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Violence and disagreements mar the Ondo APC guber primary poll, with Aiyedatiwa leading

Apr 22, 2024 | 2023 Elections | 0 comments

Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State is poised to emerge as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 16 gubernatorial election in the state.

Aiyedatiwa, along with 15 other aspirants, including Olusoji Ehinlanwo, Jimi Odimayo, Jimoh Ibrahim, and APC National Vice Chairman (South West) Isaacs Kekemeke, is seeking the party’s ticket.

Other aspirants are Wale Akinterinwa, Olugbenga Edema, Olusola Oke (SAN), Olamide Ohunyeye, Morayo Lebi, Oladiran Iyantan, Prof. Francis Faduyile, Mayowa Akinfolarin, and Ifeoluwa Oyedele, as well as two female aspirants, Funmilayo Adekojo and Funke Omogoroye.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Ondo State, held on Saturday, were marred by violence and discrepancies, as voting did not take place in most of the 203 wards.

Violence erupted in the Idanre Local Council of the state as some political thugs shot sporadically into the air to scare APC members not in their folds away.

Chaos also broke out in Okitipupa, Ward 1, as party members gathered at Stella Maris College to cast their votes. They dispersed because violence erupted over support for a desired aspirant.

According to a party member in the council area, the accreditation and voting were yet to commence when violence erupted, causing voters to flee.

A voter who craved anonymity disclosed that one of the party agents working for an aspirant came to the ward, snatched the validation and accreditation papers, and fled.

“In Ward 3, Ajue, Odigbo Local Council, the result was written on cardboard paper before the official commencement of voting and the arrival of election materials.

Meanwhile, the security agents at the ward were unable to contain the violence as everyone fled the premises. Men from the Nigeria Police Force and the NSCDC, among others, were present across the wards.

Although the exercise witnessed a huge turnout among party members in the Akure South local council area, voting did not take place in most of the wards visited.

As of 11:45 am, voting materials had yet to arrive in wards 4, 7, and 9 in the Akure Council Area, and the members who trooped out failed to exercise their franchise.

A member of the party who identified herself as Bosede stated, “I arrived at the voting center with my friend at about 10:00 am, but we were told by one of us that we should write our names on a sheet of paper and return to our house.

“It was later. I was told that our data would be used for voting and that we would be seen later.”

At Oba-nla ward in Akure, a political leader, Yinka Akosile, was attacked and injured by suspected thugs said to be loyal to one of the aspirants.

Meanwhile, four governorship aspirants who described the gubernatorial primary as a sham that must not be allowed to stand accused the Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, of not following the guidelines of the shadow election.

The governorship aspirants, which included Gbenga Edema, Wale Akinterinwa, Olusola Oke, and Prof. Dayo Faduyile, who emphasized that the election had commenced in some wards when the electoral materials had not been sent, called for the cancellation of the process.

Edema said: “At the stakeholders meeting, the Secretary of the Committee that came from Abuja to conduct this primary, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, informed us that the distribution of materials will be done to the electoral officers of each of the wards at the Bon Hotel, Ijapo Estate, Akure, starting at 7:00 am, and by 10:00 am, accreditation will begin in each of the wards, which will last until 1:00 am, and that by 1:00 pm, the proper election will take place, and by 2:00 results will be announced.

“We have been here since 6:30 am with many of our electoral officers, especially those whose names appeared on the list; unfortunately, nothing happened until 10 am.

“At about 9:30 am, His Excellency, Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, came out to tell us that materials had been distributed. At what time? In what places? We don’t know. Unfortunately for him, the returning officers and electoral officer of my ward, Mahin Ward II in Ilaje local government, are here and unable to collect any materials.

“What we are asking for is a credible election. So, we are asking the leadership of the party to look into this.”

“If they’re not ready for this election

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