Primaries: Ondo APC crisis deepens, as aspirants pick forms from factional chairmen
THE looming crisis within the Ondo state Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the mode of primary election to adopt for the 2019 elections took a new dimension as advocates of direct and indirect primaries obtained their expression of interest forms from the two factional Chairmen in the state.
While those who supported the indirect primaries obtained their forms from the Ade Adetimehin led executive, other aspirants who embraced direct primaries obtained their forms from the office of the factional Chairman, Mr. Idowu Otetubi.
Speaking while obtaining his expression of interest form from Otetubi, the lawmaker representing Akoko South West/South East Federal constituency of Ondo state, Hon. Kolawole Babatunde, described the adoption of indirect primaries by some members of the party in the state as a coup against democracy.
Babatunde who described the adoption of indirect primaries as a “breeding ground for corruption in the country’s democracy” said proponents of indirect primaries against the delegate system are politicians who are not ground.
He said “the proponents of indirect primaries are those people that are not on ground. They know that they are in the minority in this state. They are afraid of normal election where every card carrying members of the party are going to vote.
“If you are in the majority in the party, you don’t need to be scared of direct primary. We started this party, we have been on ground and we are saying we are ready for direct primary.
Babatunde who ruled out parallel candidates from the two factions of the APC in the state said “as far as I am concerned, we are not afraid of any parallel candidates because the APC under the leadership of Mr Otetubi is the authentic APC in Ondo state.
“We bought the forms at the National Secretariat and followed the due process as laid down by the constitution of the party.
“As far as I am concerned, I don’t see any parallel primaries, as we speak we are in court and I am sure we will get victory. Thank God the National leadership of the party in their wisdom has given their support to direct primaries which is the best option as we speak.
“That will put aside the two executives factions on ground aside and it will give a level playing ground for everybody.
“As we speak, the card-carrying members of the party are going to be the ones that will vote in primaries. I don’t see issue arising as far as I am concerned.”
Kolawole urged the proponents of indirect primaries not to hide under the canopy of insecurity and the non-registration of members saying “this is far from the truth because as we speak, the national body has the record of every card-carrying member in this country not only in Ondo State.
“They have done it in Osun, it was successful, Lagos has bought into it, even Ogun and Oyo. The only state in the Southwest is Ondo State. why should we be an exception?”