Oke, Agunloye may spring surprise in Ondo election
•Group endorses former FRSC corps marshal
• AD adopts erstwhile PDP National Legal Adviser
As internal crises continue to unsettle the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its rival All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State, the attention of electorate are beginning to shift to alternative parties, with credible candidates.
Some of the parties that are likely to pull a surprise in the election are the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Alliance for Democracy (AD), whose candidate are former Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Olu Agunloye and former National Legal Adviser of the PDP, Chief Olusola Oke respectively.
Recently, a youth group, under the aegis of Congress of Ondo State Youths in Politics (COSYP), endorsed Agunloye, saying he possesses impeccable integrity, commitment to service and enough public service experiences to transform Ondo if elected.
While endorsing Agunloye in Akure, the leaders of COSYP, Prince Tunde Momoh and Mr. Adebowale Olanipekun said the SDP flag-bearer was the most preferred among other candidates.
According to them, “We have assessed all the flag-bearers of each party in the state but only Agunloye has provided the youths ample opportunities for growth as former Minister of Power and Steel, former Minister of State for Defense and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) boss.”
The group noted that Agunloye used the opportunities he had in public offices to empower the youths and addressed the issue of poverty by offering them uncommon chance to grow, rather than using them as political thugs.
According to the duo, “Your honest and practical approach sets you apart from the other candidates. You have shown great concerns for the Ondo State citizens and other inhabitants of the state; your willingness to listen to people’s problems is commendable.”
Similarly, the leadership of the State’s chapter of AD said it has adopted Chief Oke as the candidate of party, as it also disowned a youth group that kicked against his adoption.
The State Chairman of the party, Elder Seriki Adebobola, declared that Oke is the candidate of the party during a press conference in Akure.
Meanwhile, some youths under the auspices of Olowookere Youth Vanguard (OYV) had rejected Oke, who left the APC in anger over the controversy that surrounded the party’s September 3 governorship primary.
The Guardian gathered that the aggrieved youths are the supporters of the candidate whose name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Akin Olowookere.
However, Adebobola stressed that the party has a structure and everything that was done followed due process, in accordance with the party’s guidelines.
“The youth leaders of AD do not know anything about Olowookere youth vanguard. If at all they exist, they are alien to our party. Although Olowookere may have its own youth vanguard they are not AD youth vanguard.
“AD has finalized the adoption of Chief Olusola Oke as the candidate of the party for the November 26 governorship election in the state. Oke is the authentic candidate of AD,” he said.
He continued: “We are debunking that protest in the name of the party. We are dissociating the party from the protest and the pronouncement. The protesters are being promoted by another party for their own game.”
The Chairman urged those that are involved in the act to desist from such since the party leadership from the national to local levels have completed all necessary arrangements for Oke’s candidature.
Also, the State Secretary of AD, Dr. Sola Agboola said: “Oke’s appearance is an added advantage to our party. All the condition to becoming a candidate of the political party has been fulfilled by Chief Oke.”
He disclosed that Olowookere has stepped down for him formally, insisting that he has not only written to INEC to accept Oke as the candidate of the party, he has also signed all the necessary papers to that effect.