The Association of Commodity Market Women and Men of Nigeria (ACMWAMN) have rallied behind one of the aspirants that contested the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Abraham.
The association’s stance came amidst calls by some of the aspirants, including Abraham, to cancel the September 3 primary.
Mr. Abraham, widely speculated to be the preferred candidate of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, came second in the primary behind Olurotimi Akeredolu.
But the primary, which was hailed as credible, free and fair has since been riddled with controversy with claims that a fake delegates’ list was used to conduct the exercise.
The APC Appeal Committee is yet to submit its report, which will go a long way in determining whether a fresh primary would be conducted or the just concluded one upheld.
Weighing in the controversy, ACMWAMN said Abraham is the only one who can rescue the masses from the debilitating effects of poor governance of the Peoples Democratic Party-led administration in Ondo State.
It also called on the party to settle the agitation against the allegations of fraud that rocked the primary election that produced Akeredolu as winner.
Speaking yesterday at their secretariat in Akure, the state capital, the Iyaloja General, Mrs. Olabisi Ojo Babatunde, said: “We the market women and men of Ondo State are true progressives; and this move to align with the progressives started since the days of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN).
“And this time around, we are united in the decision to throw our weight behind Olusegun Abraham to rescue this state from the poverty experienced by the masses”.
She added: “As stakeholders in determining how the state functions or otherwise, we believe that this is our way of contributing to the achievement of better governance in Ondo State.
“The state deserves a leader with integrity, who understands how to make money and to make money flow within the polity. We have met almost all the people aspiring to govern the state as from next year, and we have seen by his antecedence that Abraham is the most fit for the job; no doubt”, the association argued.
According to Mrs. Babatunde, the Iyalojas and their executive members were constituted to act as liaison officers between the APC and the members of the ACMWAMN to ensure smooth-working relationship that would translate into mutual benefits.
She, therefore, appealed to the party to resolve the petitions against the APC primary election as soon as possible to pave way for a truly free and fair primary.
“We join many of the well-meaning voices that have rejected that primary election that was unfortunately marred by fraud. It should not stand.
“Therefore, we appeal to the party’s headquarter and leadership to resolve this electoral fraud issue quickly to allow the people make a better choice in a truly free and fair primary, which we are sure Abraham will emerge victorious.
“In fact, the 18 of us, all the Iyalojas from all the 18 local governments in Ondo just made our stance known to our national leader, the Iyaloja-General of Nigeria, Alhaja Folasade Tinubu-Ojo, and we believe they stand by us to support a practical governor in Abraham, for our state”, Mrs. Babatunde added.
The group is the umbrella body of the Association of Commodity Market Women and Men of Nigeria (ACMWAMN) under Mrs. Tinubu-Ojo.