The leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ondo State and aspirants vying for elective positions in the 2023 general election has disagreed on a consensus arrangement ahead of party primaries across the state.
Vanguard reports that a committee set up by the party leadership to meet with the aspirants, party leaders and stakeholders in a bid to work towards producing a consensus candidate among the large numbers of people jostling for the party tickets has submitted its report.
The committee was set up in each of the three senatorial districts of the state to prune the number of aspirants and produce a party’s choice. This choice will be in the form of a consensus subjected to the approval and agreement of the party leaders, stakeholders, and elders of the concerned council, constituency, and the senatorial district.
The party leadership has briefed the state governor on the committee’s findings.
Vanguard reports that a party source, who spoke in confidence, said that the consensus idea “was inspired by the successes recorded in the last Congress held in the state where the party leadership installed consensus candidates as party executives.
”The Governor was satisfied and happy that the arrangement was rancor-free, making the state the only crisis-free APC state in the Southwest.
”The State Working Committee of the party and some selected leaders have held two strategic meetings with the Governor at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s office to fine-tune the decisions of the party leadership in the senatorial districts
Vanguard reports that the party leadership and the governor agreed to throw open the contest for the Southern senatorial seats since the idea of consensus candidates failed.
Party bigwigs expected in the primary include,
- Jimoh Ibrahim, billionaire businessman,
- Boye Oyewumi, former CEO of ONDIPA
- Mathew Oyerinmade
- Mayowa Akinfolarin, member of the House of Representatives
For the House of Representatives seat in the Southern Senatorial District, a party source at the meeting disclosed to Vanguard that former information commissioner, Donald Ojogo emerged as the party’s consensus for the Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency.
Ojogo, is said to have enjoyed the popular support of the party leadership in both Ilaje and Ese-Odo. However, other aspirants are ready to slug it out with Ojogo in the primary: ldowu Mafimisebi and Goke Ayara.
However, primary elections will be held in the other two Federal constituencies in the district. The Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency and Ile-Oluji-Oke-Igbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency.
The decision to hold primary elections in the two federal constituencies was due to the inability of the party’s leadership to reach a consensus.
Also in the south, there are also consensus candidates for the house of Assembly.
Those contesting in the Odigbo constituency 1 as no consensus was reached are:
- Tunji Rhema, Party chieftain
- Tunji Fabiyi, Former Special Adviser to the Governor
- Prince Akinbobola Temidayo Ojo, son of the late monarch
The party source said that the governor and the party leadership agreed to throw the tickets open since the leadership of the party in the Central senatorial district couldn’t convince the stakeholders and party leadership into a consensus arrangement.
The leadership of the party in the Northern Senatorial district picked Jide Ipinsagba, who is from Akoko, as the party’s choice for the ticket of the party ahead of the next year’s election.
However, there is another strong contender, Chief Alex Ajipe.
Other aspirants endorsed by the party in the north, according to party sources, include;
- Bunmi Tunji-Ojo
- Timehin Adelegbe
- Gboyega Adefarati
But a notable aspirant in Owo/ Ose federal constituency, Dr. Abiola Oshodi has insisted he would sack the incumbent, Adelegbe in the primary.
A member of the state working committee who spoke in confidence with a Vanguard correspondent said party elders and leaders sat and deliberated on the best choice for the party ahead of the primary.
He said this was not to rule out others who may still want to contest the exercise but to reinforce the party’s cohesion.
“The party set up committees across the three senatorial districts of the state.
“After due deliberations and consultations with these party leaders, the Governor supported that the reports be adopted.
“So, this is purely a party activity. No unilateral decision was taken by anyone. It is so rare to see a state Governor respecting the party this way. Well for us, we are amazed.”
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Alex Kalejaye, denied that there was disagreement on the adoption of consensus candidates.
Kalejaye said that
”The party position is that aspirants should get prepared for primaries.
“Although the leadership of the chapter, expectedly, betrays an interest in some House of Assembly aspirants, for the stability of the House, and have sufficiently pacified aggrieved leaders from such state constituencies, it is not going to be an outright imposition.
“What that means is that the party is in full support of a transparent exercise during the primaries.