The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ondo State has adopted an “indirect option” for upcoming primaries in the state ahead of the 2019 elections.
The decision of the Ondo APC was against the directive of the party’s national body led by Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, which announced that direct primaries would be adopted at all levels nationwide to pick its candidates.
The party arrived at the decision of adopting the indirect option after an emergency closed-door meeting of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu with its state working committee in Akure on Wednesday.
Also in attendance at the meeting, held at the Ondo APC secretariat on Oyemekun Road, were Agboola Ajayi, Deputy Governor of the state, and Ifedayo Abegunde, Secretary to the State Government.
Bamidele Oloyelogun, Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, moved the motion for the adoption of the indirect primaries for the 2019 general election.
Stephen Ogunleye, APC Chairman in the Owo Local Government Area of the state, seconded a motion for the adoption of the indirect primaries.
Addressing journalists after the closed-door meeting, Tayo Alasoadura, the senator representing the Ondo Central Senatorial District, explained that the decision was confirmed with the party’s constitution, which allows for the direct as well as the indirect primary election.
Alasoadura said that the logistics and security aspect of conducting the direct primaries would cause more crisis for the party in the state.
However, he noted that the decision of the APC in Ondo state to adopt indirect primaries is to avoid a further crisis that might plunge the ruling party into a bigger mess.
He also added that some members from other political parties had since joined its fold and hence the register was not fully updated.
“After our meeting held for close to three hours, we arrived at the conclusion that all elections that have to do with House of Representatives, Senate and States House of Assembly should be conducted as ‘indirect primaries’ because those that have just joined the party did not have the membership cards,” he said.
“We unanimously adopted that any elections that will be conducted in the state shall be indirect exercise, because the paty has no document to back up the direct primaries and that was why we have arrived at the indirect primaries in Ondo State. Direct primary is evil and is another form of corruption; it is unacceptable in Ondo State. Direct primaries will spoil our party, that is why we did not accept it.
“The lives of our citizens are precious to us; we are to protect them; we do not want violence and that’s why we unanimously adopted that election should now be conducted indirectly.”
Ade Adetimehin, Chairman of APC in Ondo State, said since the party had adopted the indirect primary, it’s members are still one big family in the state.
“Some we have adopted the indirect primaries in Ondo state, I know we are still one big family. So, let us unite and make this party stronger and strengthens it Ondo state,” he said.
Speaking after the meeting, Mayowa Akinfolarin, a member representing Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo/Odigbo Federal Constituency, said adopting the direct option of the primary would be a way of invitation to anarchy.
Hon. Akinfolarin noted that it would also be a way to support corruption, as some members of APC in Ondo State are new to the process.
Although majority of the SWC members attended the meeting, Professor Ajayi Boroffice, the senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District Area of the state; Afe Olowokere, the member representing Akure North/South at the House of Representatives; and Babatunde Kolawole, a member representing Akoko South West/Akoko South East, ignored it.
Recalled that Governor Akeredolu had been at daggers drawn with top members of the party in the state over the modalities for the forthcoming primaries.
These members have been insisting that the direct primary modalities announced by the national body of the party should be adopted by the Ondo State chapter of the party.