A group within the Ondo state All Progressives Congress (APC), under the auspices of Ondo Progressive Coalition has warned the National leadership of the party, not to embark on an alleged plan to impose a candidate on the party during the primary of the party, coming up on August 27, 2016.
The warning of the group was contained in a statement signed by the Chairman of the group, Mr. Adewetan Vincent, who called on APC leaders and the state leadership of the party to let the candidate of the emerge through a free and fair primary, saying imposition of candidate would cause crisis in the party.
Vincent said imposition of any of the candidate will reduce the chances of party in the forthcoming governorship election and will affect the fortune of the party in the election noting that APC remains a party to beat in the state.
According to him, the development had already been causing division in the party and said the only way for the party to win the forthcoming governorship election in the state was for the leaders to allow credible and sellable candidate emerge through free, fair and transparent primary.
The statement read, “ If we are tired of being in the opposition, then we must speak up against any development that can affect the fortune of the party in the next election.
“We reiterate that the party must do a free, fair and transparent primary, devoid of the influence of our leaders. The candidate of the party must emerge on his own merit.
“This will prove to the people of Ondo State that our party has departed from the old ACN’s ( the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria) method that set the party on the path of failure. Apart from this, free, fair and uninfluenced primary will promote mutual symbolic relationship among the contestants “
The group also urged national and state leadership of the APC to be neutral on the issue of emergence of party’s candidate and also to desist from any act that could bring about insinuation that an aspirant would be handpicked before the primary of the party.
“Before it is too late, we call on all the party leaders and our governorship aspirants to embrace free, fair and uninfluenced primary as promised by our leaders,” it appealed.
It would be recalled that Senator Tinubu was accused by some Ondo State APC governorship aspirants, of planning to impose one of the aspirants as the candidate of the party for the November 26, 2016 governorship election.
However, the Director of Media and Publicity of the party, Mr. Steve Otaloro denied the allegation, saying there was no time the leaders were summoned to Lagos by the national leader.
He said, “ The party has said it several times that the primary would be free, fair and transparent . So as far as we are concerned in APC, there would not be any imposition of candidate in the primary.
“To the best of my knowledges, no party leader in the state has been invited by the National leader to work for anybody,”