred choice to pick the party’s ticket.
The purported endorsement of Mr Abraham, led to the ‘impeachment’ of the Ondo APC Chairman, Isaac Kekemeke, by some members of the party in the state, who accused him of acting out a script written by Mr Tinubu.
One of the governorship aspirants, Mr Tunji Abayomi, had in an open letter to Tinubu, warned him to steer clear of the governorship primaries in the state. But the APC national leader, in a reply, said he had the right to endorse any of the aspirants.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja after a meeting he held with Mr Kekemeke, the Ondo APC Secretary, Mr Rotimi Rahaman and 24 governorship aspirants, Mr Odigie-Oyegun said all the participants agreed that it was wrong if any member endorsed a particular aspirant.
The meeting was convened, following the crisis that rocked the state chapter of the party following the alleged endorsement of Abraham.
“We have accepted unanimously that no attempt will be made by the party to impose any aspirant on them and the electorate. They (aspirants) are equal members of the party. We believe it is the choice of delegates to indicate their preference”, said the APC National Chairman.
He also dismissed reports that there were many versions of delegates’ list, promising to make the clean and original list available to all aspirants before handing it over to one of the APC governors who will conduct the governorship primary election.