‘Why Ondo APC needs to address critical issues before election’
The Ondo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) will face three critical challenges, as the November 26, 2016 governorship elections approaches. Prominent among them is imposition of candidate by the leadership of the party, which of course, was one of the principal factors that contributed to the defeat of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), one of the legacy parties that formed APC by the incumbent governor, Dr. Segun Mimiko, in the 2012 governorship election. The ugly scenario is again raising its as some of the aggrieved aspirants are already alleging.
Another challenge is the inability of the party to prune the number of aspirants. Today, the Ondo APC has close to 40 governorship aspirants jostling for its ticket.
The people of the state have warned the leadership of the APC not to undermine the supremacy of the electorate.
Speaking on the situation, one of the aspirants, Akinyinka Akinnola, said the party should critically look into some of the issues before the election.
Taking the issue of zoning, Akinnola said he expected reactions from some people, considering that he is from the Central Senatorial District, “but I was encouraged by the party’s open declaration that there would be no zoning.”
He noted the party’s body language has opened the mind of the electorate to what the aspirants have to offer and their ability to administer the state in a way that would bring the desired change to their lives.
According to him, “This is reflected in the support I have received and our organisational spread across all local governments in the state.”
On the observation that thoroughbred professionals and businessmen, and young people formed the cluster of aspirants in the party struggling for space with some old breed politicians, Akinnola said, “the game has changed. The terrain is different now. There is no secrecy as to who the delegates for the primaries are and all aspirants had opportunity to visit and engage delegates in all the local councils. Political brinkmanship is of little value here as the people are generally tired of this also. If the primaries in Edo are a standard for what is to come in Ondo, the secret ballot system of voting also reduces the issues of intimidation.”
On the fear of imposition, he responded: “I tend not to bother too much about such issues and focus on my objective. I’m fairly confident that there will be no imposition, but different leaders may have a preference for certain candidates. This is their prerogative. That is not the same as an imposition. It is now up to the delegates to make their choice.
“Aspirants waiting to be anointed or who are positioning themselves without putting in hardwork will be very disappointed. There are just under 3000 delegates and as we speak now, there are still over 20 aspirants in contention. It’s going to be very interesting indeed.”