Akeredolu denies imposing candidates for national, state assembly seats

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Amidst the scramble for state and national assembly tickets of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo, the State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has distanced himself from reports that he has anointed candidates for the election.

The governor, who cleared the air on Friday in Akure, the state capital, said he did not impose any candidate on the party ahead of the forthcoming primaries.

This is contrary to the information being fed to stakeholders of the party, who have been in conflict over whose candidates would emerge.

There were earlier reports indicating a disagreement between the governor and his deputy over some of the candidates to be supported for the House of Assembly elections.

Only Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly seats would be contested in Ondo State next year.

Mr Akeredolu is not known for openly declaring support for a particular candidate, even though it is normal for governors to have candidates emerged from their bunch of loyal members.

In April, while meeting with over 200 aspirants for the House of Assembly ticket of the APC, Mr Akeredolu warned serving lawmakers who have not performed in their constituencies and senatorial districts to do self-evaluation before contesting for the party’s tickets again.

He had promised to provide a level-playing field, but noted that they don’t have to all enter the race with such a large number.

Richard Olatunde, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, in a statement on Friday, said that there was no time the governor endorsed any of the aspirants ahead of the election.

He blamed the “rumours” on people with the intention of sowing discord and undermining democracy within the party.

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According to Mr Olatunde, the governor would rather give guardianship and provide leadership than the outright imposition of candidates on the party.

“This is a clear attempt by those with tainted party loyalty to box the APC into a state of helplessness in order to whittle down the supremacy of the party,” said Mr Olatunde.

“Blackmail cannot stop the resolve of the party to enforce individual and collective discipline through democratic processes as enunciated in the various stakeholder’s sessions in the last three weeks.

“As an incurable democrat, Governor Akeredolu has always preached and supported fairness, equity, and justice even in playing his leadership role in the affairs of the party in the state and at the national level.

“Governor Akeredolu is a loud voice in the struggle for fairness and the need for the party to walk the path of equity in the forthcoming elections. He will not lead any struggle that will defeat his beliefs and strong convictions.

“Succinctly, Governor Akeredolu shall crave for justice, equity and fairness even as the business of politicking within the APC in the state ahead of the forthcoming primaries has long been ceded to the party.”


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