The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State has promised the people of the state that 2017 would bring better days under the administration of the Governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu.
The party made this promise as it felicitated with the people of the state on the dawn of a New Year 2017.
The message signed by its Director of Media and Publicity, Steve Otaloro, reads: “We admonish the people of Ondo State to keep hope alive in the face of the current economic quagmire in the state as there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
“Our state is blessed with enough natural resources and quality human power, but the inability of the government to harness these rare opportunities is the bane of the state development.
“We only focus over the years on funds accruing to the state from the Federation Account and unfortunately we do not make good use of it and diversify the sources of generating internal revenue.
“We (APC) are assuring you the good people of Ondo State that we are going to look beyond money from the central and explore all other resources we have through engagement of personalities with economic acumen and expertise in turning the fortunes of our dear state round for the benefit of all.
“Everyone, particularly those in the private sector would be provided the enabling environment to operate and cottage industries would be encouraged by the All Progressives Congress-led administration to create jobs and reduce poverty rate in the state drastically before long.
“We are calling on the people to prepare to key into various people-oriented programmes of Barrister Akeredolu’s government which would be rolled out on assumption of office in February, which promised to turn the economic situation in the state round.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised security concern over the attitude of politicians in Ondo State ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, says the actions of some aggrieved politicians in the state since the political parties conducted their primaries is capable of undermining the security of the state.
“The mindset of the political class, especially the politicians that belong to the leading political party on what it takes to win elections usually involve violence and malpractices among their followers.
“There is an urgent need for the political class to change its do or die attitude to good conduct in politics and a political caution of violence has to be done away with in our political parties.
“Our political parties must imbibe the culture of sincere eternal party democracy in the interest of the nation’s democracy,” he said.
Mr Agbaje made the remarks on Thursday at a meeting with members of the civil society groups in Abuja, to assess INEC’s preparation for the elections.
The decision has led to massive protest in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.
“It is the court judgement of that day that forced us to say it is this person and that means if another higher court comes with a judgement to say it is Eyitayo Jegede, (we will obey),” he noted.
Agbaje further revealed that he had made a commitment that INEC would obey the ruling of the Appeal Court if the ruling favours Jegede.
“If the Appeal Court says it is Eyitayo, the commission cannot say no, but if it does, I will resign my appointment as a commissioner,” he stated.
Meanwhile Mr Clement Nwakwo, who is a member of one of the civil groups, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, had a different view about the procedure of selecting candidates.
He advised the politicians to address issues of candidacy in-house, instead of approaching various courts for such decisions.
“I do not think that INEC has any major role to play in deciding who the candidates are (and) that’s why they have taken the decision.
“It is really for the political parties to sort out their mess for the court to really not become a theatre of deciding who candidates are, but the political party themselves making those decisions in line with their own process and the rule of law,” he recommended.
PDP Crisis Deepens
At least 1.6 million registered voters are expected to participate in the Saturday, November 26 governorship polls in Ondo State.
There has been crisis over the authenticity of candidates in some of the parties in the polls including the PDP, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alliance for Democracy (AD).
While the APC and AD finally adopted Mr Rotimi Akeredolu and Mr Olusola Oke as their respective candidates, the controversy has deepened in the PDP.
Both factions of the party have continued to lay claim to having produced the authentic candidate of the party, although the Ali Modu Sheriff faction is backed by the court ruling which favoured Jimoh Ibrahim and which INEC has obeyed.
The PDP faction led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has equally been optimistic that “justice would be served” and called on all PDP faithful across Nigeria as well as the general public to remain calm and continue to support them.
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, made a mockery of the Peoples Democratic Party on Monday, saying he will defeat the party’s factional candidates if put together in the polls.
Mr Akeredolu made the statement after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
He was led to the Presidential Villa on Monday by the Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of the APC governorship campaign in Ondo State, Mr Solomon Lalong.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Akeredolu boasted that if the two factional candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimoh Ibrahim and Eyitayo Jegede, combine forces and contest against him, he would emerge victorious at the poll.
President Buhari’s visitors were confident of APC’s victory in the forthcoming election.
Addressing his supporters at the party’s secretariat in Akure, Mr Akeredolu said that his concern was to only relate with the people of the state and no other person or group, with the aim of bringing change into their lives.
He was of the belief that irrespective of the current challenge of the party, the APC would form the next government in the state.
The APC governorship candidate in Ondo State, Mr Olurotimi Akeredolu, has appealed to his co-aspirants in the primaries to come together and work for the success of the APC in the November 2016 election.
Mr Akeredolu made the appeal while addressing his supporters at the party’s secretariat in Akure, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.
He said that his concern was to only relate with the people of the state and no other person or group, with the aim of bringing change into their lives.
Akeredolu expressed belief that irrespective of the current challenge of the party, the APC would form the next government in the state.
He insisted that there was no going back on the primaries, urging the aggrieved aspirants to put the issue of a new primary election behind them and be united towards winning the governorship election.
Speaking to Channels Television, the APC Publicity Secretary in Ondo State, Abayomi Adesanya, appealed to the leaders of the party in the state to come together as one family in the interest of the party and the people of the state.
A former Governor of Lagos State and national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu, had accused the National Chairman of the party, John Oyegun of sabotaging the will of democracy in Ondo state by overriding the decision of the appeal panel that asked for a fresh governorship primary following investigations that showed that the delegates’ list used had been tampered with.
He went on to say that Oyegun’s action in allegedly subverting the will of the people must have been under the influence of a “powerful and sinister arm at work”.
The former Lagos state governor also alleged that the APC was now under threat of being suffocated by anti-democratic forces pretending to be progressives.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday in Abuja, Mr Frank noted that the current crisis within the party is capable of crumbling the APC if the leaders of the party refuse to act on time.
He urged leaders of the party to compel Mr Oyegun to convene a National Executive Council meeting to resolve the allegations of corruption raised by a former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu.
The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the substitution of the House of Representative candidate of the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) for Odigbo/Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo, Yejide Ogundipe and ordered him to be replaced by one Festus Adefiranye having won the highest number of votes in the primary election conducted by the party.
The judgement came barely four days to the National Assembly elections.
The judgement of the court was sequel to a suit instituted by Adefiranye through his counsel, James Anietor, challenging the substitution of his name with that of Yejide Ogundipe by the Ondo APC.
The plaintiff had informed the court through an exhibit that he came first in the APC primary election held, having scored the highest number of votes, only to discover his name was not submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In his ruling, the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole held, “Having listened to the submissions of all counsel in the suit. It is obvious from the exhibit that the plaintiff was not present when the appeal panel was recounting the votes as such the decision of the national working committee of the party on which the plaintiff’s name was substituted cannot be trusted because it was based on a faulty foundation.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State has called on the people of the state that the party is open and prepared to receive truly progressive new members into their fold.
Addressing journalists at a press conference in Akure the state capital, the State Chairman of the party, Isaac Kekemeke, assured such new members that they would have fair and equal opportunities with all other members of the party.
He emphasised that the people of the state have tested both the People’s Democratic Party, PDP and the Labour Party which he says are now one party, but they are yet to experience the APC which according to him is better.
The APC had said that it would reap from Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s defection from the Labour Party to the Peoples Democratic Party as they believe the defection would have caused some disunity.
The party has therefore concluded plans to embark on continuous membership registration exercise in all the Local Government councils of the state.
Mr Kekemeke informed that all wards and Local Government Executives have been directed to open the membership register of the party for registration of new members in all the 203 wards in the state.